Monday, April 25, 2016

The Captain Marvel's Powers Hub

Want to learn more about Captain Marvel's powers?  This is the place!  I've created this hub to capture various links to articles on Cap's powers.  I will update it as I find new content.  As always, I hope you find it helpful!

I knew I would do a series of articles outlining each of Captain Marvel's powers when I first started my blog.  It took some time, but I researched and wrote separate articles on all six.  Here are the links to my articles on this blog:

Solomon - Wisdom  
Hercules - Strength
Atlas - Stamina
Zeus - Power
Achilles - Courage
Mercury - Speed

Here is something to note - all of Captain Marvel's powers are physical with the exception of wisdom and courage!  The non-physical powers are just as important as the physical.  For example, you can have great strength but not have the wisdom to know when to use those powers.  And you can have great powers and yet be terrified into inaction if you do not have courage.  All of Captain Marvel's powers are necessary to make him the world's mightiest mortal.

Another thing to consider is all Cap's powers work together.  An example is the strength, power and speed of Cap are all interrelated.  You need speed to generate power, and the power needs strength to be effective - you just can't have one without the other!  It's been said that the power of Zeus enhances all of Cap's powers.  

Captain Marvel's Powers links:

Ask the DC Multi-verse Historian  This article outlines the old gods and new 52 gods that give Cap his powers
Powers and Abilities from Wikipedia
Forum on Cap's Powers Comic Vine forum with interesting info!
A Showcase of Captain Marvel's Powers! from my blog

Monday, April 18, 2016

Captain Marvel's Powers: The Speed of Mercury!

The wizard Shazam gives Billy Batson the powers/abilities of six gods.  Billy gains them by uttering the magically mystic word, "Shazam!" which transforms him into Captain Marvel - the World's Mightiest Mortal!

I want to examine Captain Marvel's speed, which he gets from Mercury, in this article.  Who was Mercury?  When has Captain Marvel displayed this speed?  I will answer those questions below!

Mercury is a character from Roman mythology.  Because of his winged sandals, he could fly faster than the other gods.  In Whiz #29 we are told that Mercury is faster than thought, and according to Shazam! #20 (1975) it is Mercury who led Billy Batson to his first meeting with Shazam!  Captain Marvel gets his ability to fly and immeasurable speed from Mercury.  And remember, speed is also a necessary component for power - with no speed, you have limited power.

While there are many examples of Captain Marvel's speed given to us in the pages of his comics, I'll give just a few.

Captain Marvel Adventures #2 provides us with our first example of Cap's blazing speed.  In this story Captain Marvel launches himself into the atmosphere on a trip to Mars - reaching it in about 5 minutes!  That is amazing especially considering it would take a man-made rocket about 6 months to travel from earth to Mars.  What would take mere mortals 6 months, the world's mightiest mortal can do in 5 minutes.  Captain Marvel travels faster "than the swiftest rays of light."

There is one other example to share that captures Cap's speed, and it comes to us in the pages of Captain Marvel Adventures #79.  In this adventure, the Big Red Cheese must travel back in time to clear Shazam's name of an ancient crime he did not commit.  We learn that Captain Marvel is able to fly faster than the speed of light - that is over 186,000 miles per second!  

Finally, in Captain Marvel Adventures #144 we are clearly told that Mercury gives Captain Marvel not only his great speed, but also the ability to fly!

The sixth power Shazam gives Captain Marvel is the speed of Mercury and we see Cap display this speed throughout his adventures.  Captain Marvel's speed allows him to travel to Mars in about 5 minutes, and his speed allows him to fly faster than the speed of light - giving him the ability to time travel.  Captain Marvel's speed truly makes him the World's Mightiest Mortal!

Scientific Note:  The distance from Earth to Mars is not a constant due to both planets orbiting the sun.  When Earth and Mars are at their closest point, they are 34,796,787 miles apart and at times can be as far as 62.6 million miles apart.  If Captain Marvel flew at the speed of light to the planet Mars at its closest point to earth, it would take him approximately 3 minutes!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Introducing Freckles Marvel!

We are introduced to Freckles Marvel in WOW comics #35 in the story "Mary Marvel Meets Her Rival!"  Freckles Marvel is Mary Dudley, niece of Uncle Dudley and self-appointed cousin of Mary Batson.  Like Uncle Dudley, she has no Shazam powers but she dresses like one of the Marvel family and 'helps' them!

