5. Focus on Rough Family Life
While a lot of famous superheroes lose their parents, most go on to live with caring aunts or butlers. Billy Batson, on the other hand, is a kid bouncing around foster homes in the New 52. And going even further back, to his original origin story, he’s a kid who was forced to take care of himself after his parents died and his uncle kicked him to the streets and stole his inheritance.
I think depicting Billy as someone who has to find his inner strength on his own, as opposed to having a loving family member there to coddle him, makes him a more realistic character. While he sometimes has foster siblings, like the ones shown above, he often pushes those around him away and tries to take everything on himself. Unfortunately, we still live in an era where kids across the country are growing up in poverty or in unloving households, and these kids need an inspiring character to look up to just like the rest of us.
Billy is chosen by the mysterious wizard Shazam because he is considered worthy and responsible on his own merits. Despite having no one tell Billy he can succeed, he pushes himself forward based on his own self-respect and drive. He is able to overcome tough situations and constantly rise to the challenge of what it takes to be a responsible, optimistic hero in the 21st century.