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Guide to the Injustice Roster: Explaining Comics to People Who Don’t Read Comics Part 5

April 10th, 2013 Posted by Gavok

SHAZAM

Alias: Captain Marvel, Billy Batson, Captain Thunder
First Appearance: Whiz Comics #2 (1940)
Powers: The wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles and the speed of Mercury. Able to summon lightning by saying, “Shazam”
Other Media: Old-timey film adaptations, had his own live-action show in the 70′s, an animated series, was on Legend of the Superheroes, guest-starred on Justice League, Batman: the Brave and the Bold and Young Justice.

I might as well get the name thing out of the way because I’m sure it’s confusing as hell for people out of the Shazam loop. The magical wizard is Shazam. The superhero is Captain Marvel, only sometimes they call him Shazam, like in current comics and this game. It’s for silly legal reasons that I’ll get to, but for the sake of simplicity, I’m just going to call him Captain Marvel throughout this thing.

It’s a little sad that your average Joe doesn’t know who Captain Marvel is because during the 40′s, he was THE top superhero. Published by Fawcett Comics, his adventures sold more than Superman and Batman. He was the first superhero to get his own movie (which featured him taking out a bunch of enemy soldiers with a gatling gun. Times were different back then). Elvis Presley based his on-stage wardrobe on Captain Marvel’s sidekick Captain Marvel Jr. Captain Marvel was the man.

Only he really wasn’t a man, but a young boy named Billy Batson. Chosen by the wizard Shazam for his purity, orphan news reporter Billy was bestowed the power of becoming Captain Marvel upon saying the word, “Shazam!” Powered by the gods, Captain Marvel fought the likes of Dr. Sivana, Mr. Mind and many others. What made the character work was that he was just a kid. It was pure power fantasy. The idea that you could become this great superhero no matter your age.

So what made him so much better than Superman in the nation’s mind? Well, to be brutally honest about early Superman comics, Captain Marvel was interesting. Superman was a novelty act. He was in God Mode, going through the motions, taking out criminals who were no threat to him. Watching him beat up wife-beaters or throw around mobsters was fun in its own way, but even the mad scientist characters didn’t work all that well. It was usually, “Haha! Let’s see what happens when I pour molten lava over Superman! Nothing? Well, shit. What if I send my giant robot forces? Torn apart with ease? Damn it.”

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Summerslam for Comic Fans

August 15th, 2010 Posted by Gavok

Tonight we have what I guess would be considered the WWE’s third most important show of the year, Summerslam. I mean, on paper, it’s supposed to be the secondary Wrestlemania, but everyone and their imaginary friend loves Royal Rumble more. I look forward to the show despite the roadblocks it sets up. There are only six matches signed. One of these matches is a throwaway Divas match I couldn’t care less about. One of the championship matches is Rey Mysterio vs. Kane and while I love Kane and don’t mind Mysterio, I don’t need to be reminded of their abysmal, “Is he alive or is he dead?” feud.

So why am I so jazzed about the show? Team WWE vs. the Nexus in an elimination tag match. The Nexus has been one of the better wrestling storylines in past years, despite its own set of roadblocks (Daniel Bryan/Bryan Danielson being fired, Wade Barrett’s visa problems, Ricky Steamboat’s injury). I can only hope the storyline doesn’t get killed as of the end of Summerslam, yet at the same time, I don’t want them to last long enough to get destroyed by a returning Triple H. God, I really don’t want to see Triple H involved with this in any way.

For those new to the big main event, here it is laid out DC Comics style.

(click for bigger version)

Let’s see who we got on here…

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This Week in Panels: Week 13

December 20th, 2009 Posted by Gavok

It’s a special Christmas edition of TWiP! I’m not just talking about Guy Gardner’s festive new Lantern color scheme, but at the end of this week’s entry, we have a little extra surprise from guest panel guy David Uzumeri!

Anti-Venom New Ways to Live #3
Zeb Wells, Paulo Siqueira and Marco Checchetto

Authority: The Lost Year #4
Grant Morrison, Keith Giffen and Darick Robertson

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Professor Marc’s Homework Assignment: Part Three

October 6th, 2007 Posted by Gavok

Weird Wonder Tales #3

Year: 1973
Writer: Various
Artist: Various
Synopsis: Weird Wonder Tales is a collection of older Twilight Zone-type stories reprinted together. There are four of them here and none of them have much to do with that cover. No mud monsters attacking people in cemeteries here.

The closest is the first story, which begins with our female protagonist being assaulted by a fish man crawling out of a muddy canal. Things calm down immediately, as the fish man means no harm. He’s part of an underwater race of fish people and got lost. Now he’s on the surface and people run and scream from him. The woman allows him to stay at her place for the night so he can continue the search the next day. The fish man remains at the woman’s place longer than expected, but keeps giving her gifts like pearls and other jewelry. She comes to realize that this creature is in love with her. On her way to find the creature and confront it, she finds the police are in her shed, brutalizing the poor guy. Turns out that the fish man had been robbing jewelry stores for these gifts.

And then…

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