Mary Bromfield — Billy Batson’s big sister and the superhero formerly known as Mary Marvel — will step into her little brother’s shoes in 2022. Courtesy of DC Comics, Polygon can reveal that when Billy steps out of the role, Mary will wield the power of Shazam in The New Champion of Shazam!, a new four-issue miniseries from writer Josie Campbell and fan-favorite Shazam artist Evan “Doc” Shaner.
Mary first appeared in comics in 1942, three years after the debut of Billy Batson as the superhero Captain Marvel and a year after Billy got his first sidekick, Captain Marvel, Jr. But the characters are better known these days as the superheroes of the Shazam family.
“For a long time I just didn’t have any interest in returning to anything Shazam related,” Shaner told Polygon over video chat, “But I always thought Mary should be the lead of the book for a while; and that was the one time I would return if it ever happened.”
With New Champion, that’s exactly what is happening. Here’s DC’s official synopsis for the first issue:
Mary Bromfield has always struggled to determine who she is outside her family … kinda hard to do when you’re all superheroes! Now, after Billy Batson’s heroic sacrifice, the power of Shazam has vanished, and she’s been left powerless.
Most heroes would be distraught, but not Mary. It’s finally time for a voyage of self-discovery as she prepares for her freshman year of college and a civilian life. But nothing is ever truly normal for this young hero, because she’s just been chosen as the new champion of Shazam! (At least according to a talking rabbit sent by her estranged brother Billy.) Will she embrace the power? Or will it die alongside this world’s hope of survival against the mysterious magical forces waiting to take control?
“‘Who Mary is’ the very heart of this comic,” Campbell, writer on She-Ra and the Princesses of Power and DC’s own Future State: Green Lantern #2, told Polygon over video chat. “Who she is, who she wants to be, and the roles that she’s either been forced into or has willingly joined into. [...] It’s really shining a light on her and her wants and her desires — as somebody who was part of a superhero team, doesn’t have her powers, gets them back, and then she’s got a lot of choices suddenly displayed in front of her that she’s gonna have to make real fast.”
“It’s been so long since she had her own book,” Shaner added, “since before she was a DC property. We’re hoping to have the fun and the creative energy behind so much of the early stuff that Binder did, but bring that to a more modern audience and try to make it more relatable to kids or young adults today.”
The New Champion of Shazam! #1 will hit shelves on Feb. 8, 2022. You can check out the full cover and Shaner’s character designs for Mary’s costume below.