Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Going On Hiatus

Thank you to everyone that has taken the time to stop by this blog and read it.  I appreciate it!  I'm going to take a break from posting here for a while...not sure when I'll be back.  I've been trying to maintain several social media sites for Captain Marvel from blogs, Facebook and Instagram and have found that I just don't have the time to manage them all and really need to cut back.  I'm still a huge fan of Captain Marvel, but I just don't have Cap's powers and abilities to keep up with multiple social media sites!

Thank you again for reading my blogs - I greatly appreciate it!

Yours for old Shazam,

Jeff


Sunday, March 18, 2018

Shazam! Comics DC TV Imprint

The cover of Shazam! #25 featured a slight change to the comics cover.  At that time DC was using the DC imprint that said "The Line of DC Super-Stars."  But on the cover of Shazam! 25 (June 29, 1976) it displayed "A DC TV Comic" imprint.

Regular DC imprint from Shazam! #19

DC TV imprint from Shazam! #26
The DC TV imprint was also used on DC's other live action Saturday morning show, The Mighty Isis as both Captain Marvel and Isis had their own programs.  The DC TV imprint on Cap's comics didn't last long as it ended with Shazam! #33 (October 4, 1977).  


Sunday, February 18, 2018

Shazam! Comic of the Week

The Shazam! comic of the week is Shazam! #4 which published on April 17, 1973 and had a cover date of July 1973.


This comic featured two new Captain Marvel stories and one golden-age adventure featuring the world's mightiest mortal!  The comic cover features Billy Batson in front of some fun-house mirrors - with Captain Marvel's image reflecting back!  A similar cover was used in Captain Marvel Adventures #45.  (I wrote a brief article about that which you can read here.)

The first storys is "IBAC the Cursed!"  The front page tells us, "Out of the past comes one of Captain Marvel's deadliest foes, a hate-filled villain as bad as the world's mightiest mortal is good!"  IBAC was one of Cap's golden age villains, making his debut in Captain Marvel Adventures #8 (1942) in the story "Captain Marvel and the Curse of IBAC!"  Here, in Shazam! #4, IBAC makes a come-back!



The second new Captain Marvel story is "The Mirrors that Predicted the Future."  Billy is bummed out that it appears his friends have forgotten his birthday.  I wrote a separate article about that which you can read here.


The final story is a reprint of Cap's golden age adventure, "The Ownerless Diamond" which was first published in Captain Marvel Adventures #97 (1949).




There is also a full page of "Shazamail" with letters from fans.  Interestingly, there are letters from two people that wrote Captain Marvel stories from Cap's golden age:  Otto Binder and Manly Wade Wellman.






Sunday, February 4, 2018

Captain Marvel and A Switch In Time


In the pages of Shazam! #3 (March 15, 1973) we have one of my favorite stories, "A Switch In Time!"  Here's the lead in to this adventure from the front page, "Holy Moley, folks!  There's something wrong here!  We're seeing boy newscaster Billy Batson as a man -- and Captain Marvel as a boy!  This could lead to trouble!"



The adventure begins with Billy Batson at a dance.  He's trying to meet kids his own age but is feeling like an outsider - even though he's wearing some groovy '70s threads!  Billy's bummed because, thanks to Sivana's placing Captain Marvel in suspended animation, Billy's a boy out of time.  He doesn't understand the dances or the language of his modern-day companions.   Billy says to himself, "My problem is, I only look like a boy!  Actually I'm twenty years older - because I was in suspended animation for twenty years!"  Billy continues, "It's not fair!  I've missed growing up!  The joys...the sorrows...the heartbreak and laughter...I'll never be normal!  I'll always be behind my time..a freak!"  Then Billy has an idea - he'll go see the wizard Shazam who might be able to help him.



