#2: ‘Captain Marvel’

(Above: Publicity shot of Tom Tyler in ‘Adventures of Captain Marvel.’ Source: Wikimedia)

The Savvy Screener is counting down our most popular 2019 stories.

With Captain Marvel and Shazam! playing in movie theaters at the time and unavailable for streaming, our #2 article “Stream Captain Marvel” nonetheless told readers how to stream both superheroes (or were they the same person?)

The following story, first published on April 8, has been modified slightly to account for the current availability of the 2019 versions of Captain Marvel and Shazam! to Disney+ and HBO subscribers respectively:

Would you like to stream Captain Marvel? How about Shazam!? We’ve got both of them right here…sort of.

You see, Captain Marvel and Shazam used to be the same person, as shown first on film in Adventures of Captain Marvel, a 12-episode 1941 serial. It follows in its 3½-hour entirety: 

You can also see Billy Batson say “Shazam!” and turn into Captain Marvel on the mid-70s’ TV series, Shazam!, which originally ran Saturday mornings on CBS:

Shazam!’s 15-episode first season from 1974 is now streaming on DC Universe ($7.99/month, seven-day free trial). You can also buy that season from Vudu for $14.99 — or buy two seasons, 28 episodes total, from iTunes for $19.99.

Captain Marvel/Shazam next appeared in Legends of the Superheroes, two one-hour NBC primetime specials from 1979 that are perhaps most known for bringing back Adam West, Burt Ward and Frank Gorshin as Batman, Robin and the Riddler respectively. You can stream both episodes free at the Internet Archive. Here’s the first:

Billy Batson would continue turning into Captain Marvel in various animated shows from 1981 until Young Justice earlier this decade (with Rob Lowe and then his brother Chad Lowe voicing the character). 

Many of the animated shows are available on DC Universe, including 2010’s Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam with legendary actor James Garner voicing Captain Marvel.

Captain Marvel left DC’s universe earlier this decade. Billy Batson now turns into Shazam rather than Captain Marvel when he says the word, and Marvel now has the only Captain Marvel. You can read all about the two characters’ complicated history in Wikipedia (separate entries for the DC character and the Marvel character) or in the The Hollywood Reporter

(Editor’s Note: Come back Monday for the big reveal: our #1 story of 2019)

About Les Luchter

Les Luchter is a former managing editor of Multichannel News, editor-in-chief of Cable Marketing, and news editor of Broadcast Week.

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