Tuesday, February 26, 2019


So MovieAccessTrailers seems to like to put together videos of "coming attractions," book-ended by recent trailers. This is great because it gives us the opportunity to see a whole bunch of footage of the movies in one convenient video. So without further ado, here is the one for DC's upcoming "SHAZAM!" movie:

In it we see Sivana shooting lightning from his fingers, money flying out of an ATM into the hands of the hero and Freddy Freeman, a new member of the "Shazam Kids," and repeated viewings of what is possibly the coolest shot in any Superhero movie, Billy Batson jumping off a building, saying the word, and, in a flash of lightning, transforming into the hero.

Here is the one for Marvel's "Captain Marvel" movie:

The heading is a bit misleading. We don't see any Minerva-Ronan fight, What we do get is Annette Benning as a maternal figure, a brief look at Korath with laser wings, more Brie Larsen/Samuel L. Jackson banter, a Jude Law/Brie Larsen fight/training sequence, some air force buddy-banter between Lashana Lynch (Monica Rambeau's mom) and Brie Larsen, and footage of Brie Larsen jumping on a train and crashing a plane.

I am going to update this post with some analysis later.

Monday, January 21, 2019

MIRACLEMAN! the Marvelous revival of the British Captain Marvel Rip-Off! (Part 9 of the Blog History of ALL the Captain Marvels!


When last we left our hero, Marvelman (the British rip-off/follow-up/substitute to Captain Marvel created by Mick Anglo in 1953), his publisher, L. Miller and Son, had cancelled publication in 1963, due mostly to new competition from American superheroes.

In the succeeding years, the company, whose name had been changed to L. Miller and Co. (Hackney) in 1959, faced a variety of adversities as they changed their business several times (including becoming a film producer), and folded in 1974 for an accumulation of reasons. According to The Poisoned Chalice by Pádraig Ó Méalóid, there was no mention of the ownership of the Marvelman character in any document relating to the closing of L. Miller and Co. (Hackney). This will prove to be important later, as we will see.

In March 1982, a new British company called Quality Communications Ltd. launched a comic magazine named Warrior featuring several new stories, including a revival of Marvelman. Quality Communications Ltd. had been founded by Dez Skinn, a British comics professional who wanted to create a new monthly anthology comic magazine with a dark edge, and wanted to include a superhero character, preferably a revival.

Alan Moore was an English comic book writer who had recently done significant work for the British anthology comic 2000AD and for Marvel UK's line of comic books for the British market. He had become a fan of Marvelman through the 1960's and 70's, reading the old comics, and even envisioned doing a Mad Magazine-style spoof.

Alan Moore was given the job of writing this revival, and Garry Leach was the first to draw it. This is generally acknowledged to be the first "post-modern" superhero comic book.

Context of the term "post-modern" in superhero comic books: In the comics of the Golden Age (1930's - early 1950's) and early Silver Age (mid 1950's to late 1960's), superheroes were mostly simple creatures, beloved by the public, unburdened by excessive personal problems and existing in a world in which the biggest challenge a superhero faced was a supervillain, not the daily challenges of paying the rent, getting along with fellow superheroes, and negative public opinion.

The first "modern" heroes appeared in the early 1960's, when Marvel Comics introduced their new superheroes such as The Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, The Avengers, and the X-Men. With stories and dialog written by Stan Lee and pages of pictures drawn by the likes of Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, these heroes were more human. They bickered and quarreled, faced practical challenges of relationships and bill-paying, and were not always the "beloved idols of millions."

Alan Moore's Marvelman broke new ground in not just considering the personal effects of a superhero career, but also the ultimate, apocalyptic potential of super-powered humans in the real world. The hero and his alter-ego were actually separate people who switched places in a limbo-like dimension through the transformation that occurred at the sound of the word "kimota!" Micky (now Michael) Moran had grown up to be a pudgy, middle-aged schlub working as a journalist who had completely forgotten about his time as a superhero. A stressful incident with nuclear terrorists awakened his memory, but the world into which Marvelman awoke was not the one in which he had previously lived. His "mushroom cloud" transformation did physical damage to people and the area around him. His super-strength near-killed every normal human he fought. And it was the tension-fraught 1980's of Margaret Thatcher and the Cold War, not the friendly 1950's of cartoony mad scientists and fictional foreign dictators in which he found himself.