Saying the magic word, "Shazam!" Billy is transformed into Captain Marvel who then makes his way to the ancient throne room where he first met Shazam.  Captain Marvel explains Billy's plight to the kind old wizard and asks if Shazam can help Billy.  The wizened wizard warns, "I can accelerate his personal time stream...but I warn you...meddling with time streams can be risky!  It may affect you, too!"  Heeding the warning, Captain Marvel states that he accepts the risk and is willing to take the chance to help his buddy Billy.  (Note:  The exchange between Captain Marvel and Shazam show that Cap and Billy are two different people!)  Shazam has Captain Marvel grasp an enchanted hourglass and say the magic word, "Shazam!"  Magic lightning strikes and transforms Cap into Billy Batson - but this time Billy is a full-grown man!



Meanwhile, back at TV station WHIZ, a wizard school reject named Shagg Naste is rejected by the station.  He runs across Mr. Morris, owner of WHIZ and threatens to put a spell on him if he doesn't give the nasty Naste a television show!  Mr. Morris laughs in his face and doesn't take the threat seriously.  Shagg Naste proves his threat is real by saying a magic word, "Alakazamboola!" and turns unsuspecting newsboy Freddy Freeman (Captain Marvel, Jr) into stone!  Shagg Naste continues his threatening demands - he wants his own TV show, a big cast, lots of dancing girls, and a big salary!




Billy Batson comes upon the scene and transforms into Captain Marvel.  But he's a teen-age Captain Marvel!!  Shagg Naste tries to turn Cap to stone, but it the spell does not work.  However, it does have an effect on Cap's ability to fly!  Cap transforms back to Billy and Billy makes his way to fix things with Shagg Naste.




Shagg Naste is confronted by Billy Batson who tells him to bring the stone newsboy back to normal.  Billy picks Naste up over his head and Naste complies.  Billy tells Naste to scram and never come back - and Naste quickly complies.  Not recognizing Billy, Mr. Morris and Freddy Freeman thank Billy for helping them.  After all he's been through, Billy decides its best to head back to Shazam and see if the wizard can undo the time-mixup that Billy got himself into.  The teen-age Captain Marvel says to himself, "I hope he (Shazam) can undo the time mix-up!  After all -- Billy's better off as a teen-ager than I am!  He has more experience!"



What makes this a great story is how it deals with what someone would go through in Billy's situation.  Think about it - what if you had been in suspended animation for twenty years?  What was once your present situation is now history.  It reminds me of the Captain America movie and the struggles Steve Rogers had adjusting to modern times.  

The story also shows what a great and self-less friend Captain Marvel is.  He's warned that he might be impacted by Billy's desire to be an adult.  Cap is willing to pay the price to help out his friend.

I think it's funny to see Billy as an adult and Captain Marvel as a teenager, that's a great plot twist that I don't recall being used in the golden age comics!

Finally, the story also gives us insight into Shazam's powers.  We learn that he can manipulate the time stream and uses an enchanted hourglass as his tool to do that.

A switch in time taught is a great story that proved the old adage, "Be careful what you wish for, you might get it!"




Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Tools and Resources of the Wizard Shazam

On my other Captain Marvel blog that covers Cap's golden age adventures I wrote an article about the tools and resources of the wizard Shazam.  As I was reading Shazam! #3 I found a new tool that Shazam uses and thought I would create this new article to cover Shazam's tools and resources as I find them in the 70's comics. 

Enchanted Hourglass (Shazam! 3):  The wizard Shazam uses the enchanted hourglass to accelerate Billy Batson's personal time stream - making Billy older!




I'll be adding to this article with Shazam's other tools and resources as I come across them in the pages of Shazam! comics!


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Captain Marvel and the Troubles of the Talking Tiger!


Tawky Tawny the talking tiger has been a friend of Captain Marvel since his golden age adventures.  Cap and Tawky had many great stories in the pages of Captain Marvel Adventures comics in the '40s and '50s, and they continued into the 1970s with Shazam! comic #7 (published August 16, 1973) and the story, "The Troubles of the Talking Tiger!"


