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Tuesday February 14, 2012 8:35 pm

My Name Is…Shazam!

Whiz Comics 2As you may have already heard, DC Comics is changing the name of Captain Marvel, a superhero who dates from the 1940s.

He’ll now be officially called by his magic word: Shazam! That’s the word that changes poor red-shirted newsboy Billy Batson into the fully-grown Captain Marvel.

That’s the equivalent of changing the name of Superman to “Up, Up And Away!” but DC says it has to be done. There’s confusion in the marketplace since Marvel Comics also has a Captain Marvel of their own.

Marvel’s Captain Marvel was created after DC Comics sued the original Captain Marvel’s publishers (Fawcett) and drove them out of business, leaving a Captain Marvel void in comics. Years later, DC acquired the rights to the Fawcett Captain Marvel, which they could publish, but only under the Shazam! name so as not to compete with Marvel’s trademark. Are you following all of this or do you need a moment?

The confusion is not really with the fans, who’ve learned to live with a DC comic book called Shazam! starring a super-hero called Captain Marvel for the past 40 years. Nope, the confusion is with potential business partners waving bags of cash at DC who need to understand why there are two Captain Marvels from two competing companies before they stuff that cash in DC’s pants.

But before they settled on Shazam!, DC kicked around a lot of other potential names for the re-named Captain Marvel. We were fortunate to have our spies slip us the list of the top 10 rejected names for Captain Marvel.

10. Shazamalamadingdong

9. C.C. Beckenstein!

8. The Holey Moley Kid

7. The Big Red Cheeto

6. Captain Thunderpants

5. Captain National Periodical Publications, Inc.

4. Not Your Marvel’s Captain Marvel

3. Captain Marvel Marching Society

2. Big Billy Batson

And the #1 rejected name for the new Captain Marvel...

1. Whiz

[Artwork: Whiz Comics #2, featuring...Shazam!]

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