Sunday, December 1, 2019

80 Years of The World's Mightiest Mortal

80 years ago today - December 1, 1939 - Fawcett comics advised comic readers to "Gangway for Captain Marvel!"  For on the pages of Whiz Comics #2 the world was introduced to the World's Mightiest Mortal - Captain Marvel!  

Despite some silent years when he was out of publication, Captain Marvel has entertained fans and provided a role model to comic readers both young and old.  So on this 80th anniversary of his first appearance, let me say how appreciative I am of this sterling character and comic book icon.

Below is an awesome logo shared on my Facebook page by Anna Romao and she's allowed me to share it here on my blog!  Thank you Anna!

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Captain Marvel and the Lieutenants of Safety

Captain Marvel and the Lieutenants of Safety Issue #2

I came across some Captain Marvel comics that I had never seen before and wanted to share that with you!  I haven't been able to find out everything about them, but here is what I know so far!

In 1950, there was a three comic series published entitled, "Captain Marvel and the Lieutenants of Safety."  They were published by Fawcett and was a promotional comic.  At the bottom of page 2 of the 2nd issue it says, "Developed and published by Ebasco Services Incorporated, Copyright 1950, Fawcett Publications, Inc. Printed in U.S.A"  One website I found credits the story to Otto Binder and the artwork to C. C. Beck.  (The artwork does look like Beck's!)  Ebasco Services was an electric company that was formed by General Electric so that is probably why the comics are focused on electric safety.  

The main characters of the comics are Captain Marvel, the Lieutenants of Safety, the Master of Evil, and Demon Danger.  The Lieutenants of Safety are Captain Caution, Speedy Ade, and Sir Safety.  The villain, Demon Danger, is ordered by the Master of Evil to entice kids into dangerous activities involving electric wires, etc.

I'm sure these comics were a hit among the kids reading them, and I am sure their safety message was well heeded - especially since it was given by Captain Marvel!  It makes me think of how popular and influential Cap was to make him a spokesman for safety in the pages of these special comics.  

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Captain Marvel Autographed Picture from His Comics

Here's an awesome Captain Marvel autographed picture that was featured in the pages of Captain Marvel Adventures #13 which first published on June 26, 1942.  I wonder how many kids carefully removed this picture and proudly hung it on their wall!!

I also like Cap's "Yours for old Shazam" right before his signature - if I remember correctly it's also how he would sign the fan club letters.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

DC Renews Copyrights on Fawcett Comics

I just learned that DC has renewed the copyright to the following Fawcett comics and have sent legal notice to various websites to have them removed as they are no longer considered in the public domain.  Here is the list of comics according to one of these websites:

  • Captain Marvel Adventures #s 3-6, 46-129, 131-141 and 143-150; 
  • Captain Marvel Jr. #s 29-34, 36-106, 108-117 and 119; 
  • Captain Marvel Story Book #s 1-2; 
  • Fawcetts Funny Animals #s. 31-79;
  • Hoppy the Marvel Bunny #s. 1-15;
  • The Marvel Family #s 1-3, 5-80, 82-89;
  • Mary Marvel Comics #s 1-28;
  • Master Comics #s 61-126, 128-132;
  • Whiz Comics #s 3-6, 64-98, 105-118, 130-153 and 155;
  • Wow Comics #s 36-69

While I am extremely disappointed, I cannot find fault with DC.  They are within their rights as copyright owners to take this action.  Unfortunately for me, it seriously hinders - if not makes impossible - my ability to keep up this fan site.  I really depended on the public domain issues and with the tremendous gap of available comics it will a daunting task to keep documenting the stories and adventures of Captain Marvel.  

I've not been able to keep on a steady schedule with my various Captain Marvel blogs, but will continue to try to update them from time to time as I can!  Again, I 100% respect DCs right to these comics!

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Captain Marvel Facts #2

Here are a couple of Captain Marvel facts you might not be aware of!  We all know that Captain Marvel has awesome powers and strength - but there are a few things he can't do!  Captain Marvel himself shares these facts with us in the pages of his comics.

Captain Marvel can't fight other heroes!
In Captain Marvel Adventures 22, in the story "Captain Marvel and the Revolt of the Comics" we learn this fact.  As some comic book heroes are about to leave their publisher, Captain Marvel asks them to stop and they don't.  Captain Marvel says, "...I can only fight villains!"

Captain Marvel can't hit a woman!
We learn this fact in the story, "The Beauty in Black" in Captain Marvel Adventures #142.

