Will the real Captain Marvel please stand up.

Will the real Captain Marvel please stand up.

Sat, 2017-12-02 14:42

In the '40s when I was a slip of a lad my favourite superhero was Captain Marvel.
Captain Marvel first appeared in Whiz Comics 02 (cover-dated Feb.1940) It was published by Fawcett, written by Bill Parker and drawn by C.C.Beck.
America it seems shared my interest and it was at that time the USA's most popular comic superhero too.
DC Comics put a stop to that.
The war had just ended and we kids didn't see many American comics bur there was some choice.
The way I remember it, Batman was going through a stage of dodgy drawing and writers preoccupied with giant sized everyday objects. Seven or eight years old and I thought them silly.
Superman I thought of as 'scientific', in as much as, given the original premise of his abilities derived from an extraterrestrial origin, the means he found to solve problems made sense - putting forest fires out with some convenient iceberg for instance, using friction to create heat, that kind of class room science. He was an adult who was busy getting things done.
By contrast, i n Captain Marvel comics Billy Batson was a boy not much older than myself who by magic could become a super-power endowed hero. Imagine how appealing that was. Great.
In 1972 DC licensed the Marvel Family characters from Fawcett. In 1991, DC had acquired all rights to the characters. They subsequently, and I quote, " integrated Captain Marvel and the Marvel Family into their DC Universe" and "attempted to revive the property several times, with mixed success".
They muffed it.
C.C. Beck's Captain Marvel was a big man but didn't look like someone who tried to win cups at body building contests.. Bill Parker's Captain Marvel was kind and avuncular. He was the centre of a family. A nice guy.
With magic powers.
Parker's Captain Marvel had the innocence of the best children's stories, something akin to fairy tales.
DC Comics - trying to incorporate Captain Marvel into the same setting and with the same assumptions as Superman and all the other troubled heroes in their gritty world of 'reality' - worked at, and managed, to lose all the charm of the original.. The early Captain Marvel had something in common with the Wizard of Oz movie, Superman was to become 'Metropolis'.
Both terrific but not compatible.
The world finished up with a Captain Marvel who isn't Captain Marvel and somebody called Shazam. Hollywood are now making movies of both and I would be curious to see at least one of them. To satisfy my curiosity I would risk the heart break of seeing what they make of Billy Batson.

There is an essay on the appeal of Captain Marvel at -
http://toobusythinkingboutcomics.blogspot.co.uk/2010/06/bill-parker-c-cb...

Brief history - https://steemit.com/captain-marvel/@goldenage/golden-age-superheroes-cap...

In the '40s when I was a slip of a lad my favourite superhero was Captain Marvel.
Captain Marvel first appeared in Whiz Comics 02 (cover-dated Feb.1940) It was published by Fawcett, written by Bill Parker and drawn by C.C.Beck.
America it seems shared my interest and it was at that time the USA's most popular comic superhero too.
DC Comics put a stop to that.
The war had just ended and we kids didn't see many American comics bur there was some choice.
The way I remember it, Batman was going through a stage of dodgy drawing and writers preoccupied with giant sized everyday objects. Seven or eight years old and I thought them silly.
Superman I thought of as 'scientific', in as much as, given the original premise of his abilities derived from an extraterrestrial origin, the means he found to solve problems made sense - putting forest fires out with some convenient iceberg for instance, using friction to create heat, that kind of class room science. He was an adult who was busy getting things done.
By contrast, i n Captain Marvel comics Billy Batson was a boy not much older than myself who by magic could become a super-power endowed hero. Imagine how appealing that was. Great.
In 1972 DC licensed the Marvel Family characters from Fawcett. In 1991, DC had acquired all rights to the characters. They subsequently, and I quote, " integrated Captain Marvel and the Marvel Family into their DC Universe" and "attempted to revive the property several times, with mixed success".
They muffed it.
C.C. Beck's Captain Marvel was a big man but didn't look like someone who tried to win cups at body building contests.. Bill Parker's Captain Marvel was kind and avuncular. He was the centre of a family. A nice guy.
With magic powers.
Parker's Captain Marvel had the innocence of the best children's stories, something akin to fairy tales.
DC Comics - trying to incorporate Captain Marvel into the same setting and with the same assumptions as Superman and all the other troubled heroes in their gritty world of 'reality' - worked at, and managed, to lose all the charm of the original.. The early Captain Marvel had something in common with the Wizard of Oz movie, Superman was to become 'Metropolis'.
Both terrific but not compatible.
The world finished up with a Captain Marvel who isn't Captain Marvel and somebody called Shazam. Hollywood are now making movies of both and I would be curious to see at least one of them. To satisfy my curiosity I would risk the heart break of seeing what they make of Billy Batson.

There is an essay on the appeal of Captain Marvel at -
http://toobusythinkingboutcomics.blogspot.co.uk/2010/06/bill-parker-c-cb...

Brief history - https://steemit.com/captain-marvel/@goldenage/golden-age-superheroes-cap...

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