"Soooo, have you figured out what Batman wants from you?" Hal asked Captain Marvel as they walked down one of the many hallways within the Watchtower. They were walking from the training room, just finished making sure they weren't getting rusty.
"No, I mean maybe? I have an idea and it's making me nervous," Captain Marvel ran his hand through his hair.
"Well spill it, I might help," Hal offered.
"Thanks, but I don't think you can. He wanted to know if I actually lived in Fawcett City. I think he's trying to find out my secret identity," Captain Marvel sighed. It has been a month since that incident as well the whole 'Bruce Wayne' ordeal. Billy was still laying low, training his magic in multiple places. After the diner experience, Billy realized just how much he needed to learn. Thankfully, it was August. Which means he has time to learn. Unfortunately, it was August. Which means school was nearing.
"What?" Hal asked, so shocked that he stood still. "Are you serious?"
Captain stopped to give him a blank stare.
"Ok yeah, dumb question," Hal held up his hands. "But why is this such a big deal? It's not like you're a kid or something."
Captain Marvel's face remained stoic, making Hal nervous.
"Wait are you really a kid?" Hal asked, very unsure. Then to his surprise, and relief, the captain erupted into laughter.
"Haha oh man you should've seen your face," Captain Marvel's laughter dwindled down, "yeah, like someone would just give a kid powers from the gods." He joked. Hearing this made Hal laugh as well, taking the prank in stride.
Even though Captain Marvel seemed very amused with the idea, he was actually cringing on the inside. He didn't like to mislead his friend like that, but who Captain Marvel really is must be kept as a secret. Besides, at this point, Captain Marvel wasn't too sure of how the Justice League would react to Billy Batson. Even with the wisdom of Solomon, there's that seed of worry.
"But all jokes aside, this is a serious problem. I know all of you have your reasons as to not have your identities revealed. Most of you is because it's so your loved ones wouldn't get hurt," the captain looked weary once more.
"What about you? Don't you have loved ones?" Hal couldn't help but ask. Hal took in Captain Marvel and all of his entirety. He looked old, years of knowledge dragging him down. An immense sorrow broke through, only to be roped in. A battle was fighting within, trying to hide that sadness away. For the first time since Hal knew Captain Marvel, the man looked weak.
"Not anymore." Those words haunted Hal. What happened?
Hal was taken away from dark thoughts by the shrinking figure of his thoughts.
"Hey wait!" Hal called out as he jogged up to the large man. "If that isn't why you keep your secret ID a secret, then why?"
Captain Marvel stopped again. He sighed slowly. Large hands rubbed a troubled face.
"Look Hal. What I'm going to say is important. Very important. Understand?" Captain Marvel turned to his friend, finally trusting a small bit of information to his fellow hero. Hal could sense this. So he stood up straight, showing that he was paying attention.
"Yes, I won't tell a soul if need be," Green Lantern nodded.
"I'd appreciate that," Captain Marvel's expression soften only to harden again. "Look my title is Earth's Mightiest Mortal. And while people often think I'm a god myself, I'm not. I'm still mortal. Hence the mortal in the title. Only it's harder for me to die in this form since I'm using the power of the gods."
"And your other form is weaker?" Green Lantern guessed.
"Bingo. Much weaker in fact. I know that without your ring you're weak yourself, but you can still defend yourself. My other form can't exactly do that."
"There's a but in there right?" Hal hoped.
"Yeah there is, actually. Recently I've started to learn magic in that form which did help me in a few scraps when I couldn't become Captain Marvel. But other than that, I'm not all that physically strong. If anyone who wishes harm knew this I could be in big trouble. And if I die…" Captain Marvel shook his head, "I can't have that. I promised the wizard who gave me these powers to help people. So how can a dead person help people?"
Green Lantern understood what Captain Marvel was saying, and with that logic it was agreeable. He just didn't like the thought of Captain Marvel dying.
"I understand," Hal spoke, putting his hand on his friend's shoulder, "as much as I would love to be one of probably very, very, few trusted people who knows your secret identity, you bring a great point."
Captain Marvel looked shocked at this and said "I do trust you!"
"But not enough for this," Hal pointed out. It needed to be said, but Captain Marvel couldn't help but look down in shame.
"Look," Hal continued, "I'll help you out as much as I can. Keep Bats busy, or whatever, you name it. As long as your ID isn't comprised."
Captain Marvel sighed once more. He looked up at Hal with a gaze mixed with sorrow and relief.
"Thank you Hal. I really appreciate it," Captain Marvel's voice was low but so sincere. He was trying to convey his feelings into those words yet it wasn't enough. So he gave Hal a hug.
"No problem," Hal returned the hug.
"Justice League! Justice League come in!" Superman's voice called from Captain Marvel's and Green Lantern's com, forcing the two apart. The two quickly answered their communicators.
"Captain Marvel here." Captain Marvel responded.
"Green Lantern here." Green Lantern followed suit.
"I'm connected," Flash's voice inserted.
"Wonder Woman answering."
"Batman here. What's the problem Superman?" Batman questioned.
"I was visiting Fawcett City for personal reasons when this man attacked," Superman started. Captain Marvel's heart started to beat fast.
"Is everyone ok? What's the damage?" Captain Marvel demanded. He wanted - no needed to know. He wasn't there to protect his home and he needed to know the extent of the damage.
"People are being rushed to the hospital, but no casualties thankfully. Some buildings got destroyed unfortunately," Superman explained, "I'm doing the best I can, but I think he has magic."
"Magic?" Flash asked.
"What does he look like?" Wonder Woman was curious.
"He's tan with black hair. I'd say a buzz cut. He's wearing a black skin tight suit with golden boots, golden wristbands, and a golden sash around his waist. Also looks like a golden thunderbolt on his chest," Superman described.
"Did he say his name?" Captain Marvel suddenly questioned. Hal saw the panicked look on Captain Marvel's face with shock.
"He said that his name was 'Black Adam'. He's also shouting about a child."
Captain Marvel's heart dropped.
"Listen to me Superman. I need you to keep him away from Fawcett City as long as you can. I'm coming over." The captain ordered. Without hearing any replies, the champion ended the transmission to his com.
"Do you know him?" Green Lantern tentatively asked as he followed Marvel to the nearest zeta tube.
"Once. I met and fought with him once," Captain Marvel's voice was so cold, it made Hal shiver.
They entered the tube, and with their destination set, they left the Watchtower that was orbiting around the Earth like a faithful guardian.
Superman crashed into Black Adam, pushing him all the way to the desert of America from the Midwest. Black Adam pounded his fist onto Superman's back forcing the Man of Steel into the Earth.
A devious grin grew on the evil magician's face. Electricity crackled around his clenched fists. Faster than a bullet, Black Adam smashed into Superman. The magician laughed at Superman's cries of anguish as he was electrocuted.
Suddenly, a rope wrapped around Black Adam. With a mighty pull, Black Adam went flying into the air.
A red blur went to Superman at high speeds. Once the blur stopped in front of the Kryptonian, a huge gust whipped up the dust and sand, sending up a cloud. When the cloud disappeared, it was shown that the Flash was helping Superman up.
They watched as Batman joined the fray while Wonder Woman brought her lasso back.
Captain Marvel looked on at his city from above, heart heavy.
"I should've been here," he muttered. A familiar hand gripped his shoulder.
"You didn't know," Green Lantern comforted. Captain Marvel nodded, know what to do.
"Come on. Let's go beat Black Adam."
Captain Marvel and Green Lantern decided to split up in order to find Black Adam since the others were not answering their coms. Unfortunately Green Lantern found him first. And the scene before him angered him greatly. Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, and Batman were laying on the ground below as Black Adam floated above, gloating.
