So I'm home, sick, recovering from some stomach bug, grading homework and watching Justice League Unlimited. I'm on disc three and one of the episodes, the title of which I missed, features Captain Marvel/Shazam. The tension between Superman and Captain Marvel is thick. Well, that's a misstatement. Supes is really, REALLY annoyed with Capt. Marvel. Anyone know why? Well I DO!
You see, back in 1940, Fawcett Comics featured a character called Captain Marvel in their Whiz Comics. National Comics (which eventually becomes DC Comics) got all up in a huff because they were convinced that Capt. Marvel was an infringement on their copyright. You see, Superman came out in Action Comics two years before. Although the lower court said, "Nuh uh! Captain Marvel doesn't have eyeball lasers!", The appeals court, under Learned Hand (you law geeks know Learned Hand), sent it all back, saying that yeah... there prolly was some type of infringment. They had to hash it out and figure out monetary damage.
Thanks to the suit, Fawcett Comics was disolved (or at least the superhero line) and DC acquired the rights to Captain Marvel in 1970.
So when someone asks you who wins between Capt. Marvel and Superman? Well, in court, Superman.
OH... The case, by the way, is National Comics Publications v. Fawcett Publications, 191 F.2d 594, (2d Cir. 1951)