Sunday, July 17, 2016

Captain Marvel Meets The Mighty Isis!

Shazam! #25 (published June 29, 1976) is a significant comic for several reasons.  It gives us the first meeting between Captain Marvel and The Mighty Isis (both of whom had TV shows on Saturday morning at the time!), gives us the origin of Isis, launched Isis into her own comic book, and launched a new story arc for Billy Batson.  I looked at a few websites recently and a high grade copy of this comic will cost you close to $200, so it is not only significant, but highly collectible!

This article will focus solely on the meeting between Captain Marvel and The Mighty Isis in the story, "Isis...As In Crisis!"  Our story begins with teachers Andrea Thomas, Rick Mason and others watching the demolition of an old school building that will be replaced with a new, modern one.  As debris falls, they see their friend Cindy Lee trapped in rubble, surely to be crushed by a falling wall!  With all eyes on helpless Cindy, Andrea says the magic words, "Isis, O Mighty Isis!" and is transformed into the magical, mysterious, and magnificent super hero - Isis!  Isis rescues Cindy from certain doom just as Captain Marvel appears.  Cap says, "I was about to rescue the young lady...but you beat me to it!"  Cap asks Cindy how she came to be in the rubble of a building under demolition and Cindy tells them that she had seen two men sneaking around looking suspicious and had followed them into the old building, they had escaped and she was trapped.

Captain Marvel asks Isis who she is and how she got her wondrous powers.  Isis replies, "Call me...Isis!  As for my powers...that is a long story...and I'd rather keep it to myself!"  In a momentary flashback, Isis then remembers the events some several years later when she, as Andrea Thomas, was on a scientific expedition in Egypt.  She discovered an amulet and scroll and feeling compelled, she put on the amulet.  The amulet gives her the ability to read the ancient hieroglyphics on the scroll, which had belonged to Queen Hatshepsut, the only woman pharaoh.  The scroll says, "With this you shall have the powers of the goddess Isis; powers of the forces of nature, and of the animals; powers of the mystical regions of the mind!  To have those powers, you must repeat the words, 'Mighty Isis!'" Thus revealing to us comic readers the origin of Isis.

Captain Marvel says, "I have a feeling we'll meet again, Isis!" and flies away.  Isis departs as well, leaving Rick Mason and Cindy alone.  Cindy and Rick talk, and Rick allows Cindy to borrow his car to go see a new movie in Steppville.  As Cindy is leaving, she sees again the two men she had seen sneaking around and discovers that they had hidden stolen gold coins in the old building and had now recovered them and were on their way to fence the stolen coins.  Cindy decides to follow them but the crooks discover she's tailing them and set a trap and catch her.  They tie Cindy up in the car, which is parked overlooking a cliff, and release the parking brake, sending Cindy on a one-way trip that will eliminate her as a witness to their crime!

Meanwhile, Andrea learns that Cindy was seen following the two men and senses she is in danger.  Andrea transforms into Isis and says, "O zephyr winds that blow on high, lift me up so I can fly!" and takes off in search of Cindy.  Within seconds Isis arrives on the scene and, using the power of nature, saves Cindy from plummeting to the bottom of the cliff.  She then uses her magical powers to catch the two thieves with the gold coins.  That ends the story and Isis tells us, "See you the first issue of my own magazine..." (The first issue of The Mighty Isis printed on July 15, 1976.)

I enjoyed this fast-moving story and the telling of Isis origin.  While Captain Marvel only appears in 5 panels in this story, there is a greater connection between him and Isis that you might not now about!  According to The Mighty Isis #1, it is the wizard Shazam that gives Isis her powers - the same Shazam that gives Captain Marvel his powers!  That is the story of Isis' origin and her first meeting with Captain Marvel! 

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