There’s little doubt that 2019 is going to be an amazing year for comic book films with Avengers: Endgame, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, Spider-Man: Far From Home and a whole lot more hiding around the corner. One of our two most anticipated films this year would have to be the MCU’s Captain Marvel and DC’s SHAZAM! Set to hit theatres in March and April separately. So with these two relatively unknown heroes making their debut to the big screen so close to another, we thought we’d pit them against one another in all-out battle to the death! While she has yet to earn her cinematic stripes, Carol Danvers’ Captain Marvel is an icon of the comic book world. She’s been front and centre for major events like Civil War II and Secret Empire. She’s faced off with characters like Tony Stark and an evil Hydra version of Captain America. Needless to say, the girl’s got a rep.
DC’s Shazam (originally known as Captain Marvel before rebranding) despite his age is also a veteran in the world of comics. Think of him as fun, magic Superman who has the mind of a kid. That’s pretty much how he was marketed anyway. In lieu of Marvel’s cosmic landscape, Shazam has always been grounded in the realm of the divine and supernatural, deriving his powers from ancient gods and magics. He is the defender of mankind and the embodiment of virtue but only when he says the word…SHAZAM! It’s now or never folks, who will in this fight? The perfect Kree/human warrior? Or magic’s greatest man-child champion? Let the energy blast come and let loose the lightning bolts! Now because we’re dealing with two very unique individuals, we’ll be analysing their abilities into finer details: strength and durability, speed and energy projection. We’ll also be taking a look at their comic book origins as well.
History and Background
Once again, the gentlemanly thing to do would be to let the cosmic-powered super lady go first. So we shall. There a few caveats that should be understood before getting into Captain Marvel. There was a time in which Danvers went by the name Ms Marvel and the title belonged to her mentor and teacher, the Kree warrior Mar-Vell. Sadly the name doesn’t get any less dumb the more times we say it. Anyway, for the sake of this battle, we’ll only be focusing on Carol Danvers’ role as Captain Marvel with her most recent power sets. Since a young age, she dreamed of leaving the ground and taking her destiny to the skies.
She started off as a feisty test pilot for experimental aircraft before graduating to being NASA’s chief security officer. It was during that time she met the mysterious Kree hero, Mar-Vell who originally came to Earth as a spy. Mar-Vell, however, had a change of heart and decided to fight for Earth under the title of Captain Marvel. The two would remain friends for years. Danvers was later captured by a Mar-Vell’s rival, Yon-Rogg and was affected by a machine called the psyche-magnetron (hey, I didn’t come up with this shit) that gave her superpowers. For a time she went Ms Marvel, then Mar-Vell died and now she goes by Captain Marvel.
As for Shazam, we’ll be mainly following his latest New 52 origins written by Geoff Johns in 2013. By the way, I seriously recommend picking it up, it’s a solid read. Right, we’re off! Billy Batson was a troubled orphan who was constantly moved from foster home to foster home, causing headaches and heartaches for anyone willing to take him in. Batson eventually gets taken into a new family, in which all the children there are adopted as well. Immediately he starts rubbing them the wrong way, leaving them to think that Billy cares about no one but himself. They’re proven wrong however when he stands up to the bullies in school picking on them and beats them up. Long story short, the bullies are after some payback and they give chase to Billy who eludes them by escaping into a subway train that takes him to the lair of a mystical wizard named…SHAZAM! The wizard initially rejects Billy as his champion, seeing into his troubled past but after Billy explains to the wizard of the reality of the human condition, the wizard decides to grant him the power of SHAZAM.
The word is actually an acronym with each letter representing a different power drawn from different mythical figures. The “S” is for the wisdom of Solomon, “H” for the strength of Hercules, “A” for the stamina of Atlas, “Z” for the power of Zeus, “A” for the courage of Achilles and lastly “M” for super speed and flight from Mercury. He would go on take on foes the likes Black Adam and even Darkseid’s father Yuga Khan in the “Darkseid Wars” story arc. Now that you’ve had your history lesson, let’s get into some powers and abilities!
Strength and Durability
It’s pretty much redundant to say these two are insanely strong but the questions is: In relation to what? Let’s start with Captain Marvel. Some of her most impressive feats include lifting the body of a freaking Celestial and throwing into the air. Remember those world-ending giants you saw in Guardians of the Galaxy? That’s a celestial. These gargantuan beings are so huge their heads could literally be a giant space base which is what we saw in Guardians and Infinity War. It’s pretty much a planet by itself. Now imagine her lifting up the rest of the body! That’s nuts. She’s also capable of trading blows with juggernauts the likes of Thanos. And yet for all of Captain Marvel’s strength, I’m gonna have to go with Shazam here. Why, you ask? What could he have possibly done to warrant this? The answer is Superman. The guy can go toe-to-toe with the Man of Steel and not even break a sweat. That is a tall task and I honestly don’t believe Captain Marvel could pull if off. I’m sorry, I just don’t. Some might argue that the only reason he’s able to do that is because one of Superman’s weakness is magic.
