Doctor Sivana was the original arch enemy of the Shazam family, and during the 1940s, he faced off against those heroes in nearly half the stories published about them. He was born somewhere in Europe, although the exact place is unknown, and in his earlier years, tried to use his scientific knowledge for the betterment of mankind. Sivana was married twice, but lost both wives tragically. He was originally a good man who wanted to help humanity, but the leaders of big business, along with mob bosses and other powerful organizations, blocked him at every turn. In addition, most of the men in charge of these institutions mocked him and considered him a madman, and smeared his reputation.
Deeply bitter because society rejected him, he then used his scientific knowledge to build himself a spaceship, which he used to take himself and his children to the planet Venus, where he lived in exile for many years. Sivana lived on that planet with his four children, starting with his kind adult daughter Beautia, his son Magnificus, who had enhanced strength, and two teenagers Georgia and Thaddeus Sivana, Jr, who were wicked geniuses like their father.
After many years in hiding on Venus, He then returned to Earth, where he became a master criminal and Shazam's most frequent enemy. He fought against the Shazam family both alone and with other villains like the Monster Society of Evil. He was one of the only Super-Villains who had discovered that teenager Billy Batson was in fact the World's Mightiest Mortal. Shazam once discovered all the good deeds done in Sivana's past, and actually facilitated his winning the Nobel Peace Prize, but he no longer cared about receiving accolades from those who would not bow down and worship him.
After disappearing for twenty years, Doctor Sivana returned. It was explained that Doctor Sivana and the entire Sivana Family had trapped the Shazam family and their associates, and also accidentally, themselves, in a sphere of a substance of his own creation called Suspendium. They were released when the Suspendium sphere came close to the sun, thus melting it enough that the Shazam family were revived, and they then pushed it back to Earth.
The Sivanas escaped their vessel, and they began their long standing rivalry with the Shazam family all over again as if no time had passed. It was during this time that it was revealed that the Shazam heroes and all their enemies, including Sivana and his family, took place on the parallel world of Earth-S, one of the worlds of the original Multiverse.
After the Multiverse was consolidated after the events of CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, the denizens of Earth-S, including Sivana, were folded into a singular Earth. In this new reality, Sivana reemerged once again as a mad scientist and a criminal genius in the miniseries SHAZAM! THE NEW BEGINNING. In this reality, Sivana only had two children, Beautia and Magnificus, and was also Billy Batson's step-uncle. In the POWER OF SHAZAM! graphic novel, Sivana was once again revamped, and he was now a powerful industrialist, and the CEO of his own company, Sivana Industries. But when he loses his vast fortune, he blames Shazam for his predicament, and becomes his lifelong enemy.
Sivana later reorganized the Super-Villain team known as the Fearsome Five, and set himself up as its leader. After several conflicts with not only the Shazam family but also the Outsiders, Sivana was eventually taken to the mysterious Oolong Island, a tropical paradise which was run by the criminal organization known as Intergang. There, he and other criminal scientists were allowed to create deadly inventions completely freely, all which were to be used against the Super-Hero community.
Dr. Sivana later turned out to be ultimately responsible for the events of the limited series 52. When Sivana captured Mr. Mind, a sentient worm who was also hated Shazam, Sivana then showered him with treatments of his own Suspendium time-travel compound. As a result, Mr. Mind mutated into a "hyperfly", a planet-sized creature with the ability to travel through time and appear in different realities, posing a serious threat to the Multiverse. He is finally thrown back in time to the day where Dr. Sivana found him in the first place. After this event, Sivana joined various versions of the Secret Society of Super-Villains and the Injustice League.
In the post-FLASHPOINT reality, Thaddeus Sivana was still one of the Earth's greatest scientific minds, but he abandoned science for magic, during a point in his life when science failed to help members of his family who were dying from a mysterious illness. Sivana began to research ancient myths, hoping to find an answer as to how to save his family through mystical means. He thought he found that answer when he came across the legend of Black Adam, a slave who walked into a cell door and found himself in the Rock of Eternity. There, he was granted the power of the wizard Shazam.
Sivana searched the world over for the tomb of Black Adam, and found it in the deserts of Khandaq. When he pried open the tomb, a bolt of lightning struck him in the right eye, giving him the ability to see magical energy out of that eye. Because of this mystical change to his being, Sivana's bones and muscles started to weaken due to his unprotected connection to magic. Sivana then freed Black Adam from his centuries-long imprisonment, and the two became partners, hoping to steal the powers of Shazam, which had now gone to young Billy Batson. After working with Black Adam and failing to defeat Billy Batson, he later teamed up with Mr. Mind.