TODAY IN COMIC BOOK HISTORY: December 11, 1942
In the pages of Captain Marvel Adventures #18 we learn Billy Batson has a long lost twin sister, Mary Batson. Mary is based off of actress Judy Garland by artist Marc Swayze and soon gains the same powers as her brother and is later dubbed Mary Marvel.
Mary Marvel would go on to headline her own book with supporting characters such as Uncle Marvel. Although Wonder Woman debuted a year earlier, Mary Marvel gained a great following especially from younger girls.
In the mid-fifties Fawcett Publications ceased the Mary Marvel books and all the Captain Marvel Family titles due to a copyright lawsuit by DC, and she wouldn’t be seen again for 20 years. DC eventually started publishing stories about the Marvel Family in the early 70s under the title “Shazam”.
Mary Marvel has all the powers of her brother derived from the Goddesses of Greek mythology. These include speed, strength, stamina, wisdom, power and courage. Saying the word “SHAZAM!” will transform her from Mary Marvel back to Mary Batson and back again.
[Above, Captain Marvel Adventures #18 by C.C. Beck]