Saturday, March 08, 2008

Profile: Mary Marvel

Mary Batson, Mary Marvel
First appearance: Captain Marvel Adventures #18, December 1942. She’s the twin sister of Billy Batson, Captain Marvel extraordinaire, who grew up under different legal guardians, and as his sibling, found herself also gifted with the powers that her twin brother received from the Egyptian wizard Shazam.

Current status: as far as I know, she is Mary Marvel again, after going to the dark side.

Was subjected to the following act of discrimination: after losing her personal powers, she went over to the dark side in Countdown to Final Crisis by taking up the powers of Black Adam, and becomes a darker, angrier version of herself that then comes to work with Eclipso, which was Jean Loring possessed by the evil diamond, and who’d come under the influence of Darkseid.

What’s wrong with how this was done? I think that’s easy to answer: Mary Batson was clearly seen by editorial as a sacrificial lamb, and unlike her brother Billy, the editors thought they could get away with it more easily, just like they thought they could get away with making Jean Loring into a new Eclipso. But, it was totally dumb, and pointless, if you ask me. Worse: Mary may have even been involved in the deaths of innocent people when getting involved with Darkseid’s bunch.

Upon becoming Mary Marvel again, she received a costume with a gray-colored lightning bolt, apparently to symbolize her being a fallen heroine. Let us note that it also symbolizes the fall of innocence, which is tragic.


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