"I've asked you before and I'll ask you again. Where is the child?" Black Adam demanded.
"We told you. We have no idea what you're talking about!" Wonder Woman yelled.
Hearing this made the Green Lantern's blood boil. Was Black Adam out to kill a child? Because the way things are going, it seemed like that was the villain's aim. But to kill a child? Not on Green Lantern's watch.
The sounds of fighting drew Captain Marvel in. Horror gripped Captain Marvel as he saw who was fighting. Green Lantern was losing to Black Adam.
"Black Adam!" Captain Marvel bellowed out, gaining everyone's attention. Slowly, Black Adam turned to the red hero.
"So you finally came to face me Captain Marvel," Black Adam sneered.
"How are you here Black Adam?" Captain Marvel demanded.
"If you remember correctly, the wizard put me into the Earth's core until I recently broke out," Black Adam obliged with the information, "I want my rightful place as champion."
"Black Adam, you and I both know you lost that title long ago," Captain Marvel stated.
"Yes and to be given to a mere child!" Black Adam snarled.
"You've been around for over five thousand years. Everyone's a child compared to you," Captain Marvel pointed out.
"This is true. But you haven't even been around that long for a human," the ex-champion narrowed his eyes. With that, the two mighty mortals clashed.
The leaguers that were grounded panted in exhaustion, yet their breaths were taken away by the sight before them. If they didn't know any better, they would've guessed that it was gods who were fighting.
"Didn't Black Adam call Captain Marvel a child?" Flash asked suddenly. Wonder Woman grew tense as she made a connection.
"Is, perhaps, Captain Marvel the child Black Adam is looking for?" She theorized.
"He just might be," Superman confirmed, looking at the mortal with furrowed eyebrows.
Batman narrowed his eyes while Green Lantern's own pair widen.
"No," Hal whispered in disbelief.
Together, Black Adam and Captain Marvel fell to the Earth.
"Give it up! You're no longer the champion because of your terrible deeds!" Captain Marvel screamed.
"Aww, I didn't know the baby knew such big words," Black Adam taunted, "and I use my powers for my own gain. Why waste them on such insignificant creatures? With these powers I am a god!" To prove his point, Black Adam flipped over, grabbed Captain Marvel's cap, and slammed him to the ground.
"You are no god!" Captain Marvel yanked Black Adam down, giving the evil magician a head butt.
Black Adam stumbled back. He growled at his adversary. Suddenly, a grin popped up onto his face.
"So you say. But the same could be said for these so called heroes!" Next thing anyone knew, Black Adam grabbed Batman, clutching him at the throat in the air.
"Batman!" Captain Marvel yelled out, moving near his fellow hero. However a grunt from the man stopped Marvel short.
"Ah ah ah," Black Adam waggled his finger, "One step forward and the Batman dies."
Captain Marvel's nose flared.
"What do you want me to do?" Captain Marvel's voice was flat. He didn't want the death of the Dark Knight.
"Transform into your mortal form," Black Adam demanded. Hal's eyes grew wide with shock.
"Captain don't do it!" Hal pleaded.
"I have to," Captain Marvel said with such conviction, Hal knew it was a lost cause.
"Go on," Black Adam coaxed, "say the magic word,"
Captain Marvel breathed in, out. A deep breath in and he said a word as loud as thunder itself.
"SHAZAM!" That word called down lightning from the clear sky above. Blinding light engulfed the area.
Spots danced around the hero's eyes. Once it was cleared they were shocked. Hal and Batman, however felt despair as their suspicions were proved correct.
There, in Captain Marvel's place, was a young boy.
"Put him down Black Adam." The child demanded. His voice was high and his body was small so he was easy to dismiss, yet his whole demeanor displayed that he meant business.
"Not yet," Black Adam then casted a spell onto the young boy. The child's eyes widen. His small hands grasped at his throat.
"What did you do to me?" The boy called out.
"I'm just using a precaution. I won't have you saying the wizard's name. But I will still be able to hear you scream and plead for mercy," Black Adam's grin grew wider with each word, "now to kill this bat." He looked at the man dressed as a bat, wanting to see the destruction he would make. However, this was a mistake on his part. As Black Adam was about to crush Batman's throat, he suddenly grasp air.
"What?" Black Adam gasped in disbelief. He looked around and found no one. Just himself and some cactus.
"No!" Black Adam roared.
Billy transported himself, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and Flash to an underwater cave. The cave itself was damp, and the only access into it, other than teleporting, was an underwater tunnel. The cave was spacious, in a word. The ground rose and fell, small cliffs were scattered around while what looked like straw dummies and various objects were strewn about.
"Lux," Billy murmured, snapping his fingers. A ball of light came into existence, illuminating the cave. Billy was content with the size and sent it up to the ceiling. He turned to the Justice League and saw they were trying to stand up.
"Sit down, you're hurt," he moved to keep them down, but Superman held up a hand. Billy nodded and left to put up wards around the cave, wanting to keep him and the league safe, if only a little while. A light shimmer covered the walls, floor, ceiling, and the water entrance.
"You're a kid," Flash suddenly blurted out. Everyone turned to stare at him and he blushed. Billy sighed.
"Yes I am. I really hoped you'd never found out like this. Especially like this. In fact, I hoped you would never find out period," Billy shook his head, "listen, I'll tell you guys the story later, once you all healed up and Black Adam is stopped."
"And how do you plan on that?" Batman asked.
This made Billy smirk. He took out a book that was red with a golden lightning bolt in the middle while the edges were outlined which white and golden flowers at each corner.
"This," he held the book up, "oh, and if you can see this then that means I trust you."
"So that's what you made with the materials you and Zatara gathered," Batman concluded.
"Yep. As you can see, I can't do much in my true form, so I made this grimoire to help me out," Billy opened the book up to show empty pages.
"Uh, why is it blank?" Hal asked.
"Because I mastered most of these spells," Billy replied, shutting it.
"Most?" Wonder Woman rose an eyebrow.
"The last spell is for an extreme emergencies," Billy said eyes growing dark, "but the way things are going, I'll have to use it." Before anyone could ask, Billy shook his head.
"Let me get you healed up," Billy told them with a small smile.
A light green aura surrounded the members of the league as Billy spoke in an ancient language, eyes glowing white. Each hero felt their aches and pains fade away while knots loosened up. Once the aura faded away, Billy closed his eyes. He opened them to stare straight at Wonder Woman.
"I need your sword for a second Miss Wonder Woman," Billy said as he walked up to the warrior princess.
"Why?" She asked, not liking where this was going.
"Oh don't worry!" Billy waved his hands, "I just need it to prick my finger!"
Flash furrowed his eyebrows.
"What for?" The fastest man alive wondered.
"Let me guess. Another spell?" Superman asked.
Wonder Woman relented, giving the child her sword, which he cut his finger on. He once again started to chant as he made his way to each hero. He started with Batman, drawing the iconic Captain Marvel bolt on the man's cheek. Next was Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, and finally Green Lantern with their own Captain Marvel bolt on their cheeks. Once that was done he gave a final gesture to make the spell complete.
"So what spell was that?" Batman asked, wanting to know why the blood. He saw Billy pant a little, looking slightly pale.
"It's a spell to protect you from harm, physical or magical. As long as you have that mark on you, you're protected. It's one of my strongest spells," Billy explained, "I haven't exactly used it on more than one person so, I'm a little winded."
"So Captain what is this place?" Hal suddenly asked. Billy blinked.
"This is my latest training area. Oh and I never properly introduced myself. My name is Billy Batson," he held his hand out to shake their hands.
"Batson?" Flash, Hal, Superman, and Wonder Woman said at the same time.
