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Which Mythological Gods, Heroes, and Titans gave Shazam his powers?

Updated: Mar 29, 2023

Shazam, as played by Zachary Levi. Image courtesy of WarnerBros.

We loved the DC superhero film Shazam!. It was a feel-good funtastic tale of an ordinary young boy, Billy, who could use magic to transform into the world’s most awesome and powerful hero.

These powers were granted to Billy by a host of different mythological heroes and gods.

Now, with the launch of Shazam!: Fury of the Gods in cinemas, we thought it might be a lark to look into these heroes and gods in a little more detail!

Strength of Hercules

Shazam’s superhuman strength was granted by the demi-god Hercules. Hercules was a son of the Greek god Zeus and is best known for completing twelve impossible Labours. Highlights include wrestling a lion, chasing a hind, chopping the heads off a Hydra, and cleaning stables coated in poo (hey, they can’t all be glamorous and exciting!)

Don’t believe Disney’s cartoon tale of Hercules though! Hercules didn’t have to complete these Labours to live atop Mount Olympus with his Daddy and the rest of his estranged family. Oh no, Ancient Greek mythology is far too gruesome for such a sappy story. Instead, Hercules was driven mad by Hera (wife of Zeus) and accidentally on purpose murdered all of his family. The Labours were a means of forgiveness.

Either way, Hercules was crazy strong, able to hold the sky atop his heavily-muscled back, which must be why Shazam can toe-to-toe (or fist-to-fist I guess, that would make more sense) with Superman.

Atlas doing what he does best. Photo courtesy of Lalupa.

Stamina of Atlas

Speaking of holding up the sky, Hercules had to do that to help out the titan Atlas. Hercules needed to nick some golden apples to complete a labour and Atlas was the one entrusted to do the nicking. Atlas though was too busy holding aloft the sky upon his shoulders, so Hercules held up the sky for a bit to give Atlas a break. That’s right, Atlas’ job was to hold up the skies above the earth for all eternity.

Atlas had ended up with such a rotten gig due to him being a Titan, a race of beings who ruled the world before the Greek gods took over running the show. There was a big battle between the gods and the Titans, called the Titanomachy. Things didn’t go well for the Titans, they lost the war. Those who survived were punished for being on the wrong side, and that’s how Atlas came to hold, well, everything upon his shoulders.

I guess all that weight training must have given Atlas immense stamina, which is handy for Shazam as he receives his immense stamina from Atlas. I bet having to climb a large flight of stairs causes Shazam no anxiety at all!

Achilles was incredibly brave. Shame about the heel.

Courage of Achilles

Not that Shazam needs to concern himself with having anxiety. After all, he is gifted with the Courage of the hero Achilles. Achilles was considered the greatest of all the Greeks, because he was immensely skilled in warfare and had a really nice soft mane of hair upon his head. Achilles achieved super-fame by fighting in the Trojan War and slaying the prince Hector in an epic duel.

Unfortunately for Achilles, he was later shot in the heel by another Trojan prince, this one called Paris. Thanks to having an Achilles Heel (what are the odds of Achilles having an Achilles heel, right?) poor Achilles died. Still, I bet he wasn’t bothered, as thanks to his formidable courage a trip to the underworld to visit Hades probably wouldn’t have bothered him at all.

Winged sandals and a winged helmet? No wonder Mercury was so speedy! Image C messier.

Speed of Mercury

Not that Shazam would have worried about that arrow, he could have easily dodged it thanks to possessing the speed of Mercury. Mercury was the Roman god of – prepare yourself for a lot of words - money, trade, speaking nicely, speedily delivered messages (he would have loved WhatsApp), luck, and trickery.

Mercury was a bit like the Greek god Hermes, and, just like his Greek counterpart, he possessed winged sandals that made him super-fast. So fast, in fact, that they gave him the power of wind. Not farty wind thankfully, nobody would be impressed with Shazam for showing off that power.

Power of Zeus

Shazam isn’t just quick, he also has magical lightning power, gifted to him by the big boss of the Greek gods, Zeus himself. Zeus is the king of the gods and lives on Mount Olympus. He is the owner of a fabulous beard, has big muscles like a pro wrestler, and is armed with a thunderbolt for a weapon. We know this thanks to written reports from the time describing what the Golden Statue of Zeus looked like.

Zeus was the daddy to many of the Greek gods and heroes. He ruled over the Earth and Sky and had an unusual habit of turning himself into a variety of animals at a moment’s notice. It is his power to wield lightning that he gifts to Shazam however (though maybe Shazam could turn himself into a cuckoo if he really wanted to) allowing Shazam to shoot lighting magic lasers at any supervillain silly enough to cause trouble.

Wisdom of Solomon

And if all those powers weren't enough - and they really should be - then Shazam also possesses the wisdom of Solomon, who, being a teacher of wisdom, knew a thing or two about wisdoming.

In fact, Solomon was so brainy he probably would have figured out that, if you take the first letters of Solomon, Hercules, Achilles, Zeus, Atlas, and Mercury and put them all together, then they spell out the name SHAZAM! Cool, huh?


So, there you go, now you know a little about the Mythological gods and heroes that help power Shazam up on a regular basis. Now, go and enjoy Shazam!: Fury of the Gods all the more having a brain packed full of knowledge!


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