Batman v Superman may have gotten a movie, but the true grudge match is between the Man of Steel and Shazam.
Superman made his first comic debut in DC Comics’ action comics in 1938, becoming an instant hit. Fawcett Publications wanted to get in on the superhero craze and created a superhero who resembled Superman and his powers, named Captain Marvel. He too was an instant hit. In 1941, the uncanny resemblance led to a lawsuit filed by DC Comics against Fawcett Publications. In 1953, a judge ruled in DC’s favour, forcing Fawcett to retract all its Captain Marvel comics. Thereafter, one of the writers of Captain Marvel, Otto Binder, relocated to DC and started to write Superman comics and thus, Superman became even more like Captain Marvel.
After 20 years, Fawcett licensed the rights to Captain Marvel to DC Comics. During Captain Marvel’s absence, Marvel Comics created its own version of Captain Marvel, and as a result, DC renamed Captain Marvel to Shazam.
So, Shazam and Superman’s rivalry began 80 years ago, despite both being superheroes published by DC Comics. They are both incredibly strong, invulnerable and have the ability to fly. Shazam can call down lightning and even bestow part of his powers to other heroes, while Superman has heat vision, cold breath and other useful powers.
A deadly fight between these two superheroes has only ever occurred in the comics and video game, Injustice: Gods Among Us. The fans saw what Superman is truly capable of when he is no longer held back. After a heated argument, Superman froze Shazam’s mouth shut and hit him with heat vision, bringing a quick end to one of the world’s greatest superheroes.
Today, Shazam is part of the DC Universe. Superman and Shazam are seen together in movies as they save the world against multiple threats. If these two classic do-gooders do knock each other around a bit, it would be because they have some unresolved issues from as far back as 80 years.