Superman thwarts the Middle Eastern Liberation Front from detonating a nuclear bomb on the Aswan Dam. After hurling the bomb into space, Superman ensnares the terrorists in safety net. A back-up charge of dynamite blows a hole in the Aswan Dam, which Superman quickly repairs. The explosion, though small, is powerful enough to set off tremors, which threaten to damage the temple of Abu Simbel. Superman lifts the temple off the ground until the tremors subside. However, when he returns the temple to it's perch, it lays two inches lower, allowing a shaft of sunlight to enter a special chamber. Paperboy Billy Batson attempts to sell the evening's news in the rain. With the streets deserted, Batson packs it in for the night. A mysterious man appears, and leads Batson down into the subway tunnels. Batson feels compelled to follow the shadowy stranger, until they reach a hidden chamber. Adorned with statues bearing the likenesses of the seven deadly sins, the chamber is otherwise empty save for an unlit brazier, placed beside a vacant throne. Batson lights the brazier, which summons the wizard, Shazam. Speaking the wizard's name transforms Batson into Captain Marvel, a mystical hero powered by six mythological figures. Captain Marvel is charged with returning to the world, to serve as it's champion. Then, Batson wakes up.
In bed, surrounded by his Captain Marvel comic books, Batson has had the same dream for a month. A dream where he has the life of his fictional namesake. Batson's Uncle Dudley makes the boy breakfast, then sends him off to school. En route to his school, Batson overhears a report on the radio detailing the arrival of a new would-be world conqueror. The villain's description matches that of Black Adam, Captain Marvel's nemesis. Black Adam battles the police in Central Park, cowing them. Superman arrives to confront Black Adam. Surprisingly, Black Adam offers the Man of Steel his gratitude. It was Superman's lower placement of the temple of Abu Simbel that gave Black Adam passage to Superman's world. A shaft of sunlight had illuminated certain hieroglyphs that spelled out Black Adam's name, drawing him to Superman's Earth. Black Adam's first order of business was to mystically merge all the world's lightning together, to form an electrical barrier around the Earth. One the wizard, Shazam, could not see through. Black Adam also infuses the lightning field with his own magic lightning, so that if his foe, Captain Marvel, should follow, he will instantly be transformed back into Billy Batson, then electrocuted. At that, Superman attacks. The two men begin trading punches, with Black Adam clearly dominating. Batson foolishly races into the melee, immediately getting seized by Black Adam.
With Batson as his hostage, Black Adam orders Superman to withdraw from the combat. With a child's dream of becoming a hero, Batson screams the name "Shazam", over and over, to no avail. In disgust, Black Adam lets Batson go. Superman spirits Batson away to the temple of Abu Simbel, where, once again, the boy speaks the wizard's name. Again there is no transformation. Superman spies Captain Marvel's name, in hieroglyphs, beneath Black Adam's and theorizes that Captain Marvel could be drawn into the world the same way as Black Adam. Fashioning a mirror with his heat vision, out of the desert sand, Superman angles the setting rays of the sun into the temple, illuminating Captain Marvel's name. The sound of thunder heralds the arrival of Captain Marvel to Superman's world. Batson is awestruck, finally getting to meet his,heretofore fictional, idol in the flesh. Black Adam hurls Cleopatra's Needle into the Statue of Liberty, thus beginning his reign of terror. Superman catches Cleopatra's Needle, while Captain Marvel engages Black Adam. The two long-time adversaries hammer away at one another. When Superman joins the combat, Black Adam feels forced to switch tactics. Once more he seizes Batson, for his hostage. Purposefully misstating the wizard's name, Batson tricks Black Adam into saying "Shazam". Transformed back into his mortal form, Teth-Adam, Captain Marvel knocks him unconscious before he can speak the wizard's name again. Captain Marvel thanks Batson for his help, then sets off with Superman to return to his own world. Batson continues to dream of a day when speaking the wizard's name will transform him into Captain Marvel.