Fine, I’ll present some more evidence on why he’s stronger. He’s literally powered by the demigod Hercules and has gone up against a father of the New Gods of Apokolips and Darkseid, Yuga Khan. Thanos and a Celestial are definitely worthy opponents in their own right but none of them were wielding an Infinity Gauntlet at the time. Thus, for wielding the power of Hercules and battling with combatants the likes of Superman and Yuga, I declare him the stronger of the two. As for how much punishment they can take, Shazam also would take the cake here. Captain Marvel may have stood up against opponents like Thanos and even Hulk but Shazam is on a whole other playing field here. Kryptonians, New Gods, regular gods and the kid is still standing.
Speed and Agility
That being said, we’ve never believed that mere strength could never carry the day in battle. Speed and finesse could also play a crucial factor, especially if it could affect reaction time and reflexes. So just how fast are our two combatants? For Captain Marvel, it’s a little tricky seeing that we have to take the speed of flight and her reaction time into separate account. In terms of reflexes, it’s best to think of her as a sort of alien Captain America. She is a product of Kree genetic tampering and is therefore capable of superhuman agility and reflexes. On ground combat she’s capable but in flight, she’s extraordinary. Danvers’ years as a test pilot makes her naturally comfortable with aerial combat and her years in the Kree-Skrull war merely strengthened her pre-existing ability. She’s also capable of flying at three times the speed of sound. She’s no Quicksilver but still, that’s certainly faster than a speeding jet. Sad to say, Shazam would still leave her in the dust.
Shazam doesn’t draw his power from genetics, technology or cosmic energy. The man draws his power from the Roman god of speed! Remember, the “M” stands for Mercury. What does that mean exactly? It means that he could be faster than the Flash. You see, no matter how fast Flash can run he’s still connected to the power of the Speed Force which is an energy field that surrounds the DC multiverse. So there’s a limit to how fast he can go. Shazam, on the other hand, is connected to the Sphere of Gods. A higher plane of existence above the Speed Force. It’s been shown multiple times that beings above that realm have matched if not flat out defeat Flash in a speed battle. There’s even been an instance when Shazam caught up with the Flash in the “Kingdom Come” story arc. It’s also safe to assume the Batson also matches Flash’s response time and reflexes. So if the scarlet speedster himself couldn’t shake Shazam off his tail, what chance does Marvel have?
Both heroes are capable of launching energy based blasts from their hands at their opponents. Captain Marvel is capable of launching a photonic blast from her hands that could easily tear warships asunder. We’ve seen her ripping across ships in the Captain Marvel trailer with ease and we suspect she could take on a fleet as well. As for Shazam, he wields the power of Zeus, meaning he’s able to launch bolts of lightning from his hands and can even use other forms of energy based spells to incapacitate his enemies. But even without the power of Zeus, when he calls upon the power of Shazam, he is still able to bring down any foe he meets before him as seen when he defeated Yuga. Yes, sir, Shazam is a powerhouse but against Captain Marvel, at least in this category, he’d be down for the count. For you see, Captain Marvel doesn’t just project energy, she can absorb it, manipulate and discharge it back at her attackers. So if Batson just kept launching bolt after bolt of lightning at the Kree engineered warrior, she’d just throw it back at him along with some cosmic rays of her own. I might even argue that his energy attacks would make her stronger.
In a fair mono-e-mono battle, Shazam would definitely pummel the good captain into the ground. Danvers has an impressive suite of powers and abilities but Shazam has divine magic and godlike powers behind him. Danvers would come at him strong at first with a flurry of aerial blasts before Billy decides to meet her in the skies. Then, he’d attempt to blast her down his lightning powers before getting a face full of it back. But, he does carry the wisdom of Solomon so by then, he’d realize that Captain Marvel is an energy manipulator. From there, he’d do his best to fight her head on using melee attacks. He’d outmanoeuvre her using his superior speed before crushing her with the strength of Hercules. Captain Marvel could try to break free from her situation using her energy blasts but ultimately I believe Shazam would manage to keep the battle relatively close quartered. Looks like even the mighty Captain Marvel must fall under the might of…SHAZAM! So what do you guys think? Do you agree that Shazam could easily take down the airbound Avenger? Or do you believe he’d have his ass handed to him by Danvers? Be sure to let us know in the comments and be sure to stay tuned to us for epic cinematic battles!