The villain turned out to be Kid Marvelman, who had not transformed back to his normal human alter ego in twenty years, and was now a charismatic business tycoon, pretending to be his look-alike alter ego, Johnny Bates. He was ultimately revealed to be a sociopath with the power to fulfill his basest desires by the most  destructive means, often graphically depicted. In the meantime, Marvelman's powers seemed to defy the laws of physics. And though he still had a basic underlying personal similarity to Michael Moran, and looked like an idealized, super-fit version of him, he proved to be smarter and more charismatic, and made love to Michael's wife in a fantastically superior manner.

The story did not reach its apocalyptic climax in the pages of Warrior, however. 

Before it got to that point, creative differences and financial difficulties led to Alan Moore and new artist for the strip Alan Davis to cease working for Dez Skinn. The Marvelman strip therefore made its last appearance in Warrior in August, 1984, after 112 pages, and with a cliffhanger.

Soon after, attorneys for Marvel Comics sent a cease-and-desist letter to Skinn, claiming that the use of a character with the name "Marvelman" misrepresented Quality Communications as the company that owned the trademark on the word "Marvel" and the name of the superhero "Captain Marvel," Marvel comics. Skinn (and his attorneys) had a lengthy correspondence with Marvel's attorneys, but the days of Warrior were numbered. Its last issue was #26 in February, 1985.

NEXT: The Marvelous Miracle! Or was it Miraculous Marvel?

Some important parts of the information in this post were drawn from http://www.comicsbeat.com/poisoned-chalice-part-4-intermission-1963-to-1982/, a very thoroughly researched work about the history of Marvelman.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Marvel's Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers) Third Trailer review!

Once again, we interrupt the "Blog History of Captain Marvel (all of them!)" to bring you the latest news about an upcoming Captain Marvel movie.

So, here is the third (and allegedly final) trailer for Marvel's Captain Marvel movie, a.k.a. "Special Look":

This one fleshes out a bit more of Carol Danvers' relationship with Nick Fury and the background and plot of the movie.

Combined with other evidence, it has been figured out that the leather biker jacket Carol is wearing (and presumable the helmet and motorcycle) were taken from Rob Kozinsky's character. This is clearly a Terminator 2 reference.

Skrulls are eclearly established as shape-shifters, and no doubt is left as to the race of the old lady on the subway.

Carol Danvers can shoot photon blasts out of her hands! (Reference to Monica Rambeau, Marvel's first female and only black Captain Marvel, whose mother appears in the film as a fellow air force jet pilot to Carol Danvers?)

Nick Fury tends bar in a dive in the middle of a western US desert. And what is it about Fury's left eye? We know he loses it later, but here he gets a serious cut over it. Perhaps he should learn to protect it better? Maybe not drop his left when he throws a punch?

That injury apparently happened after he first met her, as that shot of him knocking on the window nd removing his glasses did not include the eyebrow injury.

Jude Law's character (whom I am assuming is Yon-Rogg because the Funko Pop character with the same Kree-Starforce uniform, who happens to be the only male Kree in Starforce with a Caucasian face, is named so) is Carol Danvers' trainer, but there is some tension, as he warns her of reaching beyond her grasp.

Vers (as the Funko Pops reveal will be Carol Danvers' Kree name) has no memory of her past. While this might have been a reference to her split personality in the original comics (Carol Danvers wooed have memory blackouts and Ms. Marvel would not know who she was), but the YouTube breakdowners are all saying that there may well be some sort of false memories planted in her head.

Brie Larsen's performance is given more screen time than the two lines she gat in the first trailer. She has goen from deadpan to deadpan snarky.

One consistent thread through all of these trailers has been Carol Danvers falling and then getting back u p. It is my expectation that this will be the dominant theme of the picture. Carol stumbles. Carol makes mistakes. Carol bites off more than she can shew and fails, fall, collapses. But shew gets back up. Each and every time she rises up again, stronger, wiser, and more determined than ever to lick that challenge.

This is what makes HER a HERO.

Here are some easter egg/breakdown/commentary videos:

...and here are some "reaction" videos:

...and we finish it up with a couple of "reaction mashup" videos...


Thursday, December 13, 2018

MARVELMAN! It's a Miracle! The British Captain Marvel rip-off! (Part 8 of the Blog History of ALL the Captain Marvels)

This history makes reference to material that can be found in the following books:

As we have already seen, in 1953 Fawcett settled the lawsuit with the company now known as DC Comics and agreed to never publish Captain Marvel comics ever again.

