Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Captain Marvel Becomes a Hobo

Whiz comics #93 asks why did Captain Marvel become a hobo?  The answer is found in the pages of this great comic!  This adventure begins with Billy walking down the street during his lunch hour and sees a fire truck responding to a house fire.  A man comes running out of the house saying his wife and child were trapped inside so there's nothing left for him in life now.  The man runs past Billy and Billy says, "Shazam!" transforming himself into Captain Marvel.  Cap wastes no time and goes into the flame-engulfed building to try and find the man's wife and child.  Captain Marvel finds them in the basement and brings them safely out of the fire!  The lady asks where her husband is and Cap let's her know he ran away thinking his family had perished but not to worry, he would return.  The wife lets Cap know he probably won't return and instead will return to his life as a hobo, the life he lived before he settled down and raised a family.  The wife pleads with Cap to find her husband and return him to them.  Despite such a daunting task, Captain Marvel agrees to find Hunky, the husband turned hobo.

Cap immediately starts searching freight cars and a 'hobo jungle' (a place in the woods where hobos can clean up and get something to eat) but gets the silent treatment from all the hobos.  With the wisdom of Solomon, Cap understands that hobos are loyal and won't rat out another hobo, therefore Captain Marvel becomes the world's mightiest hobo!  Donning some old clothes he found on a scarecrow, Cap returns to the hobo jungle and this time gets a warm welcome and information on where to find Hunky.

Cap wastes no time and takes off to catch the noon train and discovers Hunky hitching a ride on it.  Just before he can get to Hunky, some cars disconnect from the train and Captain Marvel must stop the runaway train cars.  In the process, Hunky disappears again as the train has reached the rail yard while Cap was busy rescuing the runaway cars.  Another hobo tells Cap that he saw Hunky heading for Farmland, so Cap makes his way there.

Hunky is found chopping firewood for a lady whose husband is sick, and as Hunky runs away the farmer's wife makes Cap finish chopping the wood!  When his good deed is done, Cap is back on the trail and trying to find the hobo husband.  Hunky is found sleeping behind a highway sign and Captain Marvel breaks the good news to him that his family is safe.  Hunky exclaims, "Thank Heaven!  Then I don't have to be a hobo anymore!"  Captain Marvel flies Hunky back to a happy reunion with his wife and daughter, thus ending his first - and last - adventure as a hobo!

This is one of my all-time favorite Captain Marvel stories.  I love that Cap shows persistence in finding Hunky, and he uses the wisdom of Solomon to figure out he'll need to change his tactics with the hobos if he's going to succeed!  The story lets Captain Marvel's heroic and compassionate character shine through.  With plenty of side-adventures along the way, Captain Marvel ultimately  succeeds in reuniting a family after a tragedy.

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