The relationship between Superman and Captain Marvel has always been complicated relationship, but as much as fans hope to see the two heroes unite in a team-up, DC Comics may be hinting at a different kind of alliance. Because in the new future of DCeased: Dead Planet, a relationship between the new Superman and Mary Marvel seems more likely than ever…
Though the two characters are staunch allies and friends within mainstream DC continuity, Superman and Shazam constantly fight in alternate universes or timelines to test the other’s durability or power. And to be fair, the spectacle of seeing DC’s two most powerful heroes clash is often too enticing to pass up. But in the alternate universe of DCeased, where Earth is overrun by superhero zombies, it’s the next generation of Justice League heroes leading the way. Among the new League’s ranks is Jonathan Kent, who inherited the title of Superman after his father fell to the Anti-Life Equation. And who, if the hint plays out, may be uniting the Shazam and Kent families like no reader ever expected.
The second Jonathan and his friends return home in DCeased: Dead Planet #3 they are reminded of how dangerous it has become. Out of nowhere, a zombified Wonder Woman attacks Green Arrow, causing an enraged Green Lantern Black Canary to unleashes her cry, and even more confusion ultimately putting a magic sword straight through Jonathan’s shoulder, leaving him in critical condition. The New Justice League then rushes to find a group of survivors who can treat Jonathan, but what they find is more than a few unexpected allies. After being out of commission for the second issue, Jonathan awakens to find himself being watched over by a lone woman. She assures him he’ll make a full recovery from his injuries, but when Jonathan asks who she is, her reply is just one word: Shazam.
Through the power of Shazam, she reveals herself as Billy Batson’s sister, Mary Marvel. The two have a brief conversation, but one look at their expressions shows that something more than friendship is in the air. While this is far from an explicit confirmation that the two will enter a relationship, it’s not without precedent. The legendary Alan Moore once pitched a story focused on superhero dynasties, which saw a marriage between Superboy and Mary Marvel. And it’s fair to say that Dead Planet seems to be setting up a similar set of superheroic dynasties, not just between Jonathan and Mary, but also with the relationship between the new Batman and Wonder Woman.
Destined or not, it highlights a unique aspect of DCeased: while it is undoubtedly a dark take on the DC Universe, it is not a place without hope. And in DCeased: Dead Planet #3 Jonathan and Mary both show that light may be shining brighter than ever in the darkest of times. Keep those fingers crossed.