It turns out, however, that L. Miller & Sons had been publishing black-and-white versions of these stories in the United Kingdom for years. The material was supplied by Fawcett and the books were printed in the UK. When word reached these publishers of the imminent cessation of material, they realized they had to do something, because Captain Marvel was extremely popular!

So writer-artist Mick Anglo created Marvelman, a new superhero with remarkable similarities to the Big Red Cheese, not the least of which was his name. His alter ego was young Mickey Moran, a copy boy for the Daily Bugle (I have found no evidence that Stan Lee ever saw this comic before writing Spider-Man), who met the astrophysicist Guntag Barghelt, who gave him the super-scientific word "Kimota" ("atomic" misspelled backwards) which, upon utterance, would turn the boy into the mighty hero...Marvelman!

Marvelman was super-strong, invulnerable, and could fly. He wore a blue suit with no cape and had a blonde crew-cut with a superman-style spit-curl forelock. His face was a dead ringer for the World's Mightiest Mortal. Micky Moran, likewise was a carbon-copy of Billy Batson, but with the same blonde crew-cut and forelock as the hero into which he would transform.

Marvelman's debut was presaged by a brief promotional campaign in which Captain Marvel and Captain Marvel, Jr, in their respective L. Miller & Sons comics, stated that they were taking a break, but to watch for something new in the coming issues. After a few issues of this, the titles of these comics were changed to Marvelman and Young Marvelman, respectively, and thus were the names of the new heroes that appeared inside.

Young Marvelman was a uniformed messenger boy who gained the power to turn into a superhero version of himself by saying the name of Marvelman.

Marvelman's arch enemy was Dr. Emil Gargunza, who was essentially Dr. Sivana with hair. The stories followed the basic patterns of Captain Marvel stories, and even some covers and panels were direct copies of Captain Marvel pictures. However, being in Great Britain, it can safely be assumed that neither Fawcett nor DC noticed or cared.

In time there was even a Kid Marvelman and a Young Gargunza, and even supervillains named Nastyman and Kid Nastyman. A Marvelman Family comic contained stories of the whole team.

Original stories were written and drawn for most of the decade and enjoyed a great degree of popularity. Thwn, in 1959, certain laws were changed that allowed the full-color American comics to be imported to the UK. followed by a few years of reprints, until the line of Marvelman and family comics was cancelled in 1963. by this time original comics from the US were reaching the British markets, and there was no longer as much interest in this old hero.

 Marvelman stories were reprinted in Italy and Australia, and also in Brazil, where the hero had the name "Jack Marvel." The Brazilian reprints were printed in Marvel Magazine and the "MM" logo on the hero's chest was erased.

Some parts of this history are a bit confusing. Apparently, Mick Anglo also created a character named "Captain Universe," which existed in two issues of an eponymous comic published by Len Miller's son in 1954. Threat of a lawsuit (it is unclear from whom) shut it down.  Mick Anglo left Len Miller in 1960, and saw that some of his Marvelman stories were reprinted or redrawn with the character named "Captain Miracle" or "Miracle Man" with a different costume.

Then, in 1981, Warrior Magazine in the UK published a revival of the character, written by Alan Moore. We will cover this revival in the next chapter.

Note: this is a basic overview. A well-researched, lengthy, and detailed history of the character and many issues surrounding him at http://www.comicsbeat.com/poison-chalice-interlude-1953-1985-roundup-and-some-notes-on-copyright/

A lot more detail about the creation of Marvelman, with a focus on the ownership of the intellectual property rights, can be found at http://www.comicsbeat.com/poisoned-chalice-part-16-who-own-marvelman-part-ii/

Another, more brief history can be found at https://www.leylander.org/intercom/marvelman/

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

RIP: William Goldman. Wrote many great movies, and a SHAZAM! movie script

William Goldman's SHAZAM! script.

William Goldman was one of the great novelists and screenwriters of the second half of the 20th century. He wrote many of the modern classics that either redefined or reestablished how great and how much fun a movie could be. These included many that I have seen and enjoyed and a few I want to, such as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Stepford Wives, The Great Waldo Pepper, Marathon Man, All the President's Men, A Bridge Too Far, The Princess Bride, Twins, Misery, A Few Good Men, Last Action Hero, and Good Will Hunting.

