A practically absurd, immature fighting match idea would be to have two of the physically strongest and most notably powerful characters in DC comics fight each other. In fact they are basically the same character, since DC acquired the rights to Shazam by suing Fawcett Comics and claiming he was too similar to Superman. Despite many people knowing this fact, there are still multiple stories where they fight each other. Yes, I am talking about Shazam vs Superman. The best example of these two muscle men fighting each other is from a special story where the two fighting each other is the title of the book. Literally.
The story starts with Superman intervening as a villain in a flying saucer is robbing a stadium box office. Not only does Superman subdue the villain, but as Clark Kent he is able to record the event on video. This comes in handy since he is currently an anchorman during the story. While giving a report, he feels the building being hammered from outside. Clark quickly transforms into Superman and evacuates the building. To his surprise, It’s Captain Marvel (Shazam) hitting the building with a metal beam. Superman recognizes him from another Earth, as Shazam immediately tries to kill Superman with his bare hands. Superman guesses that Shazam is not in his right mind, and decides to contact Supergirl using super-ventriloquism to help take Captain Marvel quietly.
It turns out that it was not Captain Marvel after all, but Black Adam in disguise. He pretends to be stunned and uses something called The Judgement Ray. It uses Radiation from the red sun to distort Superman’s judgment and make him act irrationally. Black Adam does this because he was forced to by someone named Karmang, and quickly leaves. When Supergirl arrives, Superman is already out of control. He is mad at Captain Marvel and leaves to kill him. Karmang is watching from afar, and mentions how Black Adam has planted half of a space-time engine in Metropolis, which is in Earth-One, which should collide with Earth-5 when combined with the other half of the engine. The result should be a dynamite explosion, releasing the energy needed to save Karmang’s ancient race.
Black Adam goes to Earth-5 basically does the same thing to Captain Marvel as he did to Superman on Earth-One. He poses as Superman, instigates a fight, then uses The Judgement Ray to effect his judgement. Black Adam also manages to plant the other half of the space-time engine. Mary Marvel (Captain Marvel’s sister) and Supergirl get together to try to figure out what is going on. Mary Marvel pretty quickly guesses that Black Adam probably posed as Captain Marvel, however Supergirl guesses a character named Quarrmer is the culprit. (This story spells his name with two R’s, so that’s how I will spell it too.)
Meanwhile we are still seeing Shazam vs Superman as they fight over Niagara Falls, accidentally destroying a major power station that causes a blackout. They then fight over The Grand Canyon, where fighter jets try to shoot at them. Elsewhere Mary Marvel finds Quarrmer, who refuses to fight but manages to reveal Karmang’s plan. Supergirl finds Black Adam in Egypt, raiding tomb and stealing a magical staff. Supergirl takes it away from him and uses it against him.
After learning about Karmang’s plan from Quarrmer, Supergirl and Mary Marvel fly to Mars to find Karmang. Supergirl thinks this is the best plan since they don’t know how to disarm the space-time engines. She discovers that Karmang is watching the battle of Shazam vs Superman in a hypnotizing manner. Mary Marvel asks The Old Wizard Shazam for help. Meanwhile Captain Marvel and Superman are still fighting, but are beginning to feel like something is wrong. Captain Marvel was about to use a lightning strike to attack Superman, but The Old Wizard appears to him and tells him not to end the fight.
The distraction gives Superman the opportunity to beat Captain Marvel half to death. At this point Superman realizes that he had done a terrible thing, and thinks that he killed him. However The Old Wizard Shazam appears and tells him that he is not dead, and only through mortal combat could Superman regain his sanity. The Old Wizard goes on to tell Superman everything that had actually been going on. He tells him to revive Captain Marvel and together they must destroy the space-time engines. In order to delay the time-space engines without tampering with them, Superman decides to temporarily shore up Earth’s magnetic pattern by going around the Earth at super-speed. (Confused? Me too.) The plan works and buys them more time. Captain Marvel decides to, um, simply punch the time-space engines, destroying them both. Yes, all this madness solved by just punching the devices.
While this is going on, Mary Marvel and Supergirl are on Mars, performing a surprise attack on Karmang. He instantly burns Supergirl using magic, while Mary Marvel fights Karmang. Supergirl find a button in his ship that will send him into limbo. She presses the button and flies away with Mary Marvel to avoid themselves being sent to limbo with him. After all four of our heroes regroup, Mary Marvel reveals her secret motivation to help Superman. She thinks he is a muscle-bound hunk, and wraps her arms around his neck. Supergirl teaches her a lesson by doing the same thing to Captain Marvel. Mary Marvel loses her temper before realizing that Supergirl was demonstrating that crushing on someone who is not age-appropriate is wrong.
Whew! That was a long article! Leave a comment if you actually read this entire page. When it came to Shazam vs Superman, we saw that Superman caused the knockout. However Shazam was about to lightning-strike his butt before getting distracted, so we may never know the real answer. There are two things we know for sure. The first thing is that you should get this story (Affiliate Link) immediately and read it for yourself. The second thing we know is that Mary Marvel wanted Superman’s super-thrust for sure. Just kidding. No I’m not.