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Mesopotamian Captain Marvel

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  • Mesopotamian Captain Marvel

    Hey, people, anyone knows well Akkadian/Assyrian/Babylonian/Hittite/Sumerian/et cetera mythology? I'm making a character that is a "Captain Marvel" (possibly won't have that exact name) from a reality in which Shazam chose a successor earlier (or maybe never acted as the Champion and instead empowered others from the beginning). So, instead of the Greek/Roman powers of Captain Marvel or the Egyptian-themed Black Adam, I'm looking at Mesopotamian civilizations for my source of gods and heroes.

    But I'm having a hard time organizing it. Here is what I have in mind so far:
    Shamash (Wisdom? Speed?)
    Hadad (Strength? Speed? Courage?)
    Anu (Power)
    Zababa (Courage? Speed? Strength? Stamina?)
    Ashur (Speed? Wisdom?) or Astarte (Courage or Strength)
    Marduk (Stamina? Strength? Wisdom? Courage?) or Muati (Wisdom) or Mami (Stamina)

    Unfortunately a lot of fitting figures don't have appropriate names. Can't have the Courage or Speed of Ninurta, or the Courage of Gilgamesh, or the Wisdom of Nabu (not to mention it could confuse thing up regarding Doctor Fate).

    Since relatively little is known about these gods, I'm having a hard time assigning attributes to them. In particular, I'm having a hard time figuring out Stamina, Strength and Speed. Since Marduk kills Tiamat and other divine beings in battle, I'll probably assign Strength to him. Stamina is less clear, possibly one of the storm or warrior deities or perhaps an Earth Goddess. Speed is likely going to one of the storm/wind gods.

    I really want to use Shamash, as a sun-god of justice is very appropriate material for a hero in my opinion, but he is not associated as much, it seems, with the kind of wisdom presented by Captain Marvel (Knowledge). As patron of travelers and the sun being related to light, I might assign Speed to him, though that is unlikely. So I might use Nabu (god of wisdom and writing) indirectly via Muati, a more obscure deity that was syncretized with Nabu. I don't really want to leave Marduk out, though. Maybe the Wizard in this reality is called Shanzamm? XD

    Anyway, If anyone has deeper knowledge of Mesopotamian mythology than my simple Wikipedia-fueled research, suggestions are welcome.

    EDIT: In particular, other suggestions for the Z are welcome. I considered Wisdom of Zoroaster, but he is from later than I want this character to be and I feel there are better wisdom choices among all those ancient gods
    Last edited by danelsan; 11-02-2014, 01:26 PM.
    My Deviantart page

  • #2
    Re: Mesopotamian Captain Marvel

    You don't necessarily need to stick to the Shazam! acronym. Plenty of characters in the Marvel Family circle of heroes and villains use other power words.

    Black Adam draws powers only from Egyptian deities, but there is no reason to limit yourself to one pantheon or culture.

    The Big Red Cheese himself along with the Lieutenant Marvels are powered by Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, and Mercury. A Hebrew King, a Roman Titan, a Greek God, a mortal Greek soldier, and a Roman God.

    Ibac is powered by spirits of Ivan the Terrible, Alfonse de Borgia, Attila the Hun and Caligula. A Russian King, an Italian pope, a Mongolian conqueror, and a Roman Emperor....

    Sabbac is powered by the "demons" Satan, Aym, Belial, Beelzebub, Asmodeus, and Crateis. That's the Christian big name bad guy, a minor demon from a Greek alchemical book, a lesser angel from Hebrew lore, two Hebrew euphemisms for the last guy, and a Ancient Greek Titan...

    No need to have the attributes match up either. For a few years, Mary Marvel was powered by a set of female benefactors: Selena, Hippolyta, Ariadne (or Artemis), Zephyrus, Aurora (or Aphrodite) and Minerva. Greek, Roman, mortals, gods... And they changed from issue to issue. (Plus, Hippolyta is Wonder Woman's mother. That's awkward.) some of her divine gifts were explicitly "beauty" and "grace," but she was always written as doing the same things as Billy or Freddy.

    Hoppy the Marvel Bunny has patron deities of Salamander, HHog, Antilope, Zebra, Abalone, and Monkey...


    • #3
      Re: Mesopotamian Captain Marvel

      I'm not limiting myself to one pantheon or culture. I'm limiting myself to over 2100 gods, demigods and heroes from multiple cultures. More limiting, however, is that I want to stick with Shazam, because the character will be empowered by the Wizard and that is the iconic power-word, and that I want her to explicitly have the same gifts as Billy and Adam.

      As for the attributes matching...Well, I didn't know about Mary, but Adam's already don't match perfectly either. That said, I'd feel better if they did. Just seems more meaningful to have, say, the speed of a being who is actually renowned for being fast, as well as having powers that do what they say they do. In a game of mine I'd change it so Mary's powers have always being explicitly the same as Billy's.

      Anyway, after reading a bit more, doing some thinking and easing up on my need to line up every power perfectly, my current lineup of powers is:

      Wisdom of Shamash
      Stamina of Hadad
      Power of Anu
      Speed of Zababa
      Courage of Astarte
      Strength of Marduk

      As an aside, seeing some of those empowerments you listed and having recently started playing Brütal Legend, I may also have to create another superhero that is empowered by heavy metal legends. His band will play the Rock of Eternity XD
      Last edited by danelsan; 11-02-2014, 07:20 PM.
      My Deviantart page


      • #4
        Re: Mesopotamian Captain Marvel

        I used to have a Champions character (in the dark times before M&M1e) named Fanboy. Everybody else was running around with the cheesy grim-grimness that only eleven year olds could dream up during the peak of the Iron Age. I had the most munchkiny build of them all, but no one cared because I was just so much damn fun.

        A mild-mannered, overweight kid by day, who in times of trouble could say a single word and gain:

        Strength of Aquaman
        Undefeatable as Hawkman
        Power of Wonder Woman
        Energy of Green Lantern
        Resourcefulness of Batman
        Mind of the Martian Manhunter
        Alertness of Green Arrow
        Nimbleness of the Flash