Shazam: Every Comic Moment Adapted For The Movie

Zachary Levi as Shazam with DC Comics Background of ATM Robbery

The trailers for Shazam! reveal that a number of the movie's key moments have been taken directly from the comic books. While superhero movies replicating visuals from their source material is not uncommon, the degree of accuracy to which Shazam! is recreating that look based on what has been seen so far is truly astonishing. This suggests that the upcoming movie about The Big Red Cheese may be DC Films' finest movie to date.

From the first moment Shazam! was announced, director David F. Sandberg has been committed to remaining true to the tone and visualization of the comics. The movie is said to be largely based on the 2013 revamp of Shazam, which modernized the character of Billy Batson by making him into a foster child rather than an orphan to better reflect the reality of abandoned children in 21st century America. The revamp also officially changed the name of Billy Batson's superhero persona to Shazam from the original Captain Marvel, due to Marvel Comics now owning the copyright on the name and most people calling the hero Shazam anyway. Though the movie is taking some liberties with the original story, like making longtime Shazam! villain Dr. Sivana into more of a physical powerhouse, what has been seen so far indicates an unmatched sense of fidelity to the modern Shazam! comics by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank.

Related: Shazam Trailer 2 Breakdown: 16 Story Reveals & Secrets You Missed

From the first Shazam! trailer at SDCC 2018 to the final trailer, everything revealed so far about Shazam! has both devout fans and newcomers excited about the upcoming movie. Sporting a spirit of fun that stands in contrast to the more dour movies comprising the DC Extended Universe to date, some say that Shazam! could be poised to redefine how DC Films proceeds with its productions. While the Shazam! movie itself will feature lots of comic moments, the Shazam! trailers are already leading the way on that front.

8. Dr. Sivana's Design

Shazam Mark Strong and Dr. Sivana Comparison Shot

Some say that heroes are defined by their villains and that a hero needs a worthy foe to achieve true greatness. Perhaps that philosophy was kept in mind when one of the greatness villain actors alive today was cast to play Shazam's chief bad guy, Dr. Thaddeus Sivana. Mark Strong, who previously played Sinestro in the Green Lantern movie, is a dead ringer for the version of Dr. Sivana designed by artist Gary Frank. Looking at Frank's original artwork and comparing it to the images of Strong with his glowing eye, it's hard to believe that Frank didn't have Strong in mind when he was first designing and illustrating the character. The resemblance is striking and indeed frightening, as Dr. Sivana should be.

7. Billy Saving Freddy From The Bullies

Shazam Billy Saves Freddy From Bullies

One of Billy Batson's defining traits in the 2013 revamp comics is that he while he is cynical about people who say they just want to help him, he does have a noble streak that manifests in his hatred of bullies. In the comics, this was revealed when Billy, who had been trying to ignore his new foster siblings and their efforts to be nice to him on his first day at a new school, steps in to defend them from a group of spoiled rich kids. The fight depicted in the trailer is more limited in scope, with Billy only acting to defend Freddy Freeman rather than the entire family. The trailer also shows Billy using one of Freddy's crutches as an impromptu staff, whereas in the comics he only used his bare hands to cut the bullies down to size.

6. Billy Escapes Into The Subway

Shazam Billy Escapes Into The Subway

The Shazam! trailer goes on to show Billy making his escape from the bullies by running into a subway station. Billy is just barely able to hop on the train before the doors close, unknowingly starting the journey that will lead him to his faithful encounter with the wizard Shazam. Visually, this moment is captured perfectly from the 2013 comics, though Billy's escape there came after a second encounter with the bullies after the first time he defended his new family. Billy also doesn't get away completely unharmed, as one bully does manage to punch Billy in the face and knock him down before the doors close.

Related: Shazam Reveals Why Billy Was Chosen AFTER Justice League?

5. The Magic Mirror

Shazam Billy Batson and the Magic Mirror

When Billy first exits the subway car and enters the lair of the wizard Shazam in the first trailer, we see a full-length mirror in the cave entrance. In the comics, Billy passes a similar mirror, plus several other apparently magical artifacts, as he travels deeper into the cave, discovering a vast underground complex dug out into the rock. The spirit within the mirror, whose name is Francesca, appears to Billy later and explains something of the nature of magic and how certain aspects of it - such as her presence - can only be perceived by one who is tethered to the world of magic. It remains to be seen if Francesca will have a role to play in the Shazam! movie.

Page 2 of 2: Even More Comic Book Moments In Shazam!'s Trailers

1 2
Key Release Dates
  • Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
  • Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019
  • Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) release date: Feb 07, 2020
  • Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
  • DC Super Pets (2022) release date: May 20, 2022
  • The Batman (2021) release date: Jun 25, 2021
  • The Suicide Squad (2021) release date: Aug 06, 2021
  • Aquaman 2 (2022) release date: Dec 16, 2022
Wonder Woman Black Widow James Bond
2020 Movie Release Date Calendar

More in SR Originals