- I'm quite capable of taking care of myself. Without, I might add, resorting to hair pulling!
- — Mary Batson src
Mary Bromfield is the sister of Billy Batson and a similarly powered superheroine under the name Mary Marvel.
The Power of Shazam!
Mary Batson was reintroduced in The Power of Shazam!! graphic novel by Jerry Ordway, who also revised the origin of her super-powered alter-ego in issues 3, 4, and 16 of the The Power of Shazam! ongoing series that followed the graphic novel. Several of the details remain the same, while others are noticeably altered.
Mary and Billy's parents are archaeologists, and Mary accompanies her parents on an expedition to Egypt while Billy remains at home. Mary's parents are killed by their associate Theo Adam, who then kidnaps the young girl. Upon Theo Adam's return to the United States, Adam's sister (a maid named Sarah Primm) learns what Theo has done and takes Mary into her care. Primm has Mary illegally adopted by Primm's childless employers, Nick and Nora Bromfield (based on Nick and Nora Charles). As Mary Bromfield, the young girl grows up living an idyllic life in a wealthy family but continuously dreams of another family with a brother she has never seen.
Meanwhile Billy, eventually finding himself on the streets, is given the power to become Captain Marvel. He learns that Mary is still alive. But after four years of searching, neither he nor his benefactor, the wizard Shazam, can find the girl. The only thing Billy has to remember Mary by is her favorite toy, a "Tawky Tawny" doll, which was shipped to America with the Batsons' possessions after their murders.
As a young teenager, Mary enters a regional spelling bee held in Fawcett City and emceed by Billy. After saving Mary from kidnappers twice as Captain Marvel, Billy notices how much Mary Bromfield reminds him of Mary Batson and has an undercover cop named "Muscles" McGinnis retrieve the girl's forged adoption record. Learning that Mary is indeed his sister, Billy tries to figure out a way to let Mary know he is her brother. The old "Tawky Tawny" doll suddenly transforms into a full-sized tiger and comes to life a la Hobbes (animated by Lord Satanus, the son of Shazam), and instructs Billy to take the doll to Mary. As Captain Marvel, Billy flies out to the Bromfields' hometown of Fairfield to deliver the doll and the adoption papers to Mary.
Arriving at the Bromfield estate, Billy delivers the package but is immediately kidnapped by the thugs who helped Primm forge Mary's adoption records. Mary takes the package and opens it, discovering the adoption records and the Tawky Tawny doll. Once again, the doll comes to life and instructs the bewildered girl to say the magic word "Shazam" in order to save her brother. Mary complies, and is transformed by a bolt of magic lightning into a super-powered doppelganger of her deceased mother. She saves Billy, who transforms into Captain Marvel to help Mary out. But the two Marvels cannot save Sarah Primm, who is murdered by one of the thugs.
In the The Power of Shazam!! series, Mary's super-powered self is called "Captain Marvel" like her brother. The reason was because Jerry Ordway, who wrote the series, felt "Mary Marvel" was an illogical moniker. The female Captain Marvel has the same powers, from the same benefactors, as the male Captain Marvel. In fact, they both draw their power from one finite percentage of Shazam's power: when they both use it, each of them is only half as strong, half as fast, and half as invulnerable. After both Captains share their power with their crippled friend Freddy Freeman so that he can become Captain Marvel, Jr./CM3, the power is split three ways when all three Marvels are active.
Captain (Mary) Marvel's costume was originally exactly the same as her original Mary Marvel-Fawcett costume. Beginning with The Power of Shazam!! #28, she began wearing a white costume to distinguish herself from her brother.
Super Buddies and Beyond
In 2003, Mary became a member of an offshoot of the Justice League known as the Super Buddies in the Formerly Known as the Justice League miniseries, which juxtaposed her Golden Age-era personality with the modern-day world for comic effect.
Mary was later held by demons in hell--where Shazam's power does not work. As ransom, Blue Beetle and Booster Gold were forced to work for 'BeelzeBurger', a fast food joint that was literally from hell. They escaped only to find themselves in a world with twisted and evil versions of themselves. Eventually, they were all saved by Dr. Fate. Mary and her other Super Buddies teammates were later seen battling the OMACs.
Main article: 52
While in a mid-air battle with a fire-harpy, Mary lost her powers in mid-flight as an after-effect of the death of the wizard Shazam, and fell from a height of 3 miles. Mary survived the fall, but ended up in a coma in New York City; Freddy spent all of his money to pay for her care.
