I don’t know what made me think of this but is Shazam’s body an aged version of Billy Batson? Or is it a body that Billy inhabits? Will Shazam stop aging up as Billy ages? (Eventually Billy catches up and they look the same-ish minus the muscles). And will Shazam be younger than Billy when Billy is old?
whoa! Dude, that is some serious deep thought. Total mind bender . . . and nobody has thought of these questions in 80 years? By the way. Happy Birthday Captain Marvel (Dec 1939). Do we get an upcoming 80 year special . . . like Superman did and Batman, and Robin shortly will?
That…is a complicated question, to be honest, but it really all comes down to 1) who’s writing him and 2) what continuity were talking about
–Most modern stories (especially post-Jerry Ordway) explain the Captain Marvel/Shazam body as being an idealized version of how Billy saw his father. The current Geoff Johns run seems to follow this idea, with Billy’s biological father bearing a striking resemblance to Shazam. This suggests the body isn’t so much an aged Billy as it is Billy’s wish fulfillment: his father as a superhero.
–In “Kingdom Come,” a now-adult Billy looked so much like Captain Marvel, that nobody realized he was still in his now-powered form until Batman punched him. When he finally did transform, he still looked like the same, suggesting the super form doesn’t age.
–Conversely, in “The Dark Knight Strikes Again,” a MUCH older looking Captain Marvel appears, stating that he and Billy were actually two different people who simply switched places whenever they said the magic word. In this continuity, Billy was already dead and Cap had been running around fulltime.
–The idea of Billy and Cap as two separate people would be used again later during Jeff Smith’s “Monster Society of Evil” mini, with Billy and Captain Marvel both able to exist at the same time while at the Rock of Eternity due to spacetime jargon. Whether or not Cap is some ageless being is never addressed, but Cap’s interactions with the wizard make it clear he’s existed LONG before Billy, so he’s most likely NOT an aged up Billy.
–John Byrne actually stated he once pitched a “Generations”-style story to Didio starring a middle-aged Billy who would now become YOUNGER when he transformed, suggesting the superhero body is ageless while Billy is not. Sadly, the story never happened.
–In the “Flashpoint” continuity, Shazam is actually Captain Thunder, a Captain Planet-esque amalgam of Billy and his five foster siblings. Given that it takes six different people to form him, I think it’s safe to say that this version is NOT intended to be a grown up Billy. The question of whether or not he ages is never brought up.
when Black Adam gets tricked into being struck by the Shazam lightning, it changes him to his mortal form which still aged while Adam was powered, hence the crumbling into dust.
Thanks for the great info everyone