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  1. #1
    Mighty Member Timothy Hunter's Avatar
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    Default Shouldn't Billy Batson be in his early twenties/ late teens by now?

    Captain Marvel/Shazam integrated into the DC Universe in 1987 in a miniseries by Roy Thomas. I have not had the luxury to read this miniseries, but I assume that Billy Batson was around 10 to 13 when that occured. Flash forward to the "A Lonely Place of Dying" storyline in the Batman and New Teen Titans books and you see the first appearance of Tim Drake who was also in a similar age range.

    Roughly thirty years later and a lot has changed for the character of Tim Drake. Pre Flashpoint during Fabien Nicieza's Red Robin run Drake was college age. If Tim Drake and Billy Batson are similar ages then shouldn't Pre-Flashpoint Billy Batson also be college age? This kinda defeats the purpose of the character.

    Obviously in New Fifty Two-Rebirth continuity, Tim Drake got slightly de-aged, but Billy Batson being in his late teens still is incredibly awkward considering the entire appeal of the Captain Marvel-Billy Batson dynamic is the contrast between the childishness of Batson and the adult characteristics of the Captain persona.

    What's the explanation for this? What's the solution to this? How can you explain Captain Marvel being around when Wally West started his tenure as the Flash when he's basically been portrayed as a little kid all his history?

  2. #2
    Spectacular Member Fromper's Avatar
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    It's been 20+ years since I read it, but I think this was actually explained in The Power of Shazam series from the 90s. Apparently, there's something magical about Fawcett City that makes time move more slowly there, which is why Billy Batson didn't grow up as fast. Of course, having AN ENTIRE CITY where kids take decades to grow up seems a little weird. I don't remember exactly what the details were - maybe it just affected him, Mary, and Freddie more than most kids because of their magical ties to Shazam. But it was also used to explain why the city seemed very old fashioned compared to the rest of the country.
    Last edited by Fromper; 07-18-2019 at 11:41 PM.

  3. #3

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    Shouldn't most people come to terms with fact that age is just a number for these characters by now? Seriously, who cares!!!

  4. #4
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    Pre Flashpoint as Red Robin Tim was only 17.

    When Billy dated Stargirl in JSA (iirc before One Year Later) both were 16, like Tim was at that time. So at least untill that point he was Tims age.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fromper View Post
    It's been 20+ years since I read it, but I think this was actually explained in The Power of Shazam series from the 90s. Apparently, there's something magical about Fawcett City that makes time move more slowly there, which is why Billy Batson didn't grow up as fast. Of course, having AN ENTIRE CITY where kids take decades to grow up seems a little weird. I don't remember exactly what the details were - maybe it just affected him, Mary, and Freddie more than most kids because of their magical ties to Shazam. But it was also used to explain why the city seemed very old fashioned compared to the rest of the country.
    Actually it was only used to explain why Fawcett seemed a little out of time. The Wizard had put some kind of spell in effect to keep the city closer to a 1940's feel. The series didn't last long enough for anyone to wonder why Billy didn't age- in comic time maybe a year went by from the Graphic Novel til the last issue. After that Marvels were infrequent guest stars rather than characters appearing monthly- so Billy's age wasn't an issue. If he appeared this month after a 3 year real time absence you didn't know how much comic time passed and when he appeared again next year the same thing.

  6. #6
    Astonishing Member Jekyll's Avatar
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    No, because it's comics.
    AKA FlashFreak
    Favorite Characters:
    DC: The Flash (Jay & Wally), The Atom (Ray Palmer) , Jack Knight, Stargirl, & Shazam!.
    MARVEL: Daredevil, Spider-Man (Peter Parker), Iron Fist, Doctor Strange, & Ant-Man (Scott Lang).

    Current Pulls: Daredevil, Amazing Spider-Man, Venom, Immortal Hulk, Guardians of The Galaxy, Absolute Carnage, Justice League, & Shazam!

  7. #7
    Boisterously Confused
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    Applying real world logic to any part of The SHAZAM-verse is like walking a cat on a leash.