Of course, not every one of these screenplays was an Oscar-winning hit, and he did a bunch that were never used, such has screenplays for Flowers for Algernon, Papillon, Grand Hotel, The Sea Kings, The Right Stuff, and one comic book property that goes under the title SHAZAM!

Of course, plenty of writers have written screenplays that were never produced. But beyond that, there have been plenty of writers who have written or started to write scripts for SHAZAM!

But of them all William Goldman is the one who died most recently (Nov. 16, 2018), and is the one with the most accomplished career, so I thought I would take a moment to discuss his place in Captain Marvel history.

The story of the script is pretty simple, keeping with the general pattern of superhero origin movies as they had been established in the latter part of the 20th century. Billy is lured into the hall of the old wizard, gets the power to become a hero, battles the villain, Dr. Sivana, wins the day. There are further details, such as the fact that Billy is a foster kid/ problem child who has a close friendship (foster sibling/potentially more?) with an older girl, Jenny, who can be characterized by the same terms (this girl happens to be the one who found him in the snow as a baby and brought him to the orphanage). Dr. Sivana's two beautiful children are part of the story. Captain Marvel has a battle against the son, Magnificus, but the daughter, Beautea, eventually rejects her father's objectives and falls for Captain Marvel.

Like many movie adaptations of comic book properties, there are dome deviations from the source material. these include:
Billy in a foster home.
The character of Jenny.
Billy finds Shazam through a museum incident.
Jenny's romantic attraction to Captain Marvel.
Billy gaining the powers of the Elders one by one, as he needs them.
Captain Marvel has super-breath.

There is one very cute reference to the original Fawcett comics: in one scene Billy is taking a test. He whispers the magic word, and the ghostly visage of Captain Marvel shows up to give him the answers.

Some readers of the script claimed it was the greatest superhero movie ever. Certain, more recent reviewers, such as Scriptshadow and SHAZAMAHOLIC! have been less kind.

It is not a perfect script, even if you discount the differences from the comics. There is too much exploring of the powers and not enough superheroics. A fight between Captain Marvel and Magnificus has a lot of creative dynamics to it, but the triumphant climax to the movie, while clever, is not a visually exciting feat (unless you find chemistry visually exciting).

This was neither the first, not the last, time an acclaimed non-comics writer wrote a superhero movie script. Remember, Mario Puzzo wrote Superman: the Movie. While long considered (and deservedly so) the greatest superhero movie ever made, that film, which kicked off the modern age of superhero movies, is a bit uneven and has a plot hole you could push Krypton through.

The trouble is that great writers, great as they may be, may not have the life-long understanding of a comic book property that can enable them to make such necessary departures from the comic book canon as the medium and differing audience of the medium of film may need and still serve the message of the original character or enamor the fans who go to see something with which they are already familiar.

David Hayter on the other hand, was able to write a script for X-Men that made the departures specifically relevant. Most notably, the character of Rogue and her relationship with Wolverine..

In the comics, Rogue was a young woman who had been part of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. She had stolen the powers and memories of Carol Danvers (at the time Ms. Marvel, today Marvel's current Captain Marvel), but left the Brotherhood to join the X-Men.

Also in the comics, Wolverine had a sidekick, a teenage girl named Jubilee, whose superpower was shooting dazzling light shows from her hands.

In the movie, Rogue was a young teenage runaway who had discovered she had the power to absorb people's minds when she touched them. She freaked out and ran away after nearly killing her boyfriend the first time she kissed him, and wound up being a sort of sidekick to Wolverine.

Replacing Jubilee with Rogue enabled Rogue's powers to be a sort of metaphor for the alienation of youth, particularly those youths who felt themselves "different" because of their gender identity, homosexuality, race, interests, etc. The X-Men, a team of mutants,. were always about being a metaphor for disaffected youth, afraid of hurting their loved ones with what made them different, hunted by a word that feared what they did not understand.

The stories of both of these movies, however, where created based  on the characters, but not a specific story about the characters that had appeared n any comic.

Now, the upcoming SHAZAM! movie will probably not need much in the way of "departures from canon" for the purpose of constructing a story, mainly because it is an adaptation of the specific story that appeared as a back-up to several issues of Justice League from DC Comics. It was, however, directed by someone who admitted having no experience with the hero before getting this job. Though he apparently did a lot of research, they are going with the New 52 version of the hero.

