Shazam's original look is based on a classic 1940s actor
Shazam creator C.C. Baker revealed that the hero's look is based on a 1940s actor, since the original Captain Marvel was based on a famous face.
When C.C. Beck and Bill Parker created Shazam in the 1940s, the character was actually based on a popular actor in the 1930s. Baker revealed that the clean-cut image of the original Captain Marvel was based on actor Fred McMurray. His earliest look was one of many characters in the Captain Marvel universe inspired by celebrities of the time. The model reference isn't lost in time either, as it was also used by the hero while he was in DC Comics.
In Fawcett Companion: The Best of FCA, C.C. Baker talks about the inspiration behind Shazam's (then known as Captain Marvel) look when he debuted on the pages of Fawcett Comics. He said Captain Marvel was "based on actor Fred McMurray," while calling the "Double Indemnity," "Shaggy Dog" and "The Absent-Mind Professor" actor a "very down-to-earth guy." ". "At first glance, it's easy to see how MacMurray's appearance inspired the character, as his brushed-back black hair and facial features closely resemble Shazam's.
Shazam's Reference Model Would Be Used By DC Comics
While the original Captain Marvel eventually became a DC Comics character and changed his name to Shazam, but artist Alex Ross made sure to Some of his paintings feature the character. Known for his incredibly realistic art style and use of models in some of the most incredible comic book stories (including Kingdom Come), Ross has drawn Shazam more like McMurray than ever before. Check out McMurray's actual headshot, Captain Marvel's original look, and Ross' drawing of Shazam side by side below. There is no doubt that the actor is the inspiration for the hero.
Baker reveals several other characters in the universe besides Captain Marvel who also model their appearance on celebrities. Baker was quoted as saying that Mary Marvel was based on Judy Garland; Betty Grable was the inspiration for Beautia Sivana's look, actor Errol Flynn was the model for Spy Smasher, and Sterling Morris was modeled after actor Gene Lockhart. As with Shazam and Fred McMurray, the inspiration behind the character's appearance comes directly from the real-life actor.
Looking at Captain Marvel's earliest adventures and DC Comics stories featuring Shazam, it is clear that the 1930s actor played a major role in the hero's physical appearance, as his debonair leading man image fits perfectly The world of superheroes. Fred MacMurray may be remembered for his many starring roles, But his connection to the inspirational Shazam might be one of the coolest notes of his storied career.