Thursday, March 31, 2016

An Overview of Captain Marvel's Modernization!

Captain Marvel is introduced to us in the pages of The Power of Shazam! graphic novel.  Captain Marvel had his beginning in Whiz comics #2, published on December 1, 1939.  The Power of Shazam! graphic novel (TPOSGN) does a fantastic job bringing Captain Marvel back, keeping some of his classic golden age elements while giving him some modern age updates.

The first thing I noticed was Cap is in his classic uniform complete with bib front, Captain's sleeve marks, and cape with fleur-di-lis design! (Note, I wrote two articles on Cap's uniforms which you can read here and here.)  Look at the pictures below, the first being Captain Marvel from the cover of Whiz comics #2 (1939) and the Captain Marvel from TPOSGN!  Cap's uniform is unique and I greatly appreciate how Jerry Ordway brought his classic uniform back in TPOSGN.  

Captain Marvel from Whiz comics #2
Captain Marvel - The Power of Shazam!

Captain Marvel's powers are given to him from the wizard Shazam, and in the graphic novel we have the classic powers of wisdom, strength, stamina, power, courage and speed from Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles and Mercury.  I like how Cap struggles with learning how to handle these new powers in the graphic novel - things like learning how to fly, how much strength he possesses, and how to use the wisdom of Solomon.  Billy Batson/Captain Marvel never struggled with this in the golden age comics, but it really adds a greater dimension to his character and makes a great (and sometimes comical) plot twist in the graphic novel.

While The Power of Shazam! graphic novel isn't a whimsical story as you would find in Whiz/Captain Marvel Adventures comics, it isn't a 'dark and gritty' modernization either.  It brings back enough of the classic Cap elements to please old-time fans and giving just enough modern updates to keep it light but realistic.  Captain Marvel's character is intact, he works within the law and doesn't take matters of justice into his own hands.

This article was just to give a brief overview of Captain Marvel as introduced in The Power of Shazam! graphic novel while making some comparisons to the Captain Marvel introduced to the world in the pages of his golden age comics.  Needless to say, the Captain Marvel in the pages of TPOSGN is the worthy heir and successor to the golden age hero so many of us love!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Welcome to The Power of Shazam!

The Power of Shazam! was both a graphic novel and a comic series that gave us an updated origin and story line for Captain Marvel.

The Power of Shazam hard cover
The graphic novel came out first as a hard cover book on January 11, 1994.  A soft cover version was later released on December 6, 1994.  The graphic novel presented us with the origin of Captain Marvel and reintroduced fans to other Marvel characters such as the wizard Shazam, and Black Adam.  Jerry Ordway was both writer and artist for the graphic novel.

The Power of Shazam TPB

The Power of Shazam comic series premiered on January 31, 1995 and ran for 47 issues.  The last issue printed January 6, 1999.  (Note: The Power of Shazam! #48 was a one shot edition that printed on January 13, 2010)  Jerry Ordway was the writer and created each issues cover.

The Power of Shazam! #1

This blog will cover aspects of both the graphic novel and comic series.  I'm a big fan of the golden age Captain Marvel, and in my opinion The Power of Shazam! is a good modernization of classic Cap and his cast of characters.  I have two other Captain Marvel blogs, so please check those out for information on the golden age and bronze age Captain Marvel adventures!  I welcome your feedback and comments and sincerely hope you enjoy what you read here!

Say the word...Feel the power!!!