"Batman isn't my dad," Billy quickly dismissed the idea.
"How did you know we were thinking of Batman?" Hal pointed out.
"Everyone does," Billy said with a shrug. This was one of the many facts of Billy's life.
"So what's the plan," Batman said, again, in his usual way to Billy.
"Wait you're asking him?" Superman questioned Batman.
"This wasn't a problem before," Batman glared at the alien.
"Well he-" Superman started, only to be interrupted by Billy.
"It's ok, really. I expect this," Billy waved it away, "'S one of the reasons why I didn't want you know who I really am."
Superman felt his heart drop, ashamed with himself. Hal took a deep breath and went up to the young champion.
"Nah, you're still my friend. Even you're actually a six year old," Hal ruffled Billy's hair causing the boy to giggle.
"Eeeh, wrong. I'm actually ten. Close though," Billy corrected, falling back into his routine with Hal. He was secretly glad that Hal wasn't treating him any different than usual. Although Hal would probably stop telling so much adult jokes. Well, it wouldn't be a problem that, since most of those jokes went over Billy's head as Captain Marvel so Hal didn't really tell them that much.
"Woah ho ho, the big one zero. Got ourselves a hotshot," Hal whistled.
"Nah, that's what you think you're like with the ladies," Billy shot back with a grin.
"You wound me!" Hal's voiced mock hurt, a hand to his chest.
"Nope. Besides, you'll get right back up the next time you see a pretty lady."
"Ok yeah, that's true."
Flash coughed. This brought the two's attention back to the present.
"Right, ok plan," Billy rubbed his hands together thinking of what was going to happen. Then, a lightbulb went off. "Of course! Why didn't I think of it before!" With a speed that isn't often associated with ten year old boys, Billy drew a complex circle onto the ground. In a mystical tone Billy started the incarnation.
"Ponamque fœdus meum tecum dicam nomini tuo Dr. Fate, Giovanni Zatara, John Constantine, Tawny!" The circle glowed white, and silhouettes started to appear. When the light disappeared, the figures of Dr. Fate, Zatara, John Constantine, and a tiger appeared.
John whistled while Zatara looked around, confused.
"That's quite the spell casted. Are you the one who brought us here?" John asked Billy, taking out his sucker.
"Yes Mr. Constantine. We need your help," Billy nodded to the other magic wielders and tiger.
"What for?" Zatara asked, giving Billy a puzzled look. Why was the Justice League with this child?
"A way to beat Black Adam," Billy told them.
"Ah, I remember Black Adam. He was Shazam's greatest mistake," Dr. Fate recalled.
The young boy nodded. The tiger was the first one to move out of the circle, walking towards Billy.
"Is that the tiger that sometimes lives in the Fawcett City zoo?" Batman asked.
"Sometimes?" Green Lantern, Flash, Superman, and Wonder Woman repeated.
"I come and go as I please," a deep voice rumbled out of the tiger as he shrugged. Billy ignored the shocked faces that were thrown his way. Then Dr. Fate walked up to the ten year old.
"It is a pleasure to finally meet with the true form of Shazam's champion," Dr. Fate shook hands with Billy.
"I would say the same thing Dr. Fate sir, but I wish it was under better circumstances."
"Wait. Captain Marvel?" John questioned Billy.
"Yep. Earth's Mightiest Mortal is actually a ten year old. Name's Billy Batson by the way and no, I'm not Batman's son," Billy explained.
John shrugged, accepting the response.
"So Captain, what's the plan?" Tawny asked the child.
"Well, before we start that, I'm going to put a protection spell on you guys, if that's ok," Billy motioned with his still bleeding finger.
"Come out and face your doom!" Black Adam raged into the air, now at the temperate rainforest of North America. Just as he were to flew away, a large green sledgehammer whacked into him.
"Sorry, but there won't be any more doom today," Green Lantern called out while Black Adam fell into Superman's arms. "At least for us, that is."
The Man of Steel squeezed Black Adam, keeping him in place as Wonder Woman kicked Black Adam in the gut with the heel of her shoe. After she did that, Superman threw the villain into Flash's direction. Said man made tornadoes with his arms, lifting up Adam. Suddenly, from an unidentified direction, bombs and batarangs flew onto the evil magician. Black Adam yelled out in irritation, hating the turn of events.
"I will kill that insufferable child and no one is to stop me!" Black Adam roared, letting loose lightning into multiple directions.
"Looking for me?" A familiar tiny voice called out. Black Adam spun around to see his enemy standing in a clearing.
"Ahh, so you finally decided to show yourself," Black Adam grinned at the sight of the helpless child. As fast as lightning, he flew to Billy, aiming to kill on impact. To his surprise, he went through the child. Black Adam stopped to turn around.
"What sorcery is this?" He growled.
"Oh, it isn't sorcery. I'm a hologram," Billy image flickered, "Thank you technology."
"What?" Black Adam said in disbelief as the image of Billy disappeared. Then, the whole clearing started to glow in an unearthly light, bathing everything. A circle with complex designs was the source of this as it was the clearing itself. Dr. Fate, Zatara, John, and the blasted lackey of the great wizard Shazam walked to the edges of the circle, each coming from the north, south, west, and east respectively. Black Adam eyes widen as he realized that they were to entrap him. He made a move to leave, only to be stopped by Wonder Woman's lasso and Batman's rope. Great chains of light erupted from the ground below, wrapping around Black Adam. Black Adam roared and snarled as he was pulled down by the many mighty bindings. Then, Billy Batson walked to the circle, the rest of the Justice League following closely.
"You," Black Adam growled, head snapping to the child.
"Me," Billy said, voice solemn.
"What do you plan to do? You lost the ability to become the wizard's new champion," Black Adam sneered.
"I don't need to Black Adam," Billy said pulling out his grimoire. Black Adam snorted.
"What's a pile of useless papers going to do?" Black Adam mocked. Billy stared straight at the once champion.
"A lot more than you think. May the gods have mercy on your soul, Black Adam," Billy said, opening his book to the very last page. Hearing this left an ominous cloud over all who was present. Then, Billy began to chant. His eyes glowed white while his body was being covered by sparks. He floated up, soon towering the kneeling Black Adam.
If Billy was speaking English, this is what would be heard, "Oh gods of old, listen to my plea. In front of me is a mortal who has been abusing the powers you so gratefully lend in order to keep the balance of this realm. Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, Mercury come down to place judgment on this man!"
Once Billy finished speaking, the mother of all lightning crashed down, almost blinding all. When the light disappeared, eight figures appeared.
"William Joseph Batson, we have answered your summon," a white haired man with a lightning bolt in his fist said.
"Hello Mr. Zeus," Billy said as he floated down, the glow fading from his eyes.
"Billy!" The only woman in the group exclaimed. She floated down, her dark brown hair and mahogany dress flowing behind her like a river. Before her feet even touch the ground, she pulled the child into her arms.
"Miss Persephone? Mr. Hades? What are you doing here?" Billy asked, confused as to why the lord of the underworld and his wife was here as he only summoned the Gods who gave Shazam's champions powers. Hades sighed as he floated down.
"We were visiting Zeus, inviting him to see Cerberus' for when they give birth to a new litter of hell hounds when he got summoned. We just came along for the ride," Hades explained, giving a weary smile to the small mortal.
"Cerberus is pregnant?" Billy was not aware that Cerberus could get pregnant.
"Well hell hounds have to be made somehow," Persephone told the child in her arms, "you really should come and see them once they are born. Hell hounds are quite adorable when they are pups."
"Ok Miss Persephone. Just let me know when Cerberus gives birth," Billy nodded.
