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

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Three Year Anniversary!

October 18 marked the three year anniversary of this blog!  I can't believe it's been that long since I've started writing and sharing about the World's Mightiest Mortal. There is so much more to write about and so much for me to learn about Captain Marvel.  

Let me say thank you to every person that has taken the time to stop by and read my blog.  I appreciate it and hope you've been entertained or have learned something new about Captain Marvel and family.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Captain Marvel Facts #1

Here are some Captain Marvel facts you might not be aware of!

Because Captain Marvel was created by the wizard Shazam using magic, he can never age!  (Whiz Comics #98, April 7, 1948)

In The Marvel Family #7 (November 15, 1946) we learn that the wizard Shazam created the three Marvels, Captain Marvel, Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel Jr, so that they could always fight the three forms of evil (wickedness, sin and terror)!

These Captain Marvel facts will become an ongoing feature here on my blog - hope you find them interesting!

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Captain Marvel's First Flight

When Captain Marvel first appeared in the pages of comic books, he had awesome powers and abilities.  But, like many other comic characters, his abilities and powers grew as his adventures and stories continued.  An example of this is Captain Marvel's ability to fly.  Like Superman, Captain Marvel wasn't able to fly in his first comic stories, he was only able to leap across great distances.  I did some investigating and I believe that the first time Captain Marvel was able to fly was in Whiz Comics # 5 which published April 26, 1940.

Here are some examples of Captain Marvel only being able to leap and not fly.   First we have a panel from Whiz Comics #2 - Cap's origin!  Notice that he leaps across a mighty chasm!

From Whiz Comics #3 notice that Captain Marvel runs after a plane, grabs the wheel and pulls himself up onto the plane.  He has to do that because he can only leap and not fly!

In Whiz Comics #4, Captain Marvel is chasing Dr. Sivana and Beautia who are trying to escape.  He's not flying after them, but running!  When the bridge is destroyed, he doesn't fly, he makes a giant leap.

Here are the panels from Whiz Comics #5 where we first see Captain Marvel flying!

Captain Marvel's powers and abilities grew from his first comic as his character became more settled.  This is exactly what happened to other comic book characters as well.  I'm glad Captain Marvel was given the ability to fly - and soon he was able to time travel by flight!  When did Captain Marvel first fly?  I believe it was in the pages of Whiz Comics #5!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Collecting Classic Captain Marvel Comics

I love golden age Captain Marvel comics!  For me, they are a great way to relax and be entertained as well as inspired by the adventures of the world's mightiest mortal.  I own three golden age comics and a good number of the 1970's Shazam comics.  Purchasing these comics can be expensive and does require you do some homework before making a buying decision.  I'd like to share some thoughts and tips based on some of my lessons learned on how you can collect Captain Marvel comics!

I recommend you start by collecting those issues that mean a lot to you - comics with stories that you would want to read time and again.  That helps to narrow your search and ensure you buy something you won't regret later!  For example, one of my favorite Captain Marvel stories comes from Whiz Comics #93 when Cap becomes a hobo to reunite a family.  I can read that story over and over, so it was the very first Captain Marvel comic I looked for and purchased for my collection.

Next, you will want to start looking for a copy of the comic.  You can check your local comic shop, comic convention, on-line stores and eBay.  I've had good experiences on eBay and on-line comic shops.  The local comic book shops in my area are limited as far as golden age comics are concerned!

Once you've identified the comic issue you want to buy, start asking questions!  These are questions you might want to ask depending on how important they are to you.

  • What is the condition of the comic?  Watch out for torn pages, loose pages, rolled spine, writing, mold or mildew, etc.  If you have allergies, you may want to see if the comic comes from a smoke-free, pet free home.
  • What are the seller's ratings (if buying on-line)?  Are they dependable?  Do they provide pictures of the comic and welcome you to ask questions?  Are they providing a solid description of the comic?  
Something else to consider is comic book rating guides.  Different sellers can use different ratings, and they can be confusing!  For example, some comics can be rated high but still have some damage that you wouldn't want (missing pages, etc.).  Don't go by the ratings alone!  Ask questions and know the condition before you buy.  Again, make sure the comic is in a condition you are happy with.

Buying Cap's golden age comics is a lot of fun.  For me, I love holding a comic from the 40s or 50s and thinking about all the fans - young and old - that held and read that comic through the years.  But buying golden age comics does require some effort and patience to make sure you're getting a comic you really want and in a condition you are satisfied with.  I hope you've found this information helpful!!

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Comic of the Week - Whiz Comics #2

The Captain Marvel comic of the week is Whiz Comics #2!  This is the comic that launched the career of The World's Mightiest Mortal and gave us Billy Batson's background story and Captain Marvel's origin.  Whiz Comics #2 was published by Fawcett and went on sale December 1, 1939.* (DC made a great reprint of this comic which you can read about here.)