It is interesting to note, at this point, that there are actually some things in the Goldman script that are in the New 52 version, particularly the orphanage origin and Billy's resistance to getting adopted. Also the focus o the value of family, and how "family" does not have to be the one you were born with. I'm reasonably certain this is a coincidence (where else is an orphan going to live?), but interesting that more than one writer has decided to go this way with the character.

Here Are 10 Commandments On Writing From William Goldman:

  1. Thou shalt not take the crisis out of the protagonist’s hands.
  2. Thou shalt not make life easy for the protagonist.
  3. Thou shalt not give exposition for exposition’s sake.
  4. Thou shalt not use false mystery or cheap surprise.
  5. Thou shalt respect thy audience.
  6. Thou shalt know thy world as God knows this one.
  7. Thou shalt not complicate when complexity is better.
  8. Thou shalt seek the end of the line, taking characters to the farthest depth of the conflict imaginable within the story’s own realm of probability.
  9. Thou shalt not write on the nose — put a subtext under every text.
  10. Thou shalt rewrite.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018


So, on Monday Night Football last week, Marvel dropped their new trailer for their movie about Carol Danvers as a superhero, "Captain Marvel." And it is a doozy...for a few reasons.

First off, it shows some pretty impressive special effects. Not just that they are convincing, but they show that some pretty impressive things are happening. There are lightning bolts going into a girl's brain, energy blasts coming out of the hero's hands, explosions, etc. It could be pretty impressive.

But this trailer also reveals what may be the crux of the entire plot (or at least the character arc).

When we last saw Our Hero, she was crash-landing through the roof of a Blockbuster video store in the 1990's, punching out an old lady on a public transit conveyance, having flashbacks to herself in the US Air Force and as a small girl falling down and getting up a lot, getting zapped in the head by energy, shooting energy bolts from her hands on the top of a commuter train, and sharing enigmatic one-liners with Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D...with two whole eyes).
This debunked the fan theory that Carol Danvers was the 22-year-old schizophrenic referred to in the beginning of Dr. Strange (Why a schizophrenic? Because Carol Danvers and Ms. Marvel were a split personality in her the first year or so of the hero's presence in Marvel Comics). But it did seem to confirm that Carol Danvers is going to have been an Air Force pilot, just like she was in the comics.

There were also snatches of shots of Danvers in a helmet and some other alien sets and characters that, combined with a bunch of photographs released to Entertainment Weekly, revealed that she would be part of a Kree superhero commando team called Starforce. Jude Law's character appeared but was unnamed, and IMDB persisted in saying that he would be Captain Mar-Vell/Walter Lawson. Ben Mendelssohn was revealed as playing a Skrull named Talos.

This time, we learned more of her story.


Since I started writing this article, news has reached me that two Funko Pop figures have revealed two character names. A character that appears to be Brie Larsen in the green-and-black uniform and helmet of Carol Danvers is named "Vers" and a white, male, helmeted character in green-and-black (and only Jude Law fits that description so far), is "Yon-Rogg."

Carol Danvers grows up as a tomboy and speed freak, playing baseball and racing go-karts. She joins the US Air Force and becomes friends with a woman who would become the mother of Monica Rambeau. She becomes a test pilot and, somehow, she crash-lands on a planet or a deserted part of Earth and bleeds blue blood through the nose. She also has lost her memory. The Skrull warrior Talos tries to kill or kidnap her, but she is rescued by Kree. They find a fragment of her Air Force dogtag that includes part of her last name, "...vers," and use that as her name. They put her through a Kree "Six Million Kree Imperial Monetary Units Woman" procedure and make her into a leader of their super-powered enforcement squad, Starforce. Yon-Rogg is her mentor, and Ronan is some sort of supreme commander-type.

In the course of an adventure (possibly being pursued by Skrulls), her ship blows up and she crashes to Earth into a Blockbuster Video store in Los Angeles in the mid-1990's. She explores the subway, then starts to head out to the western US desert, where she blows up a storefront and meets Samuel Jacks...I mean S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Nick Fury (who has two eyes). The two of them go to a S.H.I.E.L.D base hidden in a mountain, where Danvers' thumb accesses a room in which are files about her military career (so she must have been a S.H.I.E.L.D agent somewhere in there).

The Kree come to get her and she finds out more about her past. Yon-Rogg reveals the true depth, meaning, and motivation of the Kree imperium. She decides to reject the Kree and fight for Earth.

Some things that I don't know and wonder about are as follows:

Is she a Skrull? The answer is not as obvious as I first thought. The first thought is, of course, "no." But then I got to thinking...you know, we got Skrulls here, and Skrulls are shapeshifters.. and then I thought of a recent Marvel Comics epic crossover storyline...