Persephone looked at the boy with such joy and love on her face, one would think she was his mother. Most of the Justice League watch the scene with shock. Wonder Woman was amazed on how Persephone was acting to young Billy. The boy truly was in the Gods' good graces.
"Billy, why did you summon Zeus and the others?" Hades asked, curiosity nibbling at him.
"Oh, well Black Adam came back and put a spell on me now I can't say Sha" Billy suddenly went into a coughing fit. He gained it under control, continuing his story, "the wizard's name and turn into Captain Marvel. This is kinda my last line of defense." Hearing this made Persephone's entire demeanor dark. She gave Billy to Hades and made her way to Black Adam. Hades sighed, turning around so Billy won't see what was to transpire and covering the boy's ears so he wouldn't hear the… colorful words that were to come out of his wife's mouth.
The Justice League watched in horror of what Persephone was doing. Tawny was amused while the Gods were reminded once again, not to cross Persephone.
With a humph, Persephone made her way back to her beloved husband and the mortal she desperately wanted to take home. She took Billy from Hades, holding the child close. Billy turned his head to see that Black Adam was the palest the orphan had ever seen. He the silently thanked Hades for the protection.
"Now that is out of the way," Mercury started, slightly green.
"It is time to face judgement Teth-Adam," Achilles continued, gaining his composure back.
"You have done many heinous crimes. This is unexceptionable," Hercules said.
"One of these crimes is using the powers we gave you for personal gain. Another is trying to kill Shazam's new champion," Solomon's voice was grave.
"We have already come to an agreement of what your fate is. Atlas, would you do the honors?" Zeus asked the giant man. Atlas uncrossed his arms, holding a fist out in front of him. A thumb stook out, and then was turned downwards.
"It is decided, you will have for your powers stripped from you, rendering you to your true form, aging you millions of years in an instant. Your soul will then be taken to Tartarus," Zeus' voice boomed with authority, leaving no room to argue. Billy looked at Black Adam with a face that Black Adam completely and utterly loathed. Pity.
"I'm sorry that it came to this, Black Adam. But if you had taken my offer two years ago, then this wouldn't have happened," Billy apologized to his enemy.
"Do not give my any of that," Black Adam yelled, "I will never serve those below me. They're insignificant! They mean nothing! I will get out and have my revenge!"
Billy shook his head. "No you won't. Even without the wisdom of Solomon we both know you will never be freed." Billy turned to Zeus and gave him a nod.
Zeus nodded back, acknowledging Billy. Then, he rose his bolt high into the air, and threw it onto Black Adam. Billy closed his eyes, turning away as he heard his predecessor scream in pure agony. Then there was silence.
Slowly, Billy opened his eyes, turning back to the spot where Black Adam once was, only seeing a patch of burnt grass and dirt. He paled slightly as he saw some ash being blown away by the breeze. Movement caught the boy's attention. Zeus was floating down, holding his bolt once more in his right hand while a pitch black orb in his left.
"Is that…?" Billy trailed off, pointing to the orb.
"Teth-Adam's soul," Zeus confirmed.
"His soul has become so corrupted it became black through and through," Solomon explained.
Hercules came down to stand next to Persephone, putting a hand on the boy's shoulder.
"I am sorry, but this was the only way. There was no chance of saving him," Hercules tried to comfort. Billy only closed his eyes, leaning into the embrace of the Goddess of the underworld, springtime, and vegetation. Mercury flew down to the boy, taking Billy's face into his hand, forcing the boy to look at him.
"Hey, it is alright. You did the best that you could. Billy, you are amazing and very pure. It was very wise of you to call on us," the God then began to rub circles on the child's face with his thumb.
"Indeed it was," Solomon agreed, "I can tell that you are growing into a fine young man." The king warmly smiled down onto the orphan.
"Billy, I am more than positive that your parents are proud of you," Persephone said, stroking Billy's hair.
"Really?" Billy asked, voice low.
"Yes Billy," Hades put his arm around his wife and the child she was holding, "in fact, we were able to talk to them not that long ago."
Billy gasped, eyes wide.
"You did?" He breathed.
"That is right. I wanted to meet the people who brought you into this world, and they did not disappoint," Persephone nodded.
"They told us that they are incredibly proud of you. They also told us that the next time we saw you to give you this," Hades then pulled out a crystal that was in the shape of a star. It was the size of Billy's hand, and it shone in the light. The God of the underworld held the crystal out. With shaky hands, Billy grabbed onto the crystal, taking great care of it. It was as if he handled it wrong, it would shatter into billions of tiny pieces.
"Keep it safe Billy, and this will help you in your darkest moments," Persephone informed the child.
"I," Billy's voice broke, "thank you ever so much. I don't know how I could ever repay you." Tears began to stream down his face.
"Then how about coming over to visit Cerberus' pups and help Hades with a new garden he was thinking of making," the Goddess suggested with a smile. This made Billy laugh.
"Of course!" Billy grinned.
Solomon waved his hand over Billy, lifting the spell Black Adam had casted on the child. After that, the Gods began to leave one by one. Hades continued to sigh as he was convincing Persephone that, no she can't bring Billy home and that Billy lives here and surely you don't need to kidnap him again, that yes, Billy will be taken care of but not in their house .
Persephone gave Billy one last hug and a kiss, already missing the mortal before leaving with her husband. She needed to see if Cerberus had the babies yet. But before she left and after giving Billy that hug and kiss, she glared at Tawny and the Justice League, promising death and destruction if anything bad happened to her favorite human.
"Come on, Billy, let's go to the Watchtower," Batman said, walking up to Billy once all the Gods were gone. Billy stood still, still staring at the spot of Black Adam's death, softly clutching onto the star. A breeze ruffled Billy's hair, as if to reassure him. The rest of the league, and Tawny, stood back, watching the exchange.
"Do you ever wonder what would happen if something didn't happen. Would everything change or would nothing change?" Billy asked, out of the blue.
"...Sometimes…" Batman admitted. He came closer to Billy, holding a hand out to the boy. Billy turned his head to see the hand. Hesitantly, Billy took Batman's hand.
"The reason why we are having this meeting is to inform the rest of the League of the status of Captain Marvel," Superman said, voice reaching all the members of the league who were wondering where Captain Marvel was. When they heard Superman say this, their attention were immediately caught. Whispers broke out as theories of the missing captain while others took notice of the child and tiger that were coming in. Seeing the boy and tiger stand in the middle of the room, the chatter slowed down. Once all attention gathered to the child he began to speak.
"Hello everyone, my name is Billy Batson. I'm ten years old. This is Tawny. He's the tiger that sometimes lives in the Fawcett City zoo," Billy introduced himself and Tawny.
"Wait. Sometimes?" Plastic Man questioned.
"I come and go," Tawny explained, making some of the leaguers eyes widen.
' Why was a child with a talking tiger?' They thought.
"Billy, would you care to explain the situation to us?" Wonder Woman asked.
"Actually, I could do something better," Billy said as he took out a book, "I can show you."
"Show us?" Hawkman questioned, looking at the boy.
"Yep. This here is my grimoire. Captain Marvel made it for me with the items he and Mr. Zatara gathered. In here is a spell that can show others any memory of choosing. Tawny here was the first one to experience it," Billy explained, making spells appear from blank pages. He flipped through them, searching for the right one.
"It was an interesting experience," Tawny shrugged his shoulders like a human would.
"Ah, here it is. Ok, so this is going to be long, so if you got to use the bathroom, do it now before we start," Billy said as he looked pointedly at Plasticman.
"What? It was one time!" Plastic Man denied.
"Yeah, 'one time'," Swamp Thing said sarcastically.
