Kid superheroes are ‘in’ right now, especially with the successful release of DC movie Shazam. The movie sees young teen Billy Batson chosen as a ‘Champion’ and given the ability to transform into adult superhero Shazam. Shazam is also not the first superhero to do this, though the others have not yet enjoyed cinematic success. Here are all of the kid superheroes who aren’t Shazam!
Prime was the lead superhero of Malibu Comics’ Ultraverse (no, us neither). Prime may not be the best-known member of this list, but a 13-year-old inside the body of a muscular champion is an intriguing read.
This quirky comic from the ‘80s sees 13-year-old Amy escape the mundanity of life on Earth by stepping through a portal to the realm of Gemworld, where she becomes the adult Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld, complete with all the magical powers that brings.
Thunderbolt Jaxon was one of the earliest superheroes, debuting back in the 1940s. Modeled on Hercules, this was a fun and silly comic, with a hero who didn’t take himself too seriously in the process.
This was the Archie Comics attempt at riding the crest of Spider-Man’s wave in the ‘60s, and it was bonkers. Orphan Tommy Troy happens upon a mysterious ring, with a bug insignia on it, that allows him to fight crime as a fully-fledged adult fly person.
Thomas McCall ingests a vial of mysterious genetic material, which sees him transformed into Badrock. With excellent illustrations and a plethora of hormonal teenage problems to explore, Badrock was an interesting offering in the world of kids superheroes.
Abuse was a dark addition to the Batman universe, as an orphaned 10-year-old kidnapped by the Scarecrow, and pumped full of venom, who realizes he can transform into an adult with enhanced strength, who hits the streets of Gotham to protect other orphans.
This is a slightly darker version, but being as it’s Mark Millar, this should come as no surprise. Superior tells the story of a kid with multiple sclerosis, who is offered one wish and uses it to turn into the superhero he idolizes.
As ‘out there’ comic book offerings go, this is one of the strongest contenders. It’s not every day a kid is turned into an adult anthropomorphic superhero rabbit, but that’s just what happens to Bobby Caswell in this short-lived 1980s comic.
The lead of the Dial H for Hero series of comics, Robby Reed was a clever creation. A boy who is transformed into a different adult superhero every time he spun a special dial. With endless possibilities, this was a character that was always going to endure.
Super Green Beret
This one is actually linked to Shazam, as both comics and characters share the same writer – Otto Binder. Tod Holton comes to possess a magical green beret that could transform him into a well-built soldier who could transport himself to the battlefield of the Vietnam War.
Though it was a little goofy, Bananaman had heart and didn’t take itself too seriously. School kid Max Donora had the ability to turn into the adult Bananaman every time he ate a banana, giving him the strength of 20 men. Dumb, fun, and enjoyable.
All these characters began life as comic book heroes, and we may well see more making their way to the big screen in the future.