In WOW comics #35 we have Mary Dudley visiting her Uncle Dudley and meeting Mary Batson for the first time.  Mary Dudley let's Mary Batson know that her nickname is Freckles!  Uncle Dudley lets Freckles know she can't stay but Freckles threatens to reveal Uncle Dudley's 'secret' that he doesn't really change into Uncle Marvel, he just simply changes his clothes!  Uncle Dudley is unaware that Mary Marvel already knows that truth, so he allows Freckles to don the Marvel uniform and become Freckles Marvel!

In Freckles Marvel's first adventure she helps Uncle Marvel and Mary Marvel recover missing money for Roger Cole.  Mr. Cole had just inherited a large sum of money from his uncle, but his uncle left him clues he has to follow to recover the money!  Freckles manages to be more of a hindrance than a help, knocking down Mary Marvel, getting everyone stung by hornets, and letting the masked bad guy get away!  At one point Uncle Marvel says, "Couldn't we just dump Freckles off somewhere --like a lake?  Or a coal mine?"  But in the end, it's Freckles - not Mary Marvel - who confounds the crook and recovers the money!

Based on other adventures, we learn that Freckles Marvel comes from nearby Marveltown.  Marveltown was originally named Skunkville but was officially renames Marveltown in honor of Freckles Marvel!

Freckles Marvel is a wonderful character with a lot of depth.  She's a leader (Mary Marvel #13), a scrappy fighter (Mary Marvel #9), and courageous non-powered hero (Wow #35).  She is a fantastic addition to the Marvel Family!

Captain Marvel's Powers: The Courage of Achilles!

The wizard Shazam gives Billy Batson the powers/abilities of six gods.  Billy gains them by uttering the magically mystic word, "Shazam!" which transforms him into Captain Marvel - the World's Mightiest Mortal!

I want to examine Captain Marvel's courage, which he gets from Achilles, in this article.  Who was Achilles?  What is courage?  When has Captain Marvel displayed this courage?  I will answer those questions below!

Achilles is a character from Greek mythology.  He is best know for his bravery and courage in the Trojan War.  In that War he had racked up victory after victory in many battles.  

What is courage?  Courage can be defined as the ability to do something you know to be difficult or dangerous.  Courage is also defined as the mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear or difficulty.  One of my favorite quotes is, "Courage doesn't always roar.  Sometimes courage is that quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow.'" (Mary Anne Radmacher)

There are many examples of Captain Marvel's courage that can be seen throughout the pages of his comics, I'll give a few examples.

The first example of Cap's courage is found in the pages of The Marvel Family #59 in the three part story, "The Marvel Family Battles the Sneaking Doom!"  Throughout the story strange things are happening on earth - water defies gravity, earthquakes and landslides abound.  The Marvels have their hands full rescuing people from these fearful events.  After examining the evidence, Captain Marvel comes to a conclusion that strikes him with fear - the world is coming to an end!  This revelation would send most mortals into despair, but not the world's mightiest mortal.  With the courage of Achilles, Cap leads the Marvel family into action and saves the world.  

The second example of Captain Marvel's courage comes from Captain Marvel Adventures #144.  Achilles' indomitable courage is needed as Captain Marvel faces a huge monstrous gorilla sent by Dr. Sivana to smash the world's mightiest mortal.  Empowered by the courage of Achilles, as well as being endowed with Achille's fighting skills, Captain Marvel makes a monkey of Sivana's attack ape.  Here we learn that Cap not only gets his courage from Achilles, but also gets his fighting skills from him as well!

The greatest example of Captain Marvel's courage comes from Captain Marvel Adventures #89, where Cap faces Fear itself!  In this story, Fear runs throughout the city creating chaos and panic.  Captain Marvel catches Fear and looks straight into his face....and then "for the first time in his career, Captain Marvel knows the full terrible meaning of...FEAR!" Cap's fear is only momentary and he quickly recovers his courage.  By the end of the story, Captain Marvel's courage - and power - is no match for Fear!

Notice that in some examples, Cap was temporarily fearful.  However, he didn't allow his fear to overcome him, he overcame his fear with courage - the mental and moral strength to withstand fear and danger!

The fifth power Shazam gives Captain Marvel is the indomitable courage of Achilles and we see Cap display this courage throughout his adventures.  Captain Marvel's courage kept him from despair and made him move with determination to save the world.  His courage empowered him to face a fierce beast that would have made the strongest man tremble.  His courage also enabled him to look fully into the face of Fear and conquer it!  Captain Marvel's courage truly makes him the World's Mightiest Mortal!