Monday, November 16, 2009

Shazam It

Originally posted on My Space on Wednesday, June 10, 2009.

My Favorite DC Comics character is Captain Marvel/Shazam. The Last 5 years have been crazy for the Character and his supporting Character the Marvel Family. During the Infinite Crisis, in 2006 they killed off the Wizard Shazam. During the Trials of Shazam in 2006, they turn Billy Batson/ Captain Marvel into a version of the Wizard Shazam called Marvel. Marvel sent Freddy Freeman/ Captain Marvel Jr. on the Trial of Shazam to reclaim the powers from the various Mythic Gods and heroes that patronized the Marvels. After all is said and done Freddy is now called Shazam. During all this in 52, Countdown to Final Crisis, and Final Crisis, Mary Marvel went from depowered to evil to good then neutral then bad the depowered then bad again. In 2009 they resurrected the Wizard Shazam who they depowered both Billy and Mary after they fell in with Black Adam, Afterwards he said he would deal with Freddy soon enough. Ok, DC I know The Marvel/Shazam Family is one of you second or third tier Characters, but lately too many changes one after the other confuse folks. This is reminiscent of what happed to Hawkman in the 90’s. Enough already, these character are mythic and if done right great. I enjoyed the Trials of Shazam, they were great but DC needs to police the use of their characters better sometimes.

I always liked Captain Marvel/ Billy Batson; he was the perfect childhood fantasy. You can say a magic word and poof you become an adult superhero. He was the first superhero who could hold his own against Superman. Because of the similarities DC sued Fawcett and basically destroyed the publisher. In the 80’s DC purchased Fawcett’s Superhero properties. DC has always tried to de-emphasize Captain Marvel especially after the name was trademarked by Marvel in the 60’s. Jerry Ordway’s Power of Shazam was great; it updated the character in a fun and faithful way. After Infinite Crisis and the Trials of Shazam, I thought the changes were cool. What they put Mary Marvel through irritated me. DC did not let the changes settle a while before letting Jerry Ordway resurrect the Wizard Shazam and make his death seem pointless.

Captain Marvel was a unique character in that he was a composite Avatar. He was an Avatar of Multiple Mythic Gods and heroes; this made him complex and interesting. Comics Books have very few good mythic Superheroes. Wonder Woman, Thor, Hercules and sometimes Isis seem to be the most popular. Captain Marvel like Wonder Woman has the advantage of being not public domain like the other three. Captain Marvel is an Avatar of Mythic beings from multiple cultures. When Judd Winnick wrote Trials of Shazam, Freddy underwent a quest to request renewed patronage of his Patron mythic beings. I feel this muddling of the Character is similar to what has occurred with Hawkman and Aquaman. DC these are your second tier first stringers characters, it is frustrating when your D-List heroes get treated better than major characters. That is the problem with corporate properties too many cooks in the broth.

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