Main article: Countdown
Mary emerged from her coma. A note from Freddy Freeman left with a nurse asked her not to look for him. When Mary attempted to call on the power of Shazam, she found that she was still powerless. Madame Xanadu warned Mary not to visit Gotham City, telling her it would be especially dangerous, but she made her way there nonetheless. Mary is drawn to the abandoned Kahndaqi embassy, where she is attacked by squatting criminals. As they cornered her, her pursuers were attacked by a fully-powered, unhinged Black Adam, who then directed his fury at her. But after nearly choking her, Adam took pity on the powerless Mary and instead gave her his powers. While Adam once again became his mortal alter-ego, Teth-Adam, Mary transformed back into her adult Marvel form, but this time she was wearing a black, form-fitting costume with a skirt and since Adam was not sharing his powers with anyone else when he granted them to Mary, she held all of Black Adam's powers.
Finding Adam's power to be more than she bargained for, Mary went in search of a tutor. She first sought out Zatanna, who took her to Shadowcrest for training. But when Zatanna refused to give her access to any of the magical weapons, Mary began to believe that Zatanna was merely planning to steal her power and attacked her. Zatanna thus banished Mary from Shadowcrest.
Wandering around, Mary ended up in Chung Ling Soo Square, a flea market of magic located in China. When one of the locals attacked her, she was saved by the witch-boy, Klarion Bleak, who offered to help her control her powers in exchange for a small fraction of it. She accepted, but when he tried to steal all her power, she defeated him and left him to the mercies of Chun Ling Soo's locals.
Drawn away by a mysterious voice, she arrived in Ephesus, Turkey, where she found Eclipso, who offered mentorship with seemingly no strings attached. Under her tutelage, Mary went on a campaign of cruelly-twisted justice, punishing terrible crimes in an excessive manner.
Their alliance, however, seemed to break down when Eclipso, hoping to please her master, Darkseid, offered him the young and pretty Mary to serve as his new concubine, reasoning that the two women could always leech Darkseid's arcane knowledge, slay him and take his place. Mary refused to sell herself for more power, beat Eclipso with her own crystal, and fled. Eclipso caught up to her and regained the diamond. Eclipso then departed, leaving Mary alone again. Some time later, Eclipso returned to try and finish her off, but Mary was too strong for her.
Mary experienced a change of heart, and upon realizing that Black Adam's powers were as responsible for her corruption as Eclipso, divested herself of them, feeding the lighting bolt into Eclipso. Both women lost their powers and fell into the ocean. However an unpowered Mary landed on Themysciran soil, where Queen Hippolyta drafted her in the rebellion against Granny Goodness, who was posing as the goddess Athena.
Mary, Holly Robinson and Harley Quinn managed to reveal Granny's deception, and the trio followed her to Apokolips. After escaping the Female Furies, Mary started to hear the voices of the gods. The group managed to free the gods from an Apokaliptan chamber, and Mary Marvel's powers and a new variation of her classic costume, now with a gray lightning bolt and long sleeves, were restored.
After journeying with the Challengers to Earth-51 and witnessing the Great Disaster occurring there, Mary finally returns home to find Darkseid waiting for her. Reminding her of how strong she felt using Black Adam's powers, he returns them to her, restoring her black costume. She then confronts Donna Troy, Kyle Rayner, Forager, and Jimmy Olsen, seizing Jimmy to take him back to Darkseid. When Donna questions Mary's use of the powers, Mary insists that she is not evil, merely "driven". After Darkseid's defeat, Mary returns to Black Adam, asking to be a part of a new Black Marvel Family. Adam refuses her, and she decides to become a solo superheroine.
Still under the dark influence of Darkseid, Mary was corrupted and turned into a vessel for one of Darkseid's servants. She was in Blüdhaven just before the Apokolitian forces spread the Anti-Life Equation worldwide, and she was instrumental in turning Wonder Woman into a "plague vector" for a new strain of the Morticoccus virus.
During the superhero's attack on Bludhaven, she was part of the force that defended Darkseid's fortress. She clashed with Freddy, Tawky Tawny, and Black Adam. Almost immediately, Adam tried to kill her, telling Freddy that it was not Mary who was in control — just "a leering old man" as Adam put it. As the battle continued, Mary focused on Supergirl, flying across the city and damaging the remaining buildings. Finally, Freddy managed to grab a hold of Mary and shouted "Shazam", transforming them both back to normal and suppressing or removing DeSaad's influence from Mary. She broke down crying over what she had done, as Freddy reassured her that it wasn't her fault.
