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Best of Captain Marvel Shazam Honorable Mentions

1.  The Captain Marvel Movie Serials (1941) - The good captain was the first superhero to appear in the movies(if you don’t count Zorro or comic strip adaptations).  He had a 12 part series named the “Adventures of Captain Marvel” that ran thru 1941(March 28,1941) little over a year after he was first introduced in the comics(Whiz Comics #2 cover date Feb 1940 release Date Dec 1939).  Looking back it’s not that bad.  I can why people would enjoy it.  Seeing the captain fighting against oversized scorpions and the such.  It seems it was so well received that this helped the sales of the comic book.  As I noted earlier(I may have noted it in another part of the retrospective)Captain Marvel was so popular that he would outsell Superman.  


Side note I do find it funny that for the flying scenes instead of wiring up the actor they used a 7 foot long paper mache’ version of him instead.


2.  Batman/Superman Public Enemies (2009) - The good captain appears here but it’s mostly an extended cameo.  We do get to see his power and cleverness.  I also like the fact that he states that Superman is weak against magic here.  Why do so many readers and writers of the character seem to forget that?


3.  Shazam in the New 52 (2012 - ?) (1st appearing in the Justice League comic as a back up feature)(2013) - At the time I liked the story mostly because of the Gary Frank art.  Inclusion of the other orphans and having them take major roles is good but I didn’t like the fact that they became the extended Marvel Family.  I didn’t mind Billy’s attitude too much in the series because this did seem realistic for a 15 year old boy in the mid 2010’s.  My main issue with the series was that now Captain Marvel was no longer Captain Marvel but was now named Shazam.  As in after the wizard.  As in the word that Billy has to say to transform and back.  Good god, that is so stupid.  From that point on in all media he’s being called Shazam.


4.  Just Imagine Stan Lee with Gary Frank Creating Shazam! (2002) - Hey you want to see weird?  Well then just take a gander in the early 2000’s when DC Comics gave Stan Lee a chance to reimagine certain DC characters in his own universe.  So what did his take on the good captain entail?  Well let’s see we get Merlin, Morgana, a trip to Nepal, a cult with a woman apparently trying to do her best David Bowie impersonation(!) Assassins, and a big red beastie thing tagging along with a big boobed woman.  I have no words for this.  The concept and execution of the story is bonkers.  Then again the entire Just Imagine line was crazy.


I think Stan missed the point on what makes Billy Batson/Captain Marvel a great character in this issue.  Also Billy Batson isn’t even Captain Marvel in the main story(I don’t even think he’s in the story at all).


5.  Whiz Comics #2 - Might as well start with his very first appearance. (Hmm maybe I should do a review of it.  It’s only 15 pages long(if you include the cover) it couldn’t take that long right?).  The story get’s straight to the point.  It’s the basis of every redo of his origin from the 1940’s on.  That said while the original origin is interesting it’s not what I consider very engaging.  If I had a choice I would re-read the 1995 Power of Shazam or the 2012 origin for fun than WHIZ #2. The original origin is a bit too dry and basic for me to want to go back to it over and over again.

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