"Ok, maybe more than once," the man made of plastic admitted.
"Well? Do you?" Billy asked.
"... No…" Plastic Man pouted.
"Good. Ok, so here's the other warning, once I start I won't stop until the memories are done. 'S why this is going to be long. I'll do what I can to shorten it though," Billy explained further. This gained many nods, although this made more questions as to why this is relevant to Captain Marvel.
Satisfied with this, Billy began his spell. The Justice League watch in awe as the child used one of his more powerful spells.
The world was dark around him. He didn't know where he was. He was scared.
"Hello? Any one there?" He called out.
He walked into a random direction, hoping to find someone, something.
"You," a voice that he never heard before spoke. He shivered at the sound. It was filled with such loathing that he never heard before. He turned around and saw something rushing towards him.
"AAAHHH!" Billy screamed, waking up from his nightmare. His heart was pounding and he was in a cold sweat. Billy looked around and found himself in his hideaway. It was a room that looked to be an office at one point in an old building. Probably was business building once, yet the child was unsure. It was It was only acceptable by a crack in the wall that Billy could move through since the lock on the door was rusted shut. He was able to cover said crack with a piece of wood he found.
The room itself was made out of wood. It was bare. Really, the only thing in it was a pile of clothes, a pile of old blankets and old pillows, school supplies, a backpack, a radio, and a calendar with 'x' on days past.
"Oh, it was just a dream," Billy breathed. He sighed as he got off the pile of blankets and old pillows. The boy went over to get dressed. Once properly dressed, Billy took a glance at the calendar. What he saw made him do a double take. A wide grin split onto his face. On the calendar a date was circled. March 20th.
"Holy moly! Today's my birthday!" Billy exclaimed with glee, "I'm eight now! Happy birthday me!"
Billy grabbed something from the backpack, showing a photo of a handsome man with a beautiful woman who both holding a baby boy.
"Today's going to be a good birthday, mom, dad. I can feel it," Billy beamed at the photo before tucking it into his sweater. He then ran around to find any money he had gathered. It turned out to be ten dollars, but that was good enough for young Billy.
With a nod, Billy left his 'home'.
Billy was walking along, minding his own business, when he saw two people that Billy just knew were social workers. Quickly, Billy hid behind a newspaper stand, not wanting to be seen.
"Any luck?" One of the social works asked.
"Nope. That Billy Batson's a slippery kid," the other commented.
'They're still looking for me? It's been a year!' Billy thought, surprised by their determination.
"Do you think he's still alive?" The first worker asked.
"Oh definitely. I mean, we got reports of the kid all over the city. Heard he still manages to go to school. We just got to bring him back into the system before something bad happens," the second one explained to the first.
"I hope he's alright," the faded voices reached Billy's ears as he walked out of his hiding place.
"Do you really?" Billy softly asked, doubt clear in his voice. He shook his head as he walked away.
Not even a block away did Billy reach his destination. It was a small diner. It haven't even been around that long, a week at most. It looked like a diner from the fifties on the outside with a light blue roof. He walked in, taking note of the blue bell chiming to indicate his arrival.
"Hello!" A woman called out, "Welcome to the Blue Bell Diner!"
"Hello miss," Billy greeted. He climbed up a stool, wanting to eat at the counter.
"So what are you doing here?" The woman asked. Her black hair was cut into a bob. She had brown eyes, a heart shaped face, and a small nose.
"Well, today's my birthday and I want to try some of your pie. I heard that it's very delicious," Billy explained, pulling out money.
"Oh! And how old are you now?" She asked.
"Eight years old miss."
"Wow! Congrats! What's your name sweetheart?"
"Billy Batson miss," Billy introduced himself with a grin.
"Well, nice to meet you Billy. Name's Jasmine Kang, and I own this place," she returned the grin.
"Really?" Billy's eyes started to twinkle.
"Yep! Me and my brother wanted to have a diner for years. The plan was he gets to cook while I get to do everything else," Jasmine then turned to the window leading to the kitchen, "so I do most of the work!"
"Hey! Cooking is very important ya know!" A male voice called back.
"That's Jasper, my brother," Jasmine nodded towards the kitchen. "So you want pie yeah?"
"Yes Miss Kang. I would appreciate it very much. How much does it cost?"
"You know what? I'll give the birthday boy a discount. That'll be three dollars and fifty two cents," Jasmine informed. Billy counted out four dollars, then gave them to the owner. Jasmine took the money, and exchanged it with the proper amount of change.
"One slice of mixed berry pie coming right up!" Jasmine wrote down on her note pad, tore it off, and hung it up on a line in the kitchen window.
"Got it boss!" Jasper called, grabbing the note. Billy saw that Jasper's face was very similar to Jasmine's, only difference was that his face had freckles and had a more male structure. His hair was a dark brown and was gelled up.
"Happy birthday BB," Jasper disappeared with a wink at the child. Billy's face scrunched up at the nickname.
"Please don't call me that sir. Billy's just fine."
"Well then call me Jasper, Billy," Jasper said, coming back with a pie on a plate. He gave his sister the plate, who then gave it to Billy. The birthday boy grabbed a fork, wanting the cause of the delicious smell invading his nose. He took one bite and was instantly in love.
"This is the best pie I ever had!" Billy exclaimed. Jasmine and Jasper laughed at the boy's enthusiasm. It was endearing.
"We get that," Jasper bragged. The whole reason why Billy was here was because he overheard people talking about the pie. Which, of course, made Jasper right.
Billy smiled at the two before eating up the rest of the pie slice. When he was thinking about how delicious it was near the end of the pie, he got an idea.
"May I please have another slice to go?" Billy asked, sweetly. This made the sister-brother duo chuckle.
"Why yes you may," Jasper said, leaving to get another slice while his sister dealt with the money portion.
Once the pie was in a styrofoam container, Billy bid goodbye to the Kangs, leaving to the direction of the Fawcett City zoo.
"Aw man," Billy whined. He was at the tiger exhibit, looking for the tiger, box in hand.
"What's wrong little man?" A deep voice asked from behind Billy. Billy craned his head back, trying to see who was talking to him. A mountain of a man blocked the sun from Billy's view. His skin was a dark brown, his black hair was in dreadlocks, and was growing a beard. He wore glasses that covered his, oddly enough, green eyes. He was wearing a dark grey t-shirt that had some grease on it, a dark olive vest that also had grease on it, fingerless gloves, large grey pants, and sandals.
"Tawny isn't here," Billy said, as if this explained everything.
"Who?" The man asked.
"Tawny is the tiger that sometimes live here in the zoo," Billy told the man. This was a better explanation, but still wasn't really enough.
"Sometimes?" The man rose an eyebrow.
"He comes and goes sir," Billy shrugged.
"So why is Tawny not being here a problem if he comes and goes?" The man questioned, walking up next to the boy.
"Well, it's because since today's my birthday I bought a slice of pie. I thought that maybe Tawny would like to try it since it's the best pie I ever had," Billy held out the box, "that and because tigers are my favorite animal."
The man nodded in understanding. Just then, the man's stomach started to growl.
"Here," Billy gave to box to the man, "Tawny isn't going to eat this, so you might as well take it."
The man took the box gratefully.
"Take this as a thank you," the man took out a subway token from his pocket, "it's the least I can pay you for the pie."
"You're welcome sir. You don't need to give me this though," Billy shook his head, rejecting the token.
"But I insist. Here," the man put the token into Billy's hand. Billy looked down at his hand, wrapped his fingers around the token.
"Thank you sir," Billy looked back up.
"Thanks again lil' man!" The man waved to the boy as he walked away. Billy smiled at the shrinking figure, leaving as well since the reason Billy was there in the first place wasn't there.