Whiz Comics #2 not only introduced readers to Captain Marvel, it also introduced them to new characters Ibis the Invincible, Golden Arrow, Lance O'Casey, Spy Smasher, Scoop Smith, and Dan Dare!

This comic featured the following stories:

Captain Marvel!

Ibis the Invincible

Golden Arrow

Spy Smasher

Scoop Smith

Lance O'Casey

Dan Dare

Think about it - what kid wouldn't love this comic?!?  It has a superhero, a mystical, magical Egyptian prince, a arrow-shooting hero, a spy, a ship's captain, a reporter and private detective!  Many of these heroes would also have their own comics, but for the most part they remained a part of Whiz Comics.

That's a brief look at Whiz Comics #2  - the origin of Captain Marvel!

*According to Mike's Amazing World of Comics

Update to my Captain Marvel Comic of the Week

One feature of my blog has been highlighting a Captain Marvel comic of the week from time to time.  The comic I featured was typically something I came across and found interesting and wanted to share it.  But after giving it some thought, I decided that beginning now I will start going systematically through Cap's comics and feature them in the order they were published.  For now I'll focus on Whiz Comics and Captain Marvel Adventures, and then later on go into Marvel Family, Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel Jr. comics.  Hope you like this little update to the comic of the week feature!

Monday, August 6, 2018

Captain Marvel Club Card Replica

I recently found a nice replica of one of the Captain Marvel Club cards.  It's printed on heavy cardboard and the colors are pretty nice!  The original card would have had a drawing of Billy Batson on it, and by lifting up a flap on the card, Billy would "transform" into Captain Marvel!  On the back of the card is the club's secret code!

Front of card

Back of card with club code

This was just one version of two club cards that I'm aware of, and this 'magic' version came out after the original card was produced.  (You can see an image of the original card here.)  This replica was far more affordable than an original one - I've seen them priced in the $100 plus range on various sites!  While I would prefer to have an original, it's not a bad edition to my Captain Marvel collection!

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Comic of the Week - Special Edition Comics #1

The Captain Marvel comic of the week is Special Edition Comics #1!  This was a one-shot comic published by Fawcett and went on sale June 14, 1940* (about six months after Cap premiered in Whiz Comics!).  

The cover featured Captain Marvel and announced it was 64 pages of new adventures for him.  In the lower right, it states "Featuring brand-new stories of Captain Marvel World's Mightiest Man."

One thing I noticed about Captain Marvel is that there's been a modification to his uniform.  Notice that he's not wearing the bib-front.  But also notice that he has a belt with a letter M buckle!

This comic featured the following Captain Marvel stories:

"The Menace of Doctor Allirog"

"The Haunted House"

"Gamblers of Death"

"Sivana the Weather Wizard"

A few other notes of interest about this comic are that in some stories Billy Batson wears a red sweater with the letter "B" on the front, and in one story Captain Marvel solves the mystery wearing track and field clothes - he even takes the criminals before the judge wearing them!  This is a great one-shot comic from the early days of Captain Marvel comics!

*According to Mike's Amazing World of Comics

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Did You Know...

Did you know that in Whiz Comics #87 (published May 9, 1947) both the wizard Shazam and Captain Marvel had to end a quarrel among the gods?

It turns out that Mars, the god of war, had sneaked into Mount Olympia and was giving some of the gods (Zeus and Mercury) his nectar of evil!  This caused them to quarrel and fight among themselves.  Mars' malicious plot is uncovered and Shazam banishes him to the nether realms!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Countdown to the Shazam! (Captain Marvel) Movie Premier

At this time, April 5, 2019 is the date for the premier of the Shazam! (Captain Marvel) movie!  How long do we have to wait?  You can find out by clicking on the countdown timer I created!!  Hope you find it helpful!!

Shazam! (Captain Marvel) Movie Premier Countdown Timer

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Comic of the Week - Captain Marvel Adventures #1

The Captain Marvel comic of the week is Captain Marvel Adventures #1!  This was Captain Marvel's stand-alone comic and went on sale January 17, 1941 (about a year after Cap premiered in Whiz Comics.).  Remember that in Whiz Comics, there is one Cap story followed by stories of other heroes like Ibis, Golden Arrow, etc.  But in the pages of Captain Marvel Adventures, all the stories feature Captain Marvel!

Captain Marvel Adventures #1 featured the following stories:

"Captain Marvel vs Z"

"Out West"

"The Monsters of Saturn"

"Captain Marvel Battles The Vampire"

It's interesting to note that Jack Kirby was the artist for each of these Captain Marvel Adventures!