Growing Up... in foster care. Billy is a teenager who’s spent most of his life reluctantly moving through the foster care system—and frequently running away from it. Billy got lost at a carnival when he was a little kid, and he’s sure that if he can just track down his mom, she’ll be overjoyed to be reunited with her long-lost son.
Living... in Philadelphia, with Victor and Rosa Vasquez, his latest foster family. Billy’s been in plenty of foster homes before, but this one is different. Victor and Rosa grew up in the foster care system themselves and they now run a loving group home. Billy’s new foster siblings include driven Mary Bromfield, nerdy Freddy Freeman, shy Pedro Peña, video game obsessed Eugene Choi, and talkative Darla Dudley. Billy doesn’t plan on staying around long enough to get to know them, but it’s hard not to immediately like this ragtag group.
Profession... high school student who enjoys making trouble more than doing his homework.
Challenge... grappling with a pretty weird superhero identity crisis. After defending Freddy from some bullies, Billy is suddenly whisked away to a magical realm where an ancient wizard named Shazam passes along an unexpected gift. Anytime Billy shouts the wizard’s name, he’s transformed into a powerful adult superhero. Billy enlists superhero-obsessed Freddy to help him figure out what his newfound powers are and how to use them. But posing as a convincing grown-up superhero becomes the least of Billy’s problems once he’s tracked down by Dr. Thaddeus Sivana, a mad scientist obsessed with taking Shazam’s powers for himself, no matter who he has to hurt in the process.
Personality... a rebellious loner. Billy lives by the motto, “I can take care of myself.” He doesn’t like the idea of relying on anyone or having anyone rely on him. He’s essentially put his life on hold during the years he’s spent trying to track down his mom. What’s the point in making new family connections when she’s out there waiting for him? Billy can be immature at times, particularly once he gets a powerful superhero persona to hide behind. He doesn’t always think through the consequences his actions have on others. Mostly, however, he’s just an overwhelmed kid with a good heart trying to do his best.
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