  8. #8
    Astonishing Member Restingvoice's Avatar
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    Aren't both Billy and Tim around 16 at present? New 52 Billy started at 15 and Tim got a scholarship to college because he's a genius but he still counts as high schooler.

    As for Post Crisis, when Batman found Billy after their battle in Superman/Batman Public Enemies, he said he's around Robin's age, which at that time was Tim, so they're still the around same age, at least at that point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aahz View Post
    Pre Flashpoint as Red Robin Tim was only 17.

    When Billy dated Stargirl in JSA (iirc before One Year Later) both were 16, like Tim was at that time. So at least until that point he was Tims age.
    Okay yeah, so they only have one year difference at most.

  9. #9
    Incredible Member kingaliencracker's Avatar
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    Shazam: A New Beginning was more or less retconned out of continuity with Ordway's Power of Shazam GN.

  10. #10
    Ultimate Member MajorHoy's Avatar
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    I think DC has decided pretty much to ignore anything written for them by Roy Thomas . . .

  11. #11
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    When you have an early-mid-30 something Batman playing father figure to a 20 something Robin, age is absolutely meaningless.
    His current approval rating is 34%, meaning 34% of Americans are still morons.

  12. #12
    Mighty Member KangMiRae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manwhohaseverything View Post
    Shouldn't most people come to terms with fact that age is just a number for these characters by now? Seriously, who cares!!!
    Quote Originally Posted by Jekyll View Post
    No, because it's comics.
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  13. #13
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    There should be something like the Peter Principle for comic books. The Peter Principle--for those that don't know--is when a person is promoted to their level of incompetence. They were perfectly good at one job, but because they were so good, they kept getting promoted and now they've reached a level where they're totally unfit.

    There's something like this in comics, where characters keep developing (often for the sake of "realism") until they get to a point where the character has advanced beyond the point where he was most interesting. This is probably why we so often get reboots, so the writers can give themselves a do-over. Since the hook of the Billy Batson/Captain Marvel wish fulfillment is that a kid gets to become a grown-up, with amazing powers--it makes no sense to keep pushing up Billy's age, in the interest of being realistic. Eventually you end up with a grown man who becomes another grown man--and that's not really any different than most super-hero stories.

    I find it interesting that now people think of Spider-Man as being about a young high school kid who gets super-powers and the conflct between his life as a kid and his life as a super-hero. It always seemed to me that Stan Lee and Steve Ditko brushed past that part of Peter Parker's life and he grew up in a hurry. He might have been in his late teens or early twenties, but he was certainly a man and his powers made him an adult all the time. Now, it's like those few stories about Peter as an awkward high school kid are the feature.
    celebrating 50 years of 4 beatles crossing a zebra

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    There should be something like the Peter Principle for comic books. The Peter Principle--for those that don't know--is when a person is promoted to their level of incompetence. They were perfectly good at one job, but because they were so good, they kept getting promoted and now they've reached a level where they're totally unfit.

    There's something like this in comics, where characters keep developing (often for the sake of "realism") until they get to a point where the character has advanced beyond the point where he was most interesting. This is probably why we so often get reboots, so the writers can give themselves a do-over. Since the hook of the Billy Batson/Captain Marvel wish fulfillment is that a kid gets to become a grown-up, with amazing powers--it makes no sense to keep pushing up Billy's age, in the interest of being realistic. Eventually you end up with a grown man who becomes another grown man--and that's not really any different than most super-hero stories.

    I find it interesting that now people think of Spider-Man as being about a young high school kid who gets super-powers and the conflct between his life as a kid and his life as a super-hero. It always seemed to me that Stan Lee and Steve Ditko brushed past that part of Peter Parker's life and he grew up in a hurry. He might have been in his late teens or early twenties, but he was certainly a man and his powers made him an adult all the time. Now, it's like those few stories about Peter as an awkward high school kid are the feature.
    I don’t know how I feel about about this. While I like the characters when they were young, I also hate it when characters stagnate in time. It’s so annoying.

  15. #15
    The Fastest Post Alive! Buried Alien's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MajorHoy View Post
    I think DC has decided pretty much to ignore anything written for them by Roy Thomas . . .
    That's a shame; Roy wrote some great stuff.

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