"Hey Batson!" An annoying voice grabbed Billy's attention. From across the street were the local 'gang'. They were three kids that thought they were on top of the food chain and harmed the weak. Billy stood up to them whenever he saw them terrorize others, yet whenever he became their target, he ran away. And this, is one of those times.
Billy sharply turned left, ignoring the shouts from behind. The young child ducked and weaved through the crowd. Bodies pushed and shoved, angry shouts grew and faded. A glimpse to the underground was a heaven sent.
Billy took a sharp turn right, running down the steps two at a time. He jumped over the turners, too frightened to pay. His sudden presence frightened others who happened to be there. He flew for a moment. Then, when his feet hit the floor, he tripped.
Billy tumbled onto the tracks while people screamed. The orphan barely managed to get up when bright lights shone on him. A train was coming, and there was no conductor. Billy was unaware of a small glowing object in his pocket as he sat still in shock at his incoming doom. This glowing object was perhaps the only reason of his continued life as the moment before the train was to hit him, he was transported into one of its empty cars.
"Wha?" Billy gasped. Was he dreaming? He couldn't be because it felt all too real. Suddenly, with a flash of light, the images of the subway was changed to a cave. Stalactites and stalagmites passed by while the train continued onto its unknown destination.
Slowly, the train began to stop. Billy walked up to one of the doors. When the train ceased its movement, the doors opened to what looked like an entrance. To what, Billy did not know.
Hesitantly, Billy walked out of the train. The moment both feet were out of the car, the doors closed and continued on its way.
Gulping, Billy watched as his mode of transportation go away. He looked back to the entrance. With a deep breath, Billy Batson gathered all of his courage. The child looked on, determination flowing through him.
"Here we go Batson," Billy spoke to himself. He then walked into the tunnel. Torches lined up the walls, giving off light with their fire, showing him the way.
It had felt like an eternity before Billy found himself in front of a large set of doors with one giant thunderbolt in the middle.
"Holy moly," Billy breathed as he stepped forward. He pressed his hand onto the stone, feeling the smooth texture. With a resounding crack, the door opened.
Inside was a room that was overflowing with energy. This energy was unidentifiable by the young Billy, as he hadn't encountered such energy before. Instead of crashing down onto the boy, it flowed down. It wrapped around the boy, giving him warmth and comfort like a loving parent. It gave him a sense of belonging and took away all signs of pain and exhaustion. He took a few steps forward, letting the door close behind him.
"Welcome, young Billy Batson, to the Rock of Eternity," called an old voice that oozed with wisdom, age, and power. Billy's attention snapped to an old man with a long white beard, a bald head, and white robes. He sat atop a stone throne. His presence spoke volumes, making the child feel smaller than he once thought.
"How do you know my name?" Billy paused before adding "sir."
"I know you're name because I am the mighty wizard Shazam!" Thunder and lightning crashed around the two at the name.
"Mr. Shazam sir, why am I here?" Billy asked Shazam.
Shazam sighed, as if a great weight were put upon his shoulders.
"It is best if I showed you," Shazam said, waving his hand. To Billy's surprise, images started to flash in his mind.
"Over five thousand years ago, in what you now call Egypt." A land of golden sands.
"I had selected a mortal named Teth-Adam to become my champion." A tan man with black hair knelt down in front of Shazam.
"He was given powers of the Gods in order to protect the weak and innocent as well as combat against the Seven Deadly Enemies of Man." The man was struck by lightning, given a new outfit.
"Pride, Envy, Greed, Hatred, Laziness, Selfishness, and Injustice were these evils." The images stopped and Billy saw Shazam looking to his right. Billy looked to his left and saw seven giant statues all lined up. Under each statute was the name of these evils. Then the images started up again.
"However, he had become corrupted by these powers and used them for his own gain. He began to call himself 'Black Adam'." The man that once knelt before Shazam was now surrounded by a dark aura. He cackled at the thought of the pain and suffering of others. This put a shiver down Billy's spine as he recognized the voice from his dream.
"I had to banish him to the furthest star in the universe so he could do no more harm." Black Adam was blasted away, screaming for revenge all the while.
"All this time I haven't picked another champion for fear of making another mistake." The images faded from Billy's mind.
"But now since Black Adam is going to return, I must pick a new champion." Billy looked at the wizard while Shazam gazed at the child. In Billy's mine there was many questions running around, yet one question prevailed all others.
"Then…" Billy licked his lips, "then why am I here?"
"Because Billy Batson. From the moment you were born, I have felt something from within you. I have watched you go through your many trials and you have always came out as pure as before. Billy Batson, I have chosen you to be my next champion." Billy gasp in disbelief. There was in no way he could be a champion. This had to be a dream.
"This is no dream Billy," Shazam informed.
"How did you know?" Billy whispered. The wizard smiled and with a wink said, "secret."
"But, why me? Why now?" When Billy asked this, Shazam sighed. It looked like he was ashamed of himself.
"As I said before, you were able to stay as pure of heart in all of the ordeals you have been put through. And the reason for now? Well, I feel Black Adam's presence getting ever closer. I fear that he is able to sense the mark I have put on you, showing that I have chosen you. And once he tracks you down he will strike you down." Billy took a sharp intake of breath.
"He will then level this world. I will not have this. Black Adam is my greatest mistake, and I am terribly sorry-"
"I'll do it," Billy interrupted.
"What?" Shazam seemed to be surprised.
"I said I'll do it. I mean, if no one else is going to do it, I might as well… right?" Billy said. Shazam looked even more ashamed.
"I thank you for your courage Billy. I am so sorry for this," Shazam apologized.
"'S alright," Billy gave the wizard a smile.
"To be frank, I would have liked to give you these powers when you were older. Unfortunately Black Adam will not give you that time," Shazam's voice showed sorrow, "I will give you the wisdom of Solomon, strength of Hercules, stamina of Atlas, power of Zeus, courage of Achilles, and the speed of Mercury."
Shazam rose from his throne whilst raising his arms. Thunder rumbled as storm clouds gathered inside the cave. Billy looked up in wonder. Lightning then struck down on the unsuspecting chosen child.
The clouds dispersed, leaving Billy to look at himself in amazement, not seeing any damage whatsoever on him.
"Once you call my name, you are able to turn into your champion form," Shazam explained, sitting back down.
"Holy moly," Billy breathed, still in awe of the whole situation.
"Oh and Billy?"
The boy looked up to see the wizard wave his hand.
"I am truly sorry," smoke surround Billy as the wizard's remorseful voice faded. Billy blinked as the smoke dissipate, finding himself at the city park.
"Uhhhh," the man from the zoo said with pie in hand while staring straight at Billy from park bench.
"Uhhhh hi?" Billy waved at the man as a bit of the berries fell out of the pie and into the box.
"I don't wanna know what's in the pie, but I'm still going to eat it," the man shook his head, continuing to eat said pie.
"Um, you go do that sir," Billy said, inching away. He did not want anyone else to question his sudden appearance.
Billy was now in a public bathroom at the park, checking himself in the mirror, not seeing anything different. He didn't feel different. But Shazam did say that Billy will transform into his champion form when he said Shazam. So maybe he should say Shazam? Well, maybe not right now. Not when any person could walk in and see Billy transform. That would compromise his secret identity. And in all of the stories that's a bad thing. Sure Billy no longer had any family or had any friends to protect, but he was still a child. Billy knew this for a fact. He did not delude himself of thinking that no one could ever hurt a child.
A hand hovered over his stomach, covering a long healed injury.