Tawky Tawny makes his way to a nearby pier where he knows Captain Marvel will be on hand to capture some jewel smugglers there.  Cap captures the smugglers, but Tawny misses the action as he's discovered some tigers in a cage!  Mr. Tawny speaks to the caged tigers in their native language, Tigerian, and learns of something sinister and serious! 



Meanwhile, Captain Marvel visits the office of the Chief of US Customs to discuss the case of the jewel smugglers.  Cap found no evidence on the smugglers except for a check written by millionaire Dana Dana who also owns a private zoo.  Captain Marvel makes his way to the zoo to see if he can discover the connection between the jewel smugglers and the millionaire.  Cap says the magic word, "Shazam!" and transforms himself into Billy Batson, boy reporter, and goes to interview Dana Dana.

Captain Marvel doesn't know that Tawky Tawny is at the private zoo as well - going undercover as a wild tiger!  Tawky is captured by a zoo keeper who throws a rope around his neck and throws him into a cage.  But the rope hurt Tawky's throat so now he's no longer Tawky because he can't talk or make any sound!  Tawky pulls up a board in his cage to discover that what the other tigers told him wasn't a tale - they are smuggling jewels in the bottom of the animal cages!





Tawky Tawny sees Billy Batson walking around with Dana Dana, but Billy doesn't recognize him.  Billy asks the millionaire about his jewel collection, but that tips of Dana that Billy knows too much.  He invites Billy into view his jewel collection and then knocks Billy out.  Billy awakens to find Dana has tied him up and gagged him!  Dana pours catnip oil on Billy and then opens the cage of one of his tigers, knowing the cat can't resist the catnip and will eat Billy.  But what Dana doesn't know is the tiger he let loose is Tawky Tawny!




Billy recognizes Tawny and Tawny recognizes Billy but he can't resist the power of the catnip.  One of Tawny's teeth tears Billy's gag and Billy says the magic word, "Shazam!" just in time to transform himself into the world's mightiest mortal!  Cap finds himself with his head in Tawky's mouth, and once he gets it out he tells his tiger friend, "I hope you have a good explanation for this!"  Apparently, having Captain Marvel's head stuck in his mouth reactivated Tawny's ability to speak!


Gunshots ring out and Cap protects his friend from the bullets!  Dana Dana's bullets are no match for Captain Marvel and Cap dispatches the murderous millionaire jewel smuggler with a punch.  

Cap and Tawny visit the Chief of US Customs office where the chief applauds their efforts at defeating the jewel smuggling ring.  Of course, Cap gives the credit to his talking tiger pal!  Leaving the Chief's office, Mr. Tawny reminds Cap that he's naked - he has no clothes!  Cap remedies the situation by taking Tawny to the tailors and instructing him to give Tawky the very best suit - because he deserves it!


This was an entertaining adventure, I especially like the panel where Cap's head is in Tawny's mouth - that's a classic!  I always like Cap's adventures with Tawky Tawny, and this was a good one.  As usual, Tawky's good intentions end up getting him into a jam that Captain Marvel has to rescue him out of!  When they brought Cap back in the '70s I'm very glad they brought Tawky Tawny with him.  


Sunday, November 19, 2017

Shazam! Comic of the Week

The Shazam! comic of the week is Shazam! #3 which published on March 15, 1973 and had a cover date of June 1973.


This comic featured two new Captain Marvel stories and one golden-age adventure featuring the Marvel Family!  The comic cover also featured Cap, Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel, Jr together on the cover for the first time.  

The first story is "A Switch in Time" in which Billy is granted his wish to be older, but it comes at a cost!


The second story is "The Wizard of Phonograph Hill" and featured Captain Marvel and Dr. Thomas Kilowatt (this was his first appearance in Cap's comics).


The final story is a golden-age adventure from Marvel Family #4 (August 14, 1946) entitled "The Witches' Tale."


I love the cover of this comic featuring the Marvel Family drawn by C. C. Beck.  While Captain Marvel was still the main focus of the comic series, Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel, Jr appeared frequently in the comics as well!