Secret Invasion was Marvel's big epic company-wide crossover event for 2008. In it, it was revealed that many, many people on Earth were Skrull agents. More than that, many of them were disguised as superheroes, and that they had been altered by Skrull science to be completely undetectable and not even know that they were Skrulls...until they either died, or a certain triggering mechanism was activated (usually a phrase or image).

The one who was disguised as Mar-Vell, however, was a special case. He was one of the first subjects of this process, and they went a little too far on him. The Mar-Vell memories and personality they had imprinted on him were too strong. The triggering mechanism did not work, and even when faced with a Skrull who told him exactly who and what he was, he rejected it. Instead, he embraced his Mar-Vall persona and fought against the Skrulls in space until he died in battle.

Well, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has already adapted the Captain America - Iron Man Civil War epic, company-wide crossover event, why not Secret Invasion, which followed hard upon it?

Where is Mar-Vell? Marvel Comics' first Captain Marvel (as regular readers of this blog should well know) was Captain Mar-Vell of the Kree. His superior officer was Yon-Rogg, who kept on trying to screw him over so he would have a shot at his girlfriend, Medic Una. He was sent to spy on Earth, disguised himself as rocket scientist Dr. Walter Lawson, and became close with Carol Danvers, who was then security chief at Cape Kennedy. Later, an explosion of a Kree device during battle with Yon-Rogg sent Mar-Vell's Kree DNA mingling with Danvers' which later turned her into the superhero Ms. Marvel. Mar-Vell later died of cancer, but returned years later to help save the universe (long story. In fact, much of this is a long story), but he died again, after which Danvers took on the mantle of Captain Marvel herself.

Somehow, this origin story was said to be too much like Green Lantern's. Let's see, what is similar about this? In GL, an alien cop crash lands on Earth, seeks a man without fear, who turns out to be a test pilot. He passes a magical ring to the test pilot before dying, and the test pilot replaces him as space-cop for that section of the galaxy.

So...we have an alien coming to Earth, we have some power being passed to a human with some relation to airplanes, and we have the human becoming a superhero (who, in the case of Carol Danvers, was created to be a feminist icon). That's the depth of the connection I see. Not a lot. In fact, when a human test pilot becomes an enforcement agent for an intergalactic empire and a mentor figure turns out to be a bad guy, I am seeing more Green Lantern, not less.

So, was it decided for Mar-Vell to not exist in the MCU? Then from where does Carol Danvers get the name "Captain Marvel"?

What's with the cat? Well, that's not a cat. In the comics, anyway, it's a flerken, an alien race that looks like cats. They lay eggs. They contain "pocket dimensions" within themselves. And they also can release an amazing set of teeth and tentacles to devour adversaries, should they feel a need to do so.

So why is there one named "Goose" in this trailer?

Well, in the comics, there was this orange cat that Carol Danvers, as Captain Marvel, threw at a magical supervillain named Warren Traveller. But this wasn't as the Captain Marvel we know now, but one in an alternate reality created by Scarlet Witch in the 2005 epic Marvel Comics company-wide crossover event called House of M. The relevant part of this alternate reality is that Carol Danvers, as Captain Marvel, was the greatest superhero in the world.

When she threw the cat at Traveller (a villain who did not exist in the regular Marvel Universe) he tried to escape by casting a time travel spell. He did disappear, but the cat went with him. A few days later, after the the world went back to normal, the cat showed up in Carol's apartment. Traveler materialized seconds later, and chaos ensued. Long story short, Traveler was (eventually) defeated, but Danvers kept the cat and named it "Chewie," short for "Chewbacca," the wookie from Star Wars.

A couple of years later, Carol Danvers, now Captain Marvel again, but this time in the "regular" Marvel Universe, was traveling though space , and met up with the Guardians of the Galaxy (the version on which the recent movies were based). When Rocket Racoon saw the cat, he went apeshit, calling it a "flerken" and screaming "Kill it with fire!" while pursuing it with deadly abandon.

Chewie hid in a closet, and when she was found, she was surrounded by over 100 purple eggs. The eggs soon started to hatch kittens. then it revealed the aforementioned teeth and tentacles, ridding the space ship of a particular menace. Rocket then fell in love with the flerken.

And none of that really answers what this cat named "Goose" is doing in this movie.

