Monday, November 28, 2016

Marvel-ous Mondays: "The Coming of Captain Marvel!" by Lee, Colan, and Giacoia

Greetings, Groove-ophiles! By the time Li'l Groove got into comics, the original Marvel Universe was well in place. The FF, Hulk, Avengers, Spidey, DD, Inhumans, Silver Surfer, Asgard, Sub-Mariner, even the Kree and Skrull had already been introduced and well established. But Stan and Company weren't through creating yet--especially when a copyright was on the line! Ya see, although DC (then National Periodical Publications) had squashed the original Shazam!-shouting Captain Marvel back in the Golden Age, that didn't mean an enterprising young publisher (Myron Fass) wouldn't glom onto that Grand Old Name over a decade later. According to lore, Marvel Comics quickly seized the "Captain Marvel" name after Fass' version was cancelled. Marvel, they say, didn't want another publisher making moolah off a Captain that should belong to them, right? The result? One of Ol' Groove's all-time favorite characters, Captain Mar-vell was born. While the original run started off strong (as we'll see in today's post), a variety of writer, artist, direction, and even power changes made the series so uneven that even Roy Thomas and Gil Kane's legendary revamp couldn't save it. After Marv's huge role in the immortal Kree/Skrull War in Avengers issues 89-97, the good captain was re-commissioned and rewarded with the return his own mag, which ran from 1972 to 1979 and included even more legendary runs by Steve Englehart and Al Milgrom, Doug Moench and Pat Broderick, and the best of them all, Jim Starlin. But you knew that already, didn'tcha? Well, just for giggles, let's go aaaaaaaallllll the way back to Marv's debut from Marvel Super-Heroes #12 (September 1967) when Stan Lee, Gene Colan, and Frank Giacoia got it all together for..."The Coming of Captain Marvel!"
















11 comments:

  1. Holey Moley! Just read this yarn again as I've been reliving Mar-Vell's earliest career. I"m planning a closer look at this stuff in December, so once again great minds think alike. This first story was cranked out so quickly that it was revised almost from the get-go. But like a lot of early Marvel stuff it has an undeniable verve.

    Rip Off

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  2. I just wish Roy Thomas had talked Stan Lee/Marvel. Into buying the original Captain Marvel from Fawcett or DC? Back in the early or mid 1960's. Imagine if he had been retroed instead of having Peter Parker/ Thor. We'd had a more modern realistic Billy Batson & a Marvel version of Superman.

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  3. Groove! What a great way to start the Season! Green Marvel was my favorite, no doubt! For you experts out there, the art really does not seem like Gene very much??? I mean yo some degree I see Gene but I can't say I would have guessed with out being told in advance.

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    1. That's because of the ever awful inks of Frank Giacoia.

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    2. You're right Charlie, look at the panel second from the end of the last page....very unusual rendering, not sure if it's Gene the Dean or Fearless Frank that have given it the un-Colan-like look!

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    3. Yes indeed! Also page 2 panel 1 Cap looks 2-dimensional/flat like Don Heck would do. Just a weird looking book. Cheers!

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  4. Thank you, Groove! Any chance you can also include page 5 of the story?

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    1. Fixed it. Thanks for the heads-up, Groove-ophile!

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    2. Great introduction of Captain Marvel Groove! 'Aura of negativism'? Hmm seems like Stan was trying to write a cheesy 1950s scifi movie in this story!

      - Mike from Trinidad & Tobago.

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  5. A rather modest beginning for a hero that had many highs (Jim Starlin!)and lows (Drake/Heck) over the years. Of course this story was rushed out so that Marvel could secure copyright to the Captain Marvel name that DC had inadvertently allowed to lapse. I think things worked out pretty well in the end.

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  6. So, when DC brought back the World's Mightiest Mortal in the 1970's, they could use the name "Captain Marvel" in the strip itself, but not on the cover, or in merchandising. Their comic was called "Shazam."

    The Story, "What's In a Name? Doomsday!" in Shazam #7 (1973) may have been a spoof of the trademark glitch. A rumor gets started that saying Captain Marvel's name out loud will cause a disaster (long story). As it spreads, a bystander says, "No one is allowed to say that name! Must be a lawsuit or something."

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