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DC Reminds Readers They Had Captain Marvel Long Before Marvel

In a new reprint, DC Comics is using Shazam’s original Captain Marvel name in a new facsimile edition spotlighting Black Adam’s first appearance.

Potential spoilers for Black Adam and Shazam! comic book series belowDC Comics is reminding comic book fans that they had the “Captain Marvel” name long before Marvel, as a new reprint of Black Adam’s first appearance will feature the return of Shazam’s original name. In a new facsimile edition of the Marvel Family which will come out in October, the name Captain Marvel can be seen as it was originally printed in the ’40s. Considering the complicated history behind the Captain Marvel name, it’s a surprise to see it be used at all, even in a reprint.


The Captain Marvel name is one of the few superhero monikers used for DC and Marvel characters. Initially, before being acquired by DC, the hero readers know as Shazam today was referred to as Captain Marvel until DC Comics took down his ongoing series at Fawcett Comics for the hero being too similar to Superman. However, DC would license and eventually buy the rights to the hero in the 1970s, and by that time, Marvel had introduced its own Captain Marvel. As a result, DC rebranded the hero to Shazam! However, in a new reprint, DC Comics is surprisingly bringing back the Captain Marvel name.

Related: DC’s Dark New Shazam Shows Off Incredible Powers In New Fanart

Ahead of Black Adam’s debut in the DCEU, DC Comics is reprinting his first appearance in The Marvel Family #1 by Otto Binder and C.C. Beck. The facsimile offers a full re-creation of the issue from its original advertisements and contents. However, one of the most interesting elements of the reprint is the names of the Marvel Family being printed as they were in the original 1945 issue, as the names “Capt. Marvel” and “Capt. Marvel Jr.” aren’t changed on the reprint.

Seeing Captain Marvel on a DC Comics in 2022 Is Notable

Considering how Marvel Comics trademarked Captain Marvel in the 1970s and Shazam’s original name has rarely been used since it’s notable to see the reprint use his former moniker. Yes, it’s true to the original printing of Marvel Family #1, which featured Black Adam’s first appearance. Still, given its complicated history at DC Comics, one might expect them to edit the names. However, staying true to the Golden Age, DC Comics is using the name currently belonging to Marvel, which is part of their history.

While it’s surprising to see Captain Marvel prominently featured on a modern DC comic, even if it’s a reprint, it’s doubtful Marvel Comics will try to get DC Comics to change the name before the facsimile edition of Black Adam’s first appearance is printed, despite having ownership of the trademark. DC isn’t trying to change Shazam’s name back, nor are they trying to take Captain Marvel over again. They’re just honoring his history in a reprint that coincidentally shows they had Captain Marvel first. Marvel Family #1 by DC Comics arrives in comic book stores on October 18th, 2022.

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