TODAY'S 'MAIN FEATURE':
February 1940 was the first issue of Whiz Comics, even though it says #2 on the cover...
I won't go into the background of why it says #2, but this issue is very important because of the introduction of the original Captain Marvel!
Yes, he received his own title very quickly, in [March] 1941, which lasted until November of 1953.
The total number of issues published for that title "Captain Marvel Adventures" was: 150.
Although this Captain Marvel was one of the best selling comics in the 1940's, I don't really remember reading many if any of these super-hero Fawcett Comics when I was growing up on the West Coast. Nor did I really see them when we visited my folks relatives in the Midwest areas.
You see, I grew up in the late 1950's reading funny books as a young kid. So when I first came across "Captain Marvel", it was one of the "strange" Captain Marvel Comics, pictured to the left. (It ran for four issues.)
I thought it was "strange" because there was already a comics group called 'Marvel Comics', and thought why wasn't this 'Captain Marvel' not one of their titles...???
This Captain Marvel's background is the following:
"Roger Winkle, professor of archaeology at Dartmoor College and a robot, has but to utter the word "Split" and his various body parts separate.
Roger was sent to Earth to promote and preserve peace. When Roger becomes Captain Marvel by saying "Split", his various body parts dis-joint but are still under his mental control. When Captain Marvel says "Xam" the various body parts re-link. As Captain Marvel, Roger wears a uniform that includes jet boots and an amulet which energizes him. If his amulet is removed, he becomes immobile after a short while. His other weakness is that he cannot control his other body parts if glass comes between them and his head.
Roger takes young Billy Baxton as his ward and confidant. Roger's platonic girlfriend is Linda Knowles, daughter of the president of the college."
Man, that sure didn't sound like any Stan Lee written comic! But I recognized the name of "Carl Burgos" as being one of the creators of this "Captain Marvel". Hadn't he been credited as to creating the "Original Human Torch" for Timely / Marvel Comics that were being reprinted in Marvel's "Fantasy Masterpieces"? So again I asked, where is Marvel's "Captain Marvel" at?
Well, that was soon answered in December of 1967 by the 12th issue of 'Marvel Super-Heroes' with artwork by Gene Colan! (Who by the way, is the topic of this blog's "Featurette" section at the bottom right of this blog post!)
If it hadn't been for Stan Lee's Soapbox at the time, I might have missed this issue at the 7-11, as 'new' Marvel titles at the time were not stocked in depth on the spinner racks.
Plus this really wasn't a #12 issue of "Marvel Super-Heroes", as it was continued from "Fantasy Masterpieces" #11!
This Captain Marvel was definitely more in the manner of a Stan Lee presentation... and I found myself buying his comic book title shortly after he received his own series. Unfortunately, the title just never caught on... and stopped and started sporadically it seemed to me at the time!
It was only much later that DC started publishing their own Captain Marvel, but with the title Shazam because of legal issues! This series ran from February 1973 - May-June 1978!
You gotta remember that in the 'Old Days' there weren't many comic book shops, and most of my comics were bought off spinner racks at the 7-11s in the South Bay at the time.
There was this great book store in Downtown San Diego that had coverless comics from the 1940's - 1950's for sale... but I had no reference as to what issues they were from quite often, as the splash page would not have the info as to where the comic book was published from, if the info was printed on the bottom of the inside cover.
When I started buying from mail order dealers, I wasn't into Fawcett Comics, as I was a 'Marvel Zombie'. It wasn't until later, when I first started selling at the San Diego Comic Con that I broadened the scope of my reading of comic books.
Thus, although the original Captain Marvel was never one of my favorites, I can appreciate what he did for comics in general.
Today, the histories of the different "Captain Marvels" is a little convoluted, what with all of those different persons that have taken the name "Captain Marvel" since the 'Death' of Marvel's 1st 'Captain Marvel'. I'm not even going there for this blog..., as I haven't read most of those versions in their entirety in print.
Instead, I'll just give Kudos to the creators and the publisher of the Original Captain Marvel. 70 Years is a Long Time for a Creation to continue to entertain!
BTW...The first story of the Original Captain Marvel has been reprinted a few times since then, and some of the reprints are found in the following:
•in Famous First Edition (DC, 1974 series) #F-4
•in Millennium Edition: Whiz Comics 2 (DC, 2000 series) #[nn]
•in Shazam! Archives, The (DC, 1992 series) #1
--------------------------- My thanks again to all of YOU reading this blog and our archived blog posts! We usually blog on a daily basis during the 'work week' on comic book creators, comic book reviews, comic cons, book signings, and other pop culture news and events, such as the one blogged about here today.
Join us again soon, as we publish another 'Main Feature'. And don't forget to check out the 'Featurette' shown below this article!
~ Michael D Hamersky @ ComicBookCollectorsBlog.com
Note: Comic books / graphic novels like the ones shown above can be found at our own web site: http://www.ComicBooksCircus.com
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My Thanks to Jay E Fife, who sent me an update about the upcoming 2010 Pittsburgh Comic Con this past Saturday.
For those of you who have not been to this Con, here is the link to their Facebook Fan Page:
If you even think you may be attending this Con, feel free to 'join' that Fan Page! We aren't going to be able to make this Con, but I wanted to receive updates and comment on wall posts, so I 'joined' it already!
Let me get the 'business' part of this Featurette out of the way first. Here's the details for the upcoming Pittsburgh Comic Con:
Monroeville Convention CenterNow for the FUN STUFF! Well at least for me! ;-)
209 Mall Boulevard
Monroeville, Pennsylvania 15146
April 23, 24 & 25 2010
Pictured below is a photo that I took at another Con, of the SPECIAL GUEST that will be attending all three days of this Pittsburgh Comic Con 2010:
Yep, that's Gene (The Dean) Colan standing in the middle of the photo! He's pictured above after blowing out the candles on his birthday cake at the 2001 San Diego Comic Con! This was a special event at one of Mark Evanier's programs, who is pictured to the right.
He's expected to be there all 3 days of this Pittsuburgh Comic Con, so stop by and say hello to him AND his lovely wife Adrienne!
BTW, I recently blogged about the upcoming book on Gene; Click here to view the post on "The Invincible Gene Colan".
My thanks again to Jay for sending me the special guest info! Jay will be set up at table #___, so stop by and say hello to him too!
Have Sum Fun all of YOU lucky enough to attend this Con! For those blog readers who do stop in for one or all three days of this con, feel free to message me about your visit there, and share a photo or two!
Talking about comics: if YOU are a comics creator, (writer, penciler, inker, colorist, letterer, etc.), OR even a Comics / Magazine Publisher, feel free to contact me regarding YOUR works for a possible mention / review!
I've made a special blog post about: "How To Best Submit YOUR Publication For Possible Review!" for those creators / publishers that would like to possibly have their publications mentioned or reviewed, which could either be published in the 'Main Feature' or 'Featurette' sections.
~Michael @ ComicBookCollectorsBlog.com
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