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How did Marvel Comics get away with naming their female character Captain Marvel when the character was originally male and created originally by DC comics? When I was a kid back in the 50's I used to read the DC Captain Marvel Comics along with the Marvel family characters Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel Junior.  I can remember a Saturday morning children's cinema matinee when they ran a Captain Marvel serial in black and white. Marvel Comics did not create their character until years later.

Edited by noelsmith

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Well, you know they just had to make one female. As if Wonder Woman and the other female characters weren't enough. Nobody in this younger generation making these movies respects canon anymore.

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According to Wikipedia Marvel comics gained the trademark in the late sixties.  According to the timeline there has been a number of female Captain Marvels in the history of the series.

Eric

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I believe that the  SHAZAM movie being released soon will feature who I recognise as the original Captain Marvel (i.e. Billy Batson shouts 'Shazam' to change into the legendary super hero. What are they naming him in it?

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Marvel's Captain Marvel had been a male originally and then a female. If you remember the X-Men character Rogue, her superpowers came from permanently absorbing a female Captain Marvel's powers leading to that person (Carol Danvers' death).

When I was a child, the teenager who Bruce Banner saved from the gamma bomb that then turned Banner into the Hulk, was named Rick Jones. He had the nega-bands that when he smacked his wrists together he would trade places with a male Captain Marvel (a Kree supersoldier) and become a superhero.

The original Shazam/Captain Marvel was a copy of Superman by another company that DC eventually obtained the rights to. Superman was originally basically Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter of Mars with Earth replacing Mars and Kal-El of Krypton replacing John Carter.

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Thanks for the education on Capt Marvel.  I'm not a comic book guy, so most of these characters' back stories are new to me.  Incidentally,  the movie John Carter sucked, but at least it makes a bit more sense now.  😉

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Yes, John Carter the movie was not very good, but you can see the roots of Superman. Previously, Superman could not fly; he could "leap tall buildings in a single bound" just like John Carter could in the movie and novel.

DC was able to stop the Shazam/Captain Marvel from being published because of Superman copyright infringements. Decades later Marvel came up with their own Captain Marvel in the 60s, totally unrelated to the Shazam one.

Then DC did a semi-crossover with a copy of an alternate universe version of Shazam called Captain Thunder who battled Superman. He was fairly popular and they bought the rights to Shazam and started up that version of Captain Marvel in the 70s.

Now there are two Captain Marvels in the theaters this year.

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Robin, thanks for the updates. The Shazam character is the one that I recognise as being the original Captain Marvel from the comics I can remember as a kid in the 50's. I have watched a number of the Marvel Movies now. What they have been very good at is introducing and intertwining the characters from their comics along with a good dose of humour included. The DC based movies have been a bit slower off the mark doing the same but are catching up gradually developing their characters. The very camp Batman TV series from the 60's was a bit of a joke and let's face it, a bit of a send up of the Batman and Robin characters plus assorted villains like the Joker and the Penguin. Then the big movies started about the Batman with a number of different actors taking on the role. Who could ever forget Michelle Pfeiffer playing a very kinky Cat Woman! When the set of movies were made with Christian Bale in the role, the Batman took on a much more sinister dark side that put more of an edge to the character. It will be interesting to see how the newer DC movies will shape up against the Marvel ones.

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I saw the Bale Batman as trying to make the world less of a cartoon like the final Batman and Robin movie (George Clooney) and trying to explain how he got his skills and where his wonderful toys came from.

I really enjoyed Ben Affleck's Batman, too bad he's retired his character.

The DC Shazam/Captain Marvel looks like they are going back to a very live action cartoon world like Batman Forever and Batman and Robin movies.

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The only reason I watched the "Clooney" Batman movie was I downloaded it from Rifftrax for a laugh.  If it weren't for the jokes and riffing in the background, I would have switched it off after ten minutes, and it was still terrible to watch all the way through.  Sorry for wandering off topic, but that movie(?) was awful.

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It was a bad movie. It had so much potential, but they basically went to the campy Batman TV show mood instead of the darker Tim Burton Batman/Batman Returns mood. If done better, spinoff Robin/Nightwing and Batgirl movies could have happened. Same thing happened with the third Spider-Man installment (Tobey Maguire movie).

Clooney's Batman was more of a rock star than a hidden figure that worked in the shadows. One of Affleck's lines from the Justice League trailers (that did not make the movie) is when Cyborg says "I heard about you; I didn't think you were real." Affleck responds, "I'm real when it's useful."

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I have watched a couple of trailers for the Shazam Movie (aka the original Captain Marvel). My impression is that it will be the comic cuts instead of the more serious Captain Marvel from the comics I used to read in the 50's  as a kid. Interesting to see the boy on a crutch in the new movie becoming a younger sibling to Billy Batson when Billy is taken into a caring family unit. The Captain Marvel Junior character that I can remember from those comics of yesteryear changed from a boy on a crutch into the junior super hero upon the word 'Shazam'. Perhaps the movie will have a follow on with the junior character if the first does well at the box office. It may do well as a bit of a send up of the super hero genre as later generations would not have read any of the original DC comics of Captain Marvel, so would not know of the origins of the character.    I can remember a black and white serial of the old Captain Marvel character from Saturday Morning Children's matinees. My guess is that they were made in the late 40's or early 50's.

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Yes, I recall the boy with crutches being Junior as well as Billy's sister Mary becoming Mary Marvel. The whole "family" thing with superheroes having younger versions like Kid Flash, Speedy, Aqualad, Wonder Girl, Supergirl, and of course Robin the boy wonder and the Teen Titans.

Marvel countered this by making many of their superheroes teenagers from the beginning. Spider-Man was 15, the Human Torch of the Fantastic Four was a little older, but still a teenager. And when Rick Jones becomes Captain Marvel, he's a teenager as well.

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Robin, it looks like we used to read the same comics when we were youngsters! There were a number of other lesser known super heroes like Plastic Man, The Crimson Comet, Marvel Man and a UK one named Captain Britain that I can remember. There was another named the Phantom that made it to the big screen starring Billy Zane (I think?).

Besides the super hero comics we were spoon fed the old screen cowboys in comics like, Roy Rogers, Gene Autrey, Lash LaRue, and Hopalong Cassidy (aka William 'Bill' Boyd) at the time.

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I was an avid comic book reader, I think because my dad was. I remember reading mainly Spider-Man and Batman, but continued to collect comics through college and my army career into the early 2000s. That's when they "rebooted" many titles totally revamping origins and the characters I grew up with.

I still buy the occasional comic book and follow along from afar.

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