Sunday, April 3, 2016

Captain Marvel and Fear in Philadelphia!

Shazam! #27 (October 19, 1976) presents us with Captain Marvel's adventure entitled "Fear in Philadelphia!"  This story features Captain Marvel, Billy Batson, Uncle Dudley, Dr. Sivana, Beautia Sivana and has special guest appearances by Kid Eternity and Keeper!

The story opens with Dr. Sivana using his Reincarnation Machine to bring back some of history's most dastardly ne'er do wells; among them are Blackbeard, Anne Bonny, and Benedict Arnold!  Sivana uses these historical henchmen to commit crimes in order to keep Captain Marvel busy while he finishes his plan to destroy Philadelphia.

Captain Marvel does stay busy stopping these crimes and then figures out that it's a Sivana plot.  Using the eterni-phone (this is a gadget that was brought over from the '70s Shazam! TV show) Billy Batson contacts Mercury at the Rock of Eternity for advice.  Mercury advises Billy that he's well aware of Sivana's scheme and he will send Billy someone who can help.  

Who is it that can help Billy and Captain Marvel fight bad guys from another time?  None other than Kid Eternity and Keeper!  Kid Eternity is a character created by Otto Binder and Sheldon Moldoff in Hit Comics #25 (October 2, 1942).  (You can read it here!)  When Kid Eternity says the word, "Eternity!" he can call people from history and mythology to help him.  

HIT comics #25, Kid Eternity origin

Sivana had made the Liberty Bell into a bomb that would explode when he rang it by remote control - wiping out the city of Philadelphia!  However, Kid Eternity brings back historical heroes to fight Sivana's henchmen and the Captain and the Kid are able to foil Sivana's plot to become 'the rightful ruler of the universe.'  The villains are rounded up and placed back into the Reincarnation Machine and sent back to where they came from.  

And what becomes of Sivana?  Luckily for him he is able to teleport away from capture, vowing to see Captain Marvel in Boston.  The story closes with Keeper and Kid back in eternity and we are told, "So we leave Kid Eternity and Mr. Keeper for now at least."  Kid Eternity will be back to play an unexpected and large role with the Marvel family, and there'll be more about that in an upcoming blog post!

What I liked about this adventure is the connection with Otto Binder through Kid Eternity.  Otto Binder wrote so many of Captain Marvel's adventures, and in this comic we have a character Binder created teaming up with Cap. 

So there you have it.  Captain Marvel, with the help of Kid Eternity, defeats Sivana's plan to bring fear to Philadelphia!  Watch out for a special blog post on Kid Eternity in the near future!