Shazam’s Powers Include The “Wisdom Of Solomon” & Being Able To Buy Beer Without An ID

Apologies if this brings up troubling faux-memories for you, but the new movie Shazam! is about a superhero, not about Sinbad being a genie. But, if you want to know more about this superhero, including what Shazam's powers are, then you've come to the right place. (If you need to be comforted over the fact that a Sinbad movie that does not actually exist isn't being re-released into theaters, might I direct you here.)

Shazam! stars Zachary Levi as the title character, a superhero who is actually a teenage boy named Billy Batson. After being summoned by a wizard, Billy becomes Shazam/an adult man when the wizard tells him to say... "shazam." It's pretty simple, really.

In the movie, Billy has to find out what powers he has, because, as shown in the trailer, he has no idea what's happened to him. The only person he tells about his transformation is his friend Freddy, and when Freddy asks about his powers, a costumed Billy responds, "Superpowers? Dude, I don't even know how to pee in this thing.”

Soon, though, they decide to find out about his powers through a series of tests. The trailer shows that he has super strength, electricity manipulation (he tries to use it to charge people's cell phones), hyper speed, and the ability to fly. And during a run-in with some criminals at a convenience store, he finds out that he's bulletproof, too.

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In the comics, it's explained that "shazam" stands for Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, and Mercury, who the wizard says are mythical elders, each of whom will give Billy a power. According to Comicbook.com, these powers are "the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles, and the speed of Mercury."

Of course, in practice, those powers will be a little more specific. The "strength of Hercules" must be the one that makes him bulletproof, for instance. Comicbook.com notes that the "wisdom of Solomon" might be harder to show via a superhero who is actually a teenager, but that Levi said during a set visit that Billy "does show his wisdom in certain areas throughout the movie, where you see him make a decisive move or he does something that you go, 'Oh that would be a wisdom of Solomon type of thing.'" Sure!

Basically, Shazam is a strong, fast, flying, bulletproof guy, who is also wise. If his powers sound similar to someone else you know, well, that explains why back in the 1950s DC Comics (then called National Comics Publications) settled a lawsuit against Fawcett, the then-publisher of Shazam for him being too similar to Superman, according to Newsarama. (At the time, Shazam was actually called Captain Marvel, but that's a whole other story that involves three comic book publishers.)

In the movie, viewers will see Shazam use his powers against the villain Dr. Thaddeus Sivana, a character who also exists in the comics. They'll also see him wrap convenience store robbers in Christmas lights and buy beer. Just a couple of things that a teen who suddenly became a superhero might do with their powers.