Naming Conventions: The Shazam/Marvel Family

I’m sure that most of you know the history of the names used in the Captain Marvel/Shazam! franchise, so I’ll skip right to the point of the thread: Captain Marvel has been rechristened Shazam. But what should the official super-hero names of his fellow family members be?

In the DC Legends mobile game, Freddy is called ‘Shazam Jr’. Considering the fact that when Freddy transforms - in both the movie and comics - he’s a full-fledged adult just like Billy these days, the term ‘Junior’ seems like a bit of an insult.

In another piece of marketing, I saw Mary going by the name ‘Mary Shazam’ - which sounds even worse to my ear.

The toys have them going by their real names - Freddy, Mary, etc… but I just don’t see how that would be sustainable in the DC Universe proper. Maybe Geoff Johns has a naming plan for further down the line - after the Magiclands story wraps up, but stuff like this drives me crazy now.

There’s a part of me that wants to keep the military angle - Captain, Major, Sergeant, maybe - but it’s just so difficult for my brain to throw away 70+ years of history, I can’t conceive of calling them by any names but their originals.

Are there any acceptable substitutes?


I agree, it’s very convoluted right now. Teen Titans Go had a really funny bit about this were they kept pressuring Billy to say “his name” and transform over and over again. It really highlighted how dumb it is to make his hero name also be the word that triggers his hero transformation. I’m not very knowledgeable on the Shazam! mythos, like whether or not he has to have the specific intent to call the lightning when saying the word, but if that’s not how it works, how would he introduce himself to literally anyone?

1 Like

In the New 52 comic he had to say the name with pure intent.

But yeah, I find that while I cam dog the change to Shazam, I’m having a tougher time accepting Mary not being Mary Marvel and so on.


It’s almost like trying to force a new name onto some of the oldest characters in comics is a bad idea.

I mean, really. “Mary Shazam?” Mary frickin’ Shazam? It doesn’t even make any sense. “Captain Marvel” implies that “Marvel” is a sort of surname, so “Mary Marvel” is logical and has the alliteration going for it. “Shazam” is the entire name, so unless you called her, like, Shazamette or something, there’s not really a functional alternative name for the rest of the Marvel Family. “Shazam Jr.” makes marginally more sense, but you’d think that would be Billy’s name, since Shazam is the wizard, and Freddy would be “Shazam III.”

And then when they inevitably port the rest of the supporting cast from the movie back into the comics (Because (1) more action figures that way, and (2) they’re great characters), what are they going to call all of them? Darla Marvel would be a great name. I mean, just say it out loud. Darla Marvel. It flows. Darla Shazam would be terrible. Don’t let “Darla Shazam” be the name of a perfectly good character, DC. That would just be cruel.

We’re in this mess to begin with because they wanted to resolve the confusion created by the title of the book not being the character’s name. Yes, clearly this is less confusing.

[Note: If it seems like I’m overreacting, it’s because I’m trying to be funny. I don’t actually care this much, but I don’t necessarily disagree with anything I’ve just said either.]


The rest of the family already IS in the comics; they’re also running around the Magiclanda

Oh, really? Wow, DC works fast.

I’m not really reading any current books at the moment, so I’m not up-to-date on the present storylines.

Mary’s also been called Lady Shazam; however, her encyclopedia page here is under Mary Marvel, so maybe her original name will stick (go alliteration!).

Freddy is the most problematic for me. I agree the Junior part doesn’t really work, unless he’s actually Freddy Freeman Jr. and just decides to use the ‘Jr.’ bit, but that would seem like an odd character choice. CM3 could still be a nickname… maybe Freddy’s a fan of golden age Captain Marvel Comics or the WWE.

What could be interesting is if each character gets their own superhero name without the Marvel or Shazam moniker.

In Geoff Johns’ first Shazam! arc, Freddy said he wanted to be called “King Shazam” or something. And while it was clearly played as a joke and it sounds super obnoxious of Freddy (not to mention the fact that it makes no logical sense besides the nod to Elvis), it kind of works, I guess. The others didn’t really say anything about their names, though.

Also, if I remember correctly, Greg Weisman said that in the universe of Young Justice Mary was a member of the team between seasons one and two and was known as Sargeant Marvel, or something similar. So maybe now they could go with Sargeant Shazam or something. It doesn’t sound great, but it’s at least alliterative.

1 Like