Padraig O Mealoid continues his History of Marvelman series, with an episode about the somewhat surreal genesis of the character:
Mick Anglo says that he went back to Gower Street and thought about it, and decided that what they needed to do was create a British copy of Captain Marvel to step into his shoes, and to carry on instead of him. The character Anglo suggested to take Captain Marvel’s place was virtually a carbon copy of him. The name Billy Batson was turned into Mickey Moran, with Moran becoming a young copy boy for the Daily Bugle newspaper, as opposed to Batson’s position as a reporter for Radio Whiz; the costume was changed from red to blue, and the cloak was done away with; the dark hair became blonde; the magic word SHAZAM!, given to Batson by the wizard Shazam, was replaced by the word KIMOTA! – a slightly altered back-spelling of the word ATOMIC – given to Moran by Astro-physicist Guntag Barghelt. All that was needed was a name.
Even more amusing is the way in which the character was introduced to readers, but I’ll leave that one for the article itself to tell you. Go, read.