Yes, enemies could use the knowledge of him being a kid to their advantage. He wasn't strong, nor was he fast. He could try to hide, but he wouldn't be able to do stuff. It was that moment that Billy decided that, if all of this was real, then no one, and he means no one, could know about his true identity.
With a nod, Billy left the restroom. However, not even a moment since he stepped foot outside, he saw a fireball flew out of the sky. This in itself was strange indeed, yet it became even stranger when it changed course. Right at him.
With a scream, Billy ran out of the way. There was a small explosion, making the public restroom burst into flames. This explosion blew Billy away, making him tumble once he hit the ground. He scrambled up.
"So this is where the new champion that fool of a wizard choose lives," an accented voice came from the rubble. A man lifted himself out of the remains of the public restroom. Gasping, Billy recognized the man from the images that Shazam showed him.
"Black Adam," Billy breathed quietly. Just on the day Billy got powers, the enemy shows up. Talk about luck.
"Hm?" Black Adam heard the noise. He turned and locked eyes on Billy. His eyes widen then narrowed as Billy's own pair resembled that of a deer.
"You," Black Adam's voice was spitting out loathing. He had recognized something in Billy. "I feel the wizard's powers from you. How could my replacement be a child? This is just insulting."
Billy took a step back.
"On the bright side, I can kill you all the more easily," said Black Adam as he floated up.
Billy couldn't move. He was frozen in fear. Then, he suddenly came back to his senses and ran.
Black Adam smirked, letting the boy go. He always did enjoyed a good hunt.
"What do I need to do? Call on the wizard?" Billy tried to recall as he ran away from the pariah, "Ah, uh, Shazam?" Lightning struck down on the running boy.
"AAHHHH!" Young shrieks morphed lower, older. A fully grown man came running out. Billy slowed down, noticing his change of perspective and voice.
"What?" He asked to himself, observing himself. He was taller, he was buff, and his voice was deep. His outfit was red and yellow with a white cape hanging off of his shoulders. A lightning bolt was in the middle of his uniform while it looked like there were three flowers lining the edge of one side of the cape. "Holy moly! I must've turn into an adult!" He concluded.
Fists smacked into his head, making the new adult hit the ground. Billy skidded a bit, making trenches as he went. He was eventually stopped by a tree. Unfortunately for said tree, it was uprooted.
"So I see you were given some sort of defense," Black Adam noted, a little bit annoyed that his prey was able to access the power. It wouldn't be as easy to kill the child, yet it would be more entertaining. Still, he couldn't believe his replacement was a child. How old was he? Two?
"Um, yeah," Billy said, not really knowing what to say. Before he could properly pick himself up, Black Adam punched him into the sky. The new champion felt a thought go through him, letting him know how to stop his 'flight'. The thought was foreign, yet it felt like it has been with Billy for a long time. So, Billy did as he was told. Next thing he knew, he was hovering in the air.
"Holy Moly. How did I do that?" He asked himself.
'Solomon's wisdom,' a strange thought that was similar to the previous one flittered in his head.
"Oh. That makes sense," Billy said rather lamely, "I wonder what else I can do."
He spotted a black dot catching up to him.
"Well, better find out," he then flew to meet the dot. Fast. The two met with a sonic boom. Fists exchanged to faces. Billy wheeled in the air, until he righted himself.
"Why are you doing this?" Billy asked, his voice booming in order to be heard by the villain.
"Why? Because I have all this power! Because why waste on those who don't deserve to be saved? After all, this world is filled to the brim with those Seven Evils of Man. Why fight a never ending battle when you can win? " Black Adam bursts up to Billy, head butted the man child in the gut. This made Billy fall back to Earth. He crashed through the streets, ending up in the old subway. Everything went dark.
Billy felt small. Smaller than he ever had.
"Billy," a voice called out.
"Billy," another voice called.
"My little Billy," the first voice said. Billy felt arms around him as he opened his eyes to a white haze.
"How's the little scamp?" The second voice asked while the arms held the child.
"He's awake," the first voice said. The haze cleared a bit and Billy saw a woman and man over him.
The woman had brown eyes that sparked at the sight before her and brown hair that went a little over her shoulders. She had dimples as she was smiling down onto Billy.
The man had short black hair that curled a bit at the ends. His blue eyes were sparkling as much as his wife's. He had a strong chin and a smile that showed off his perfect white teeth.
The duo radiated love, adoration, safety, and comfort. It was then that Billy remembered who they were. His parents.
"Mommy! Daddy!" Billy cried out, happily.
They laughed at his excitement, glad to see that their presence was appreciated.
"Morning kiddo! How does it feel to be four years old?" Billy's Dad asked, taking the tot out of his mother's arms.
"Great!" Billy cheered, hands in the air.
"That's lovely," Billy's mom cooed.
"I dreameded of being a superhero!" Billy told his parents, glee coming off of him in waves.
"Was your name Super Billy?" His father asked. Billy's nose wrinkled up as he giggled.
"No silly. I was Billy Man!" Billy then puffed out his chest while putting his hands to his hips.
"Oh, Billy Man. I see. Well, I would like to be saved by this mysterious Billy Man," his mother tucked back a lock of Billy's hair behind his ear.
"What is your superhero name daddy?" Billy asked, blue eyes shining with curiosity.
"Weeeeelll," Billy's father drew out, "I think I would call myself Captain Marvel." The man then nodded, liking the name he came up.
"Captian Mar-Marvel?" Billy tilted his head.
"Captain Marvel," his father corrected, "It's because I'm marvelous. That and Captain makes me sound amazing." Billy squealed in joy at this.
"Yes, Captain Marvel certainly is my hero," Billy's mother kissed his father.
"Why do bad guys do bad things?" Billy suddenly asked. His parents blinked. They were silent for a moment, collecting their thoughts.
"Well it's because they aren't good," Billy's mom said slowly.
"And because they are bad, bad things happen to them," Billy's Dad continued.
"Like getting captureded by the good guys?" Billy suggested. This made his parents beam.
"Yep!" His father confirmed.
"Remember Billy, be good and good will follow," his mother told him.
"Which means that if you are good, then good things will happen to you," his father explained to the four year old.
"I will! I promise!" Billy swore, very serious and sure. This made his parents faces soften. It was shown that they love their son deeply. Then, everything started to fade.
"Be good and good will follow," Billy heard his parents say, one last time, before the dark enveloped the child.
Billy's eyes opened to a faint light. He was laying down into the abandoned subway, only the faintest of light reaching him.
'Where am I? What happened?' Billy thought, confused. He was sore and he didn't know why. But then he remembered.
"Black Adam is still out there!" Billy gasped. Quickly, he flew out and into the city.
Chaos was abundant. Buildings were in bad shape while cars were turned over, on its side, or were destroyed. Billy touched down into the cracked pavement below. He walked on, staring at the destruction surrounding him.
"No," he breathed in disbelief. He turned his head to the building on his left, looking at the damage. A shock ran through out him as he saw the man in the window.
'Impossible… Dad?' Billy thought with a mixture of emotions at the image in front of him. But the happiness that was felt dwindled and died once Billy realized that the image was actually his own reflection.
"I look just like my dad," Billy's foreign voice murmured. One hand went out to touch the reflection while the other touched his own face.
'Will I look like Dad when I'm an adult?' Billy thought. Whimpers broke Billy out of his thoughts. He turned around, trying to pinpoint the sound. Finally his eyes zeroed in at two little kids.
A chunk of skyscraper fell out.
And into the direction of the children. Before the children could even scream at the horror, Billy flew and caught the large concrete block. The children watched in awe as Billy slowly brought the chunk down, setting it aside as it wouldn't harm anyone. He then flew back to the two, checking to see if they weren't hurt.
"Are you ok?" He asked, worried for them. They nodded with gaping mouths.
