Tuesday, March 7, 2017

General Shazam, Captain Marvel, and Private M. R. Vell

Captain Marvel Adventures #12 (published June 26, 1942) tells us information about Cap and Shazam's efforts during World War 2!  This happens in the story, "Captain Marvel Joins the Army!"  I'm not going to write about the entire story, but instead I want to focus on what the story reveals about Shazam and Cap's actions to support the Allies against the Axis.

The story tells us that Billy Batson wanted to join the Army but was turned away because he was to young.  So Billy transforms into Captain Marvel and assumes the alias of M. R. Vell who passes all the entrance tests with flying colors!  M. R. Vell is offered a commission, but he declines and requests to go to boot camp like all the other soldiers.  Captain Marvel joins the Army and is now known as Private M. R. Vell!!

At the end of the adventure, Private M. R. Vell has been summoned to General Headquarters.  Upon entering the office, Private M. R. Vell meets the General - and to his surprise (and mine!!) it is none other than the wizard Shazam!  Shazam is a General in the Army and is supporting the Allies to defeat the Axis.

While Private M. R. Vell would be a super soldier, General Shazam explains that he has plans for Captain Marvel that far exceed what any soldier could do and Cap will see more fighting action than any soldier will.  Then, Billy Batson sums it up for us by explaining, "So that's why Captain Marvel isn't in an Army uniform!  But he's in the scrap, shoulder to shoulder with the Army, the Navy, the Marines!"

This story was a fantastic adventure that gives us more information about the wizard Shazam as well as Captain Marvel's exploits during WWII.  It also gives us a glimpse at Captain Marvel's patriotic and humble character.  I'm sure it gave a morale boost to the men and women serving in the armed forces during the war and to the boys and girls back home.

General Shazam and Captain Marvel joined forces with the Allies during World War 2, and for a moment so did a little known Private - M. R. Vell!!

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