Warning: contains spoilers for Shazam #3!
Shazam has just named the one Justice League hero he doesn’t respect – and it may come as a shock to fans. Shazam, or the Captain as he is now known, is one of DC’s heaviest hitters – a Superman level hero who is in reality a teenager. The Captain has interacted with many of DC’s characters, but in Shazam #3, he reveals the one Justice League member he has no respect for.
Shazam #3 – written by Mark Waid, drawn by Dan Mora, colored by Alejandro Sanchez and lettered by Troy Peteri – finds the Captain’s patron gods, the “Enclave of Shazam,” assembled to take back the powers they bested upon the hero. In the process, the Captain takes a jab at another DC hero – Plastic Man.
Both Shazam And Plastic Man Have Been Members Of The Justice League
In Shazam #3, Billy Batson’s patron gods are causing his powers to go haywire, which has made Billy reluctant to transform into the Captain. Billy ruminates on this, saying all he ever wanted to do was help. Noticing the menaces and villains that he could have easily disposed of, Billy expresses gratitude that other heroes are around to pick up the slack. He lists Superman, Wonder Woman and his sister Mary. Finally, he arrives at Plastic Man, watching the stretching hero in action. However, Plastic Man is too much for Billy, who says “okay now fate’s just rubbing it in.”
Why Doesn’t Shazam Respect Plastic Man?
The Captain and Plastic Man are two of DC’s oldest and most beloved characters – although neither started at the publisher. The Captain began life at Fawcett
Publications, while Plastic Man originated at Quality Comics. When those respective publishers folded, DC acquired the rights to their characters, incorporating them into their fictional multiverse. Both Shazam and Plastic Man have been members of the Justice League, the latter most notably during Grant Morrison and Howard Porter’s run on the property. The Captain was also a member of the Justice League during the Morrison and Porter years, which makes his seeming lack of respect for Plastic Man surprising.
Plastic Man is one of DC’s most underrated heroes, far more powerful than fans give him credit for – and having served on the League with him, the Captain should have some knowledge of what Plastic Man is capable of. Billy Batson should display more awareness that his colleague is a great hero. While a member of the Justice League, Plastic Man has proved invaluable, aiding the team on a number of critical missions. The Captain’s lack of respect for Plastic Man is puzzling. While serving as a humorous beat in Shazam #3, the joke does call into question how the Captain perceives himself in relation to other DC heroes.
The Captain’s attitude towards Plastic Man is also surprising in light of the similarities the two share. Both Plastic Man and the Captain are viewed as “fun” and “light-hearted” heroes, characters who harken back to comics’ Golden Age. The two characters’ adventures during that era were high-marks of the field, and helped set the tone for their modern adventures as well. The characters have a lot in common, which should give them some mutual respect, if not making them outright the best friends, but it has been made clear that Shazam does not respect his Justice League teammate Plastic Man.
Shazam #3 is on sale now from DC Comics!
DC’s Captain looks down on this fellow hero. Read More