(Yes, "Goose" is probably a Top Gun reference, but that movie was about Navy flyers and this one is about Air Force flyers, I just wanted to end this post with the above sentence, because even that bit of info does not fully answer the question. And it is probably not a reference to the motorcycle cop in Mad Max).

Here are some videos that attempt to identify "Easter Eggs" and other clues from this trailer:

Friday, November 23, 2018


One quick break in the "Blog History of All the Captain Marvels" to share the news that Warners/DC has released a NEW SYNOPSIS for their upcoming SHAZAM! movie, featuring a hero based on the original Captain Marvel.

As reported by Heroic Hollywood (and I don't have time to do another Clickbait Roundup on it), this is the text of the new synopsis:

“We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s (Asher Angel) case, by shouting out one word—SHAZAM!—this streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult Super Hero Shazam (Zachary Levi), courtesy of an ancient wizard (Djimon Hounsou). Still a kid at heart—inside a ripped, godlike body—Shazam revels in this adult version of himself by doing what any teen would do with superpowers: have fun with them! Can he fly? Does he have X-ray vision? Can he shoot lightning out of his hands? Can he skip his social studies test? Shazam sets out to test the limits of his abilities with the joyful recklessness of a child. But he’ll need to master these powers quickly in order to fight the deadly forces of evil controlled by Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong).”

The differences between this and the previous version of the synopsis are few. They have added the phrace "...a ripped, godlike body...", stated that he is "having fun" with his new powers, and estabished that he is facing the challenge of "master(ing) these powers" so he can "fight the deadly forces of evil."

None of these are unexpected details of a superhero film, they seem more like simple expansions of the concepts expressed in the previous synopsis and are hinted at in the trailer. But there is one detail that makes official something everyone already knew except for those people unfamiliar with he character: Dr. Sivana will be the villain!

Those of us who have been following the production have known Dr. Sivana, described in the original comics as "The World's Wickedest Scientist" and self-described "Rightful Ruler of the Universe," would be involved. Mark Strong has been cast in the role, on-set photos revealed him working with Zachary Levy (the hero), and there is a shot in the trailer of him catching the hero's fist and his eyes glowing.

In the original comics, Sivana was short and ugly. He was physically no match for the original Captain Marvel, and used science and chicanery to try to find ways to outwit, out-position, and overcome the hero's opposition to him taking his place as Ruler of the Universe. But somehow the Big Red Cheese was always able to overcome these challenges and obstacles, often because Sivana forgot one little detail that left him vulnerable. Such a character could have been brilliantly played by Armin Shimmerman.

But this version of the hero is based on the New 52 version. For those who may not know, the "New 52" was a 2011 complete re-vamp and re-boot of the entire line of DC Comics. The character who had been known as Captain Marvel ever since he was created for Fawcett Publications in 1939, and had been re-vamped and re-booted at least three times by DC from the 1980's to the 2000's, was put through his most drastic reimagining ever.

As regular readers of this blog should know by now, for trademark reasons, DC could not put the hero's name on the cover of the comic instead deciding to use his transformative magic word, "SHAZAM!" (all caps, with the exclamation point) as the title of the comic and the trademark for merchandising. This confused enough people that for the New 52, the name of the hero to be marketed under that title and trademark would match that title and trademark.

With this change of name also came a change in costume, power set, origin story, and living situation. It also came with a change in the arch enemy.

Dr. Sivana, in the New 52, is a tall, handsome, wealthy man obsessed with finding the secret of magic. He finds the tomb of the ancient wizard Shazam and absorbs the ability to "see magic," as well as use it. It also, eventually started eating away at his body, and he was last seen becoming smaller and uglier, perhaps eventually turning in into the short, ugly character of the original comics.

Mark Strong is a perfect physical type and has a body of work that indicates that he would be a very good choice for this new interpretation of the villain. On top of the increased height and charisma of this new version, the movie is also giving him a degree of physical ability that the comics did not (this is presumably because in the comics Black Adam served as a co-villain to go toe-to-toe with the hero, but that character, announced to be played by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, will be making his debut in another film) which is also well within Mark Strong's wheelhouse.

So, to sum up: The specificities added to this new synopsis pretty much confirm what was already known or obvious, and those who were hoping for a movie about the original Captain Marvel will have to be satisfied with a re-imagined character loosly based on him.

Sort of like the upcoming Robin Hood, but that is an essay for another time.

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