There was no more exciting display of thunder and lightning during my childhood
than the bolt from the blue that transformed young Billy Batson into a grown superhero named Captain Marvel at the utterance of a single word.
Screencap of Shazam!'s opening sequence © 1974 DC Comics.
Although not half as faithful to the comics as its slightly later cartoon incarnation, Filmation’s 1970s live-action Shazam! on Saturday mornings was thrilling in large part because it did indeed star real people. Ere long there would be a live-action superhero boom that brought versions of DC’s Wonder Woman and Marvel’s Hulk to our living rooms in prime time — with less successful stabs at other Marvel characters — plus, of course, the sensational reintroduction of Superman to the silver screen
as the decade closed out.