Captain Marvel can't break the law!
In Whiz Comics #95, Captain Marvel is grounded due to a plot by a villain.  He's told that if he flys, he will be breaking the law.  Cap let's us know he can't break the law!

These are just a few more Captain Marvel facts from the pages of his comics!  Of course, the things Captain Marvel can't do are in keeping with his character.  Unfortunately, villains use these positive character traits against him - but in the end Cap always comes through!

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Comic of the Week - Whiz Comics #3

The Captain Marvel comic of the week is Whiz Comics #3 which was the follow up to Captain Marvel's premier in Whiz Comics #2.  Whiz Comics #3 went on sale on January 12, 1940* and had a cover date of March 1940.

The cover featured Captain Marvel hoisting an enemy soldier over his head while his comrades watch in horror.  Cap has also tied the barrel of their artillery gun in a knot!  It's an interesting cover as the United States had not entered into World War 2 at the time, and there's no indication what army Cap is fighting!  Some of the stories are a continuation of ones that began in the previous issue.

The comic featured the following stories.*

The Return of Sivana (Captain Marvel)

The Rustlers of Gila Creek (Golden Arrow)

The Search For Wilson Drake (Scoop Smith)

The Kidnapping of Taia (Ibis the Invincible)

Death Dawson (Lance O'Casey)

Five Hundred Thousand Dollars Or Else (Dan Dare)

Spy Smasher Unmasks (Spy Smasher)

There was also a reminder about a cash prize give-away!

That's a brief look at Whiz Comics #3, our Captain Marvel comic of the week!

*According to Mike's Amazing World of Comics

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Captain Marvel and The Electron Thief!

In Captain Marvel Adventures #87 (May 28, 1948*) we have a great story entitled "Captain Marvel and The Electron Thief!"  Captain Marvel battles villain Alec Tronn.  Alec Tronn is the CEO of Electron Corporation and has taken control of the world's supply of electrons!  I love the name of the villain - very clever!

The story begins with Alec Tronn paying a visit to Sterling Morris at WHIZ station headquarters.  Tronn demands Morris pay him $1000 an hour or WHIZ will go off the air!  Morris and Billy Batson think Tronn is a crackpot and refuse his demands.  Billy transforms into Captain Marvel, fearing Alec Tronn might get violent, and Cap escorts Mr. Tronn out the door.

Later that day as Billy prepares his broadcast, they discover they can't transmit over the air!  Alec Tronn's threat has proven real and he calls Morris on the phone and again demands payment for the use of electrons.  Sterling Morris calls a meeting of radio owners and tells them of Tronn's threat.  Tronn busts into the meeting and electrifies the crowd with a new demand!  He will now sell electrons by the dozen, costing the radio owners $3600 an hour!  Tronn advises, "You're in my power gentleman!  Unless you buy electrons from me, I'll shut you all off the air!"

Billy Batson is in the room and thinks to himself, "It's against the law to corner the market in anything!  This man is a lawbreaker..."  And by saying the magic word, "Shazam!" Billy is transformed into Captain Marvel.  Captain Marvel advises Tronn he'll need to explain himself to the anti-monopoly commission.  Alec Tronn uses a battery pack to create a bolt of lightning that whisks him away and takes him to his hide-out.  Unbeknownst to Tronn, Captain Marvel follows him!

Captain Marvel gets the drop on Tronn, but Tronn zaps Cap with billions of electrons - equivalent to a magic lightning bolt - and this transforms Cap back to Billy!

Billy says "Shazam!" but no magic lightning strikes because Tronn has taken all the electrons and there aren't enough to left to make the magic lightning needed for his transformation!  Tronn promises to kill Billy later, but wants to show him how he will destroy WHIZ with a blast of lightning.  With this threat, Billy just can't turn the other cheek, so he kicks Tronn in the pants which makes Tronn angry enough to zap Billy with lightning - transforming him into Captain Marvel.

Alec Tronn tries to escape but trips and falls into wires.  This creates a short-circuit that explodes Tronn's hideout and releases all the captive electrons back into the air!  Alec Tronn is electrocuted, what a shocking end to the story.  

This was a fantastic story and I really enjoyed it.  I loved the villain's name, Alec Tronn and how he escapes on a bolt of lightning.  I like the action that is in it and the continuity of the magic lightning facts that Shazam lightning is far more powerful than regular lightning.  I also like how Billy has to be creative and very brave to take a chance on getting struck by lightning so he could transform back into Captain Marvel.  All in all this is a wonderful, whimsical Captain Marvel adventure that proves to be electrifying and entertaining!

*Mike's Amazing World of Comics