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Elvis Got His Iconic Look – From a Member of the Shazam Family?!

From the pompadour to the color costumes, Fawcett’s Captain Marvel Jr had a huge impact on his biggest fan: the one and only Elvis Presley.

Long before losing its name to a property from another company, the Shazam Family was once one of the most popular characters in comic books. Beyond just the original Captain Marvel, the family also included his sister Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel, Jr. The latter was essentially the teen sidekick of the group, but he was still a big name in his own right. In fact, he would go on to inspire one of the biggest names in pop culture.

Elvis Presley is still considered the king of rock ‘n roll, but before that, he was also an avid comic book fan. His favorite character wasn’t the World’s Mightiest Mortal, but rather, his junior counterpart, the likes of whom would go on to heavily inspire the Memphis musician. With Elvis about to receive a glamorous new biopic, here’s a look at how one of DC’s most underrated heroes was his biggest inspiration.

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Created by Ed Herron and Mac Rayboy, Freddy Freeman debuted in Whiz Comics #25. The lad was on a fishing trip with his grandfather when the dastardly Captain Nazi arrived, killing the senior Freeman and horribly wounding Freddy. Although Captain Marvel gets the boy to the hospital, Freddy is not expected to survive his ordeal. The wizard Shazam then instructs Billy Batson to share some of his magical power with Freddy in order to save his life. From then on, while Freddy uses crutches in his mortal form, whenever he says “Captain Marvel!,” he is transformed into a younger version of the hero, complete with a different colored costume. Becoming a new member of the burgeoning Marvel Family, he regularly teamed up with both Billy Batson and Billy’s superpowered sister Mary Marvel. Beyond bolstering Billy’s battles against bad guys, Freddy had stories of his own in the Captain Marvel Jr. comic book.

This title was notably darker and more down to Earth compared to the campy, whimsical nature of the main Captain Marvel book, featuring stories involving a serious look at the war effort, the struggles of the working class, and other relatable issues. This arguably made him more akin to the Golden Age Superman than the Captain was, who spent the majority of his time fighting equally campy villains. After Fawcett Comics went out of business and DC acquired their characters, Captain Marvel Jr. lost much of his prominence in the pantheon of heroes. Before this happened, however, his legacy would be cemented for all eternity in another costumed icon.

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Elvis Presley was a big comic book fan, particularly Captain Marvel Jr. In fact, the boy hero’s slicked back black hair and color jumpsuit had a big impact when it came to Elvis’ style. This can be seen in the many fringed capes that Elvis wore on stage, some of which even shared Freddy Freeman’s blue color scheme. Even the TCB logo features a lightning bolt, further homaging the Captain Marvel/Shazam Family. Elvis’ collection of Captain Marvel Jr. comics can even be seen at his Graceland home.

Later DC Comics stories established Freddy Freeman as being a fan of Elvis, especially one popular Elseworlds story. Kingdom Come depicted the character as “King Marvel,” a clear Elvis homage. Furthermore, Adam Brody’s version of Freddy in the DC Extended Universe does somewhat resemble Presley, helping to bring things full circle.

Timothy Blake Donohoo is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where he majored in Communication and minored in Creative Writing.

A professional freelance writer and marketing expert, he’s written marketing copy and retail listings for companies such as Viatek.

In his spare time, he enjoys reading, playing video games, watching documentaries and catching up on the latest Vaporwave and Electro-Swing musical releases.

Who Is Freddy Freeman, DC’s Captain Marvel, Jr.?

Elvis Presley Was a Huge Fan of Captain Marvel Jr.

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