Lieutenant Marvels

Lieutenant Marvels


caption=The cover of "Whiz Comics" #21, the first appearance of the Lieutenants Marvel (left to right, Fat Marvel, Tall Marvel, and Hill Marvel; alongside Captain Marvel). Art by C. C. Beck.
team_name=Lieutenants Marvel
publisher=Fawcett Comics (1941-1953)
DC Comics (1972-1985)
debut="Whiz Comics" #21 (1941)
creators=C. C. Beck
(writer unknown)
base=Fawcett City
Rock of Eternity
members=Lt. Tall Marvel ("Tall" Billy Batson)
Lt. Fat Marvel ("Fat" Billy Batson)
Lt. Hill Marvel ("Hill" Billy Batson)
subcat=DC Comics
sortkey=Lieutenant Marvels|
The Lieutenants Marvel are fictional characters, a team of superheroes in the Fawcett Comics and DC Comics universes. They first appeared in "Whiz Comics" #21 in 1941. The physical appearance of the three characters was based on three real-life members of the Fawcett Comics staff: Paul Peck (Tall Billy), Ed Hamilton (Hill Billy), and Frank Taggart (Fat Billy). [C.C. Beck, "The Human Qualities of the Captain Marvel Characters" in Fawcett Companion, ed. P.C. Hamerlinck (Raleigh, NC: TwoMorrows Publishing, 2001), 28-29.]

Publication history

The Lieutenants appeared periodically in the adventures of Captain Marvel and the Marvel Family through the early 1950s, and also when the characters were revived by DC Comics in the 1970s under the title "Shazam!" They were retconned out of existence during the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" in 1985. Some people, such as Jonathon Woodward in his "Annotated Crisis on Infinite Earths" website, suggest that the Lieutenants Marvel died in the last battle of the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" [Woodwards, Jonathon (2001). "Issue #12, March '86: "Final Crisis". "The Annotated Crisis on Infinite Earths". Retrieved from on October 27, 2006.] , although "Who's Who in the DC Universe" claims they survived but lost their powers.

The characters were recently reintroduced in "Trials of Shazam!" #2, only to lose their powers in the same issue.

Fictional history

Brooklyn, New York City has its own Billy Batson, and he travels to the W.H.I.Z. radio station with two other Billy Batsons, one from the Western United States and one from the Southern United States, to visit the "real" Billy. To prevent confusion, the western Billy suggests he be called "Tall" Billy, the southern Billy is renamed "Hill" Billy and Brooklyn's Billy is given the title "Fat" Billy. At the "real" Billy's suggestion, all four Billys form the Billy Batson Club.

The nefarious Dr. Sivana hatches a plan to kill the "real" Billy Batson and sends his henchmen to find out where Billy lives. Sivana's goons mistakenly find the other Billy Batsons instead and capture them. Sivana uses them as bait to trap the real Billy.

Sivana and his henchmen gag Billy and tie him and the other Billys to a buzzsaw. Billy is able to remove his gag but his shout of "Shazam" can not be heard over the roar of the buzzsaw. With seconds to spare, Billy enlists the aid of his club members and they all shout "Shazam" together.

When the smoke clears, Captain Marvel sees that the other Billys have transformed as well, into Tall Marvel, Hill Marvel, and Fat Marvel. Hill Marvel remarks that they have each changed into Captain Marvel but Fat Marvel counters that by saying that there is only one Captain Marvel. Tall Marvel suggests that they are really Lieutenants Marvel, hence the trio's name.

The Captain and his three Lieutenants easily defeat Sivana and his henchmen. After shouting "Shazam" and transforming back into their civilian identities, the three Billys head back home. The Lieutenants returned from time to time during the Fawcett Comics era to aid their hero.

The Lieutenants Marvel exist in current DC Comics continuity, but without powers.

Powers and abilities

By shouting "Shazam!", the three Billy Batsons are transformed into the Lieutenants Marvel. In this form, they each have the powers of Captain Marvel: the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles, and the speed of Mercury. Since they have to share the power, they are each only one-third as powerful as Captain Marvel.


External links

* [ The Lieutenant Marvels at Marvel Family website]

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