"Who are you?" One child, a boy, asked.
Billy stopped. Who was he? He took a glance at his reflection in the nearby broken glass.
'I think I would call myself Captain Marvel.' The voice of Clarence Charles Batson V resonated within him.
"Captain Marvel," Billy turned back to the kids, "Call me Captain Marvel."
"Thank you for saving me and my brother Captain Marvel!" The girl grinned at Billy-no Captain Marvel.
"It's no problem. Now you and your brother better get somewhere safe. Ok?" The two kids nodded at Captain Marvel, before running in a seemingly random direction. Captain Marvel looked upwards, searching the sky.
"Now to find Black Adam," he said to himself, shooting up into the air. He flew for a minute until his saw Black Adam closing in on a family.
Two fathers were covering their daughter. They had to make sure that she would be shielded from any damage that would transpire. Only they didn't have to since the man was punched away from them.
"Hi there!" A different man greeted them with a raised hand, "you might want to leave now sirs. Things could get messy and I don't want you all to get hurt."
They nodded, knowing a blessing when they see one and quickly left.
"I see you're still alive," Black Adam rose up.
"And I see you're hurting my city," Captain Marvel frowned at the man before him.
"Enough chatter. Let's end this," Black Adam sped up to Captain Marvel, grabbing him by the waist. Captain Marvel retaliated by kneeing him in the gut. The two wrestled a bit before breaking apart.
Captain Marvel's hands started to spark as he clasped them together and brought them down onto Black Adam as hard as he could. The added shock to the power that Captain Marvel used made a crater in the middle of the street.
Captain Marvel stood at the edge, watching Black Adam get back up.
"You know you could always stop doing bad," he informed the fallen hero, "My parents once told me that when people do bad, bad stuff happens to them. If you continue doing bad stuff more bad stuff will happen to you."
"What was this 'bad stuff' that happened to me?" Black Adam asked sardonically.
"You were banished," Captain Marvel deadpanned.
Black Adam growled.
"Be good and good will follow," Captain Marvel held out his hand, "you can be good."
Black Adam stood in the crater, pensive. A grin that held malicious intent spread onto Black Adam's face.
"How about no? I won't stop ever. I will continue my rampage. I will be a god and you will be dead!" He exclaimed. Captain Marvel shook his head, knowing that he wouldn't be able to change Black Adam's mind.
"Well, the kid gave it his best," a new voice came in, taking the attention of the two powered humans. There, standing on the other side of the crater, was the man who Billy gave his pie to.
"Uh sir? I don't think it's safe for you to be here," Billy called out to the man, not wanting another innocent civilian to get hurt.
"It's all good," he grin to show off fangs, "after all, I'm the tiger that sometimes lives at the zoo." Smoke swirled around the man, and when it dispersed, a tiger was left standing.
"Wait a minute. Tawny?" Captain Marvel asked the tiger.
"Yep. Thanks for the pie by the way. It really was the best pie I ever had," Tawny nodded to Captain Marvel, implying the fact that he knew Captain Marvel's secret identity.
"What are you doing here Tawny?" Black Adam asked the magical tiger with venom in his voice.
"To do this," Tawny said, green eyes glowing. He started to chant, and according to the wisdom of Solomon, it was a spell to bring Shazam to this place.
To Captain Marvel's amazement, Black Adam looked to be afraid when Shazam appeared.
"Black Adam, it seems that you have not learned from your punishment and as such you shall be locked away. Hopefully this time you will learn from your mistakes," Shazam then shot lightning out of his hands in Black Adam's direction. And Black Adam was gone.
Captain Marvel furrowed his eyebrows confused and said, "what just happened?"
Shazam sighed and looked older than the last time Captain Marvel saw him.
"I had banished him into the core of the Earth. Hopefully this will contain him for a little while longer," he looked at Captain Marvel, "Let me explain. I remain at the Rock of Eternity which I have to stay at. I can be away for twenty four hours, but the power of my magic dwindles greatly. And where my magic power is right now, all I could do is lock Black Adam away into the Earth's core. Hopefully this will give you time to get your power under control. I am sorry, but I can not take his power away. I can only give."
Captain Marvel nodded, knowing, even without the wisdom of Solomon, that Shazam's answer was true.
"Thank you," Captain Marvel nodded to the wizard. Shazam's eyes showed a deep sadness.
"Good bye," the wizard said. It felt like he wanted to say more, yet settled onto those two words. With a puff of smoke, he disappeared. Tawny turned to leave only to by stopped by the captain.
"Hm?" Tawny turned his head back to Captain Marvel. The man child blushed, rubbing his neck.
"Uh, where do you go to all the time? When you're not living in the zoo, I mean."
"Hm," Tawny shrugged his shoulders in a human like fashion, "I come and go."
Captain Marvel blinked before grinning at the answer.
"See you later Tawny! I'm going to help out the city!" Captain Marvel said, rising up into the air.
A flick of the tail was his reply.
The memories faded from sight, making the Justice League blink at the change of scenery. They look down at the boy, Billy Batson, Captain Marvel, with mixed emotions. He looked tired, worn out. There were signs that he was scared yet he kept standing tall.
"So there you have it," Billy himself felt out of breath. He felt Tawny curled his body against the kid, making sure he wouldn't fall. A glass of apple juice suddenly popped into existence into Billy's hands. Billy looked at the glass with a deadpan expression.
"This wouldn't happen to be laced with a sleeping potion, would it?" Billy asked skeptically to Tawny.
"Yep," Tawny confirmed. Billy glared at the magical tiger.
"I'm only drinking this because I like the tang the potion gives the juice," Billy told the tiger. In actuality, Billy was glad that he was taking the sleeping potion since he had been using spells non stop. Not to mention that most of them, if not all, were the strongest in his arsenal. So Billy felt like keeling over any minute. That and he really did like the tang the sleeping potion gave the apple juice.
Billy took one last glance at the League before downing the cup. He licked his lips, enjoying the taste before flopping down onto Tawny. Little snores escaped his form, showing that he was out cold.
"Well, better find medbay," Tawny said, shifting his body so Billy would be less likely to fall off. The tiger walked to the door that lead off into the rest of the Watchtower. He glanced back to the group of heros. "Billy's a good kid. Oh and I suggest that if you make him leave the Justice League, do it gently. Because one way or another, Persephone will find out." With that, Tawny left the heroes to process all the information they had just gained.
Uhh I just got 6 reviews on this story and I'm kinda confused. I'm assuming this is all from the same person since they all start with anon, and I don't have anything to reply to them other than this note. To clarify, I have never played DC games or read the comic books. If anything, I seen panels on tumblr. I have seen some movies and cartoons, however. I absolutely loved watching Teen Titans as a kid and I liked season 1 of Young Justice. Season 2 kinda turned me off when I saw the time skip and I got confused. I haven't seen all of Batman the Animated Series, Superman the Animated Series, Justice League, Justice League Unlimited, ect. I have seen The Batman from 2005-2006. I really got into the whole Billy Batson/Captain Marvel/Shazam story and I did some research. I watched the Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam half hour special. I personally prefer Dick Grayson as Robin and Wally West as Kid Flash, so if anything, my stories in the DC universe will be a mixture of what I do know. So, it would be appreciated if the anon from the previous 6 reviews help me out on figuring out what you're telling me and why. I'm assuming it's to inform me on the DC universe, but it's a lot to take in and the way you format it makes me wonder what is going on. I'm also assuming that the latest review is about magical and technological items within the many fantasy realms. But yeah, please help me out on what you're trying to say since my first thought when I saw all the long texts was that, for some odd reason, you decided to write fanfiction in my reviews.