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.