|Images copyright DC COMICS|
Tuesday, 28 July 2015
SHAZAM! WITH ONE MAGIC WORD - PART ONE...
CAPTAIN THUNDER was his original name, but by the time he appeared in WHIZZ COMICS #2 (there was no #1), this had been changed to CAPTAIN MARVEL. A couple of ashcan editions were produced to secure copyright, but similarly-titled periodicals by rival publishers meant a change of name for the good Captain's premiere issue in 1939/'40.
Captain Marvel outsold SUPERMAN for a while, prompting NATIONAL (DC) to launch a plagiarism suit against FAWCETT, but the initial decision fell in Fawcett's favour. National appealed and won - and although Captain Marvel himself wasn't found to be a copyright infringement, it was felt that certain storylines and situations might be, requiring a re-trial to determine the facts.
However, because of the preceding twelve years of litigation - plus a decline in circulation of CM titles over that time - Fawcett decided it wasn't worth prolonging the battle and threw in the towel. They discontinued their comics line and paid National $400,000 in damages - which indicates that their legal costs must have been enormous if paying such an astronomical sum to their rival was considered the least expensive option.
National licensed the character from Fawcett for a revival in 1972, and finally acquired the rights to the Marvel Family line in 1991. Of course, there's still the MARVELMAN/MIRACLE-MAN situation to consider, but I'll leave that for somebody else to explore as, frankly, I can't generate either the energy or the enthusiasm to go into it.
Let's just look at the pictures, okay?
Posted by Kid at Tuesday, July 28, 2015