Desiring the power of the Marvels, Blaze strikes a deal with Mary. She will return Mary's powers, provided that she kills Freddy Freeman. Mary, still desperate for her power, agrees, but discusses it with Freddy, and they double cross Blaze. After Blaze is sent back to Hell, Billy, Mary and Freddy continue their search for their powers.
Powers and Abilities
- Divine Empowerment: All of the powers granted collection of six by gods and figures of legend either directly or through Shazam.
- Accelerated Healing
- Clairvoyance: The ability to understand situations from many angles, including future and past consequences with superhuman clarity and accuracy.
- Divine Grace: Innate luck and divine guidance that allows finesse in actions and in dealings with others.
- Eidetic Memory
- Magic Resistance
- Enhanced Intellect: Intellect and wisdom are heightened to superhuman levels. This also provides great, comprehensive knowledge in many areas such as:
- Flight: The ability to hover or soar at high speed through an act of sheer will.
- Healing: The ability to use the transformative lightning to heal others or oneself instantly.
- Indomitable Will: An incredible amount of willpower that allows perseverance in overwhelming odds and seemingly unbeatable situations.
- Self-Sustenance: The ability to survive without sleep, food, water, or air.
- Superhuman Speed: The ability to run or fly at incredible rates of speed.
- Superhuman Reflexes
- Superhuman Agility
- Superhuman Stamina
- Superhuman Strength
- Teleportation: The ability to access the Rock of Eternity.
- Transformation: The ability to transform from a mortal to the entity empowered by the six gods and figures of legend.
- Vulnerability to Electricity: She can be reverted to her alter ego with enough electricity (as per Chain Lightning's bolts) . She is a common girl in her alter ego, as mortal as anyone of her age.
- Intolerance: Mary Batson is lactose-intolerant.
- Power Limitation (Formerly): Powers shared when Billy and Freddy are transformed into their Marvel Family counterparts. If only one Marvel Family member is transformed, he/she will have full power level; with two members transformed, the duo have each a half of the power level; with three transformed, the trio will have each only one third of the power level.
- Mary Marvel first appeared in Earth-S continuity in Fawcett Publications' Captain Marvel Adventures #18 by Otto Binder and Marc Swayze. Her first appearance in Post-Crisis New Earth continuity was in the The Power of Shazam! graphic novel by Jerry Ordway.
- During her time in The Power of Shazam!, Mary is also exclusively called Captain Marvel. This was the decision of the series' writer and sometimes artist Jerry Ordway. This was also the cause of Captain Marvel, Junior's alias CM3.
- During the events of Final Crisis, Mary was transformed by the power of Darkseid's Omega Effect into an extremely powerful vessel for the New God Desaad. Mary's powers appeared to be largely the same as both her original Mary Marvel and her Black Adam fueled powers, but at even greater levels. She was able to fight the likes of Supergirl, Wonder Woman, and Captain Marvel without too much trouble. It appears that this form of Mary is fueled by Anti-Life rather than magic.
- Mary Batson is traditionally a Republican.
- Technically, Mary is three seconds older than Billy.
- Countdown (Volume 1)
- The Power of Shazam! (Volume 1)
- Formerly Known as the Justice League (Volume 1)
- I Can't Believe It's Not the Justice League
- 191 Appearances of Mary Batson (New Earth)
- 71 Images featuring Mary Batson (New Earth)
- 10 Quotations by or about Mary Batson (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Mary Batson (New Earth)
- JLA Classified #5
- Brave New World #1
- Countdown #51
- Countdown #47
- Countdown #34
- Countdown #32
- Countdown to Final Crisis #4
- Final Crisis #3
- Final Crisis #5
- "Final Crisis #6
- The Power of Shazam! #14
- JLA Classified #4
- The Power of Shazam! #39
- Batman: The Brave and the Bold (TV Series) Episode: The Power of Shazam!
|Marvel Family member |
This character is or was a member of the Marvel Family in any of its various incarnations, and an ally of Captain Marvel and the Wizard Shazam. This template will categorize articles that include it into the category "Marvel Family members."
|Justice League member|
This character is or was a member of the Justice League of America, or the Justice League in any of its various incarnations, sworn by a duty to act as guardians of America and the world by using their skills and/or superpowers to protect Earth from both interstellar and domestic threats.