Tuesday, 28 July 2015

GEE WHIZ! PART TWO OF SHAZAM! WITH ONE MAGIC WORD...


Images copyright DC COMICS

Cop a gander at WHIZ COMICS #9, below - "Captain Marvel
on the job!" it says  - and feeling a little 'horny' too, by the look of it.
Okay, cheap (and obvious) joke out of the way, CM looks remarkably
like SUPERMAN in this illustration, which could be what prompted
NATIONAL to sue FAWCETT for copyright infringement.

However, it's interesting to speculate as to whether they'd have
bothered if CAPTAIN MARVEL wasn't outselling Superman at the
time.  Was the lawsuit born more out of resentment that ol' Supes was
coming in second in the circulation stakes than a genuine belief that
young BILLY BATSON's other (adult) self was nothing more
than a blatant rip-off of CLARK KENT's alter-ego?

Who can say for sure?  Perhaps we'll never know, but at least we
can enjoy these covers from a time when Captain Marvel was indeed
"The World's Mightiest Mortal!"

So, who do you prefer - the Big Red Cheese or the Last Son of
Krypton?  Get those fingers typing, frantic ones - and vote now!







8 comments:

TC said...

DC sued Fox Publications over Wonder Man, and they sued Fawcett over Master Man. But, by the mid-1940's, there were too many superhero comics flooding the market, and you can't sue everybody. I suspect that they wouldn't have bothered with Captain Marvel if it hadn't been outselling Superman. "Where there's a hit, there's a writ."

My impression (from the relatively few WWII-era reprints that I've read) is that Superman and Captain Marvel were similar in tone and style ca. 1940. Both were straight action-adventure strips, with some subtle comedy relief. Over time, both evolved. Superman became more serious, and had more emphasis on human interest and character-driven drama. Captain Marvel went the opposite route, and became more whimsical.

When DC revived Captain Marvel in 1973, their comics included a letters-to-the-editor page specifically devoted to "Superman vs. Shazam." Interestingly, the kids preferred the serious and "realistic" Superman, while adults (the few who read comics back then) liked the tongue-in-cheek Captain Marvel.

Kid said...

It was a strange one, TC. The adults who'd read the original comics as kids seemed pleased to see CM's return, but contemporary kids didn't exactly go overboard on the mag. Probably because it was too different from what else was available at the time.

Tawny said...

Capt. Marvel for me!

Horny? I don't get the reference.

Kid said...

All together now - "Oh yes you do!"

John Pitt said...

I love these golden age covers. Here in the ULlK, Len Miller reprinted Whizz and many other Fawcett titles in b&w.

Kid said...

Which gave rise to Marvelman when Fawcett stopped their comic line. The most obvious case of plagiarism I've ever seen.

Big Tam said...

You'd have to be gay to think that fold in his leggings was a cock.

Kid said...

Guess you're gay then, Wee Tam, as nobody but you seems to have thought that. The 'horny' reference was an allusion to the rhino horn he's holding, but I guess that's much too obvious for thickos.

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