Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The true history of SHAZAM! and all the Captain Marvels (Part 5 of a whole bunch)

Part 5: The Magic is Back!
Studying history is funny. you may go all your life believing something you read onece. Then someone will tell you something that explains an aspect of it you did not know. Then someone comes along and says something the blows everything you think you know out of the water.
that's what happened to me with this story, and it seems very, very difficult to find two people who agree on it.

As we have seen, the company now known as DC Comics sued Fawcett Publications, the creators of the original Captain Marvel, for copyright infringement. Long story short, Fawcett settled and shut down their comics division,  including Captain Marvel and the entire extended Marvel Family.

As a result of this, there was no reason for anyone to expect that the original Captain Marvel would ever be seen again. He would be confined to the realm of fond memories and the occasional satire in publications like Mad Magazine and Marvel's Not Brand Ecch! When Jules Feiffer wrote The Great Comic Book Heroes in 1965, the publisher's legal team determined that they could only print one page of the Captain Marvel's origin story without running afoul of the legal agreement between Fawcett and DC.

But then in 1972, DC announced that they would be reviving that great hero in the pages of his own comic. How could this happen?

That depends on whose story you believe. IN DC's publications, the source of the dicision to bring back the original Captain MArvel was never revealed. When I started researching the project, however, I had a chance to talk with Carmine Infantino, who was the publisher of DC Comics at the time (Carmine was a frequent guest of the Big Apple Comci COn, and I was working for that convention).

Carmine told me that it was his idea. I asked him "did  you just wake up one morning and decide to bring back Captain MArvel?" and he said that yes, he called Fawcett and asked what it would cost to get the rights, and that Fawcett said "Make us an offer."

"Frankly, I think they were glad to get rid of him," he told me. This makes sense, as they couldn't make any money off of him any more. And so a deal was struck. And thus, that is how  thought the story went.

Then came the internet.

[Insert MArk Evanier's Jack Kirby story here]


Tuesday, October 9, 2018


For the record and your convenience, here is the trailer for Marvel's Captain Marvel...

Here are some "breakdowns" and "Easter eggs"...

And here are some reaction videos: