More about this Shazam stuff.

§ March 29th, 2005 § Filed under big red cheese Comments Off on More about this Shazam stuff.

Continuing my thoughts on Power of Shazam from yesterday: now that I’ve read a few more issues into the run of this series, I have a handful of other observations:

  • I did appreciate that with this revamp of Captain Marvel, work that had been done with the character in the then-recent past hadn’t been ignored. For example, Cap’s stint with the Giffen-era Justice League is referenced, even though it predated this revamp by about five years or so.
  • I forgot that Gil Kane also contributed artwork to a couple issues, adding to the spectacular illustration jobs that was the hallmark of this series. The stories are pretty standard, focusing on Captain Marvel Jr., but it all looks so purty you really don’t mind.
  • One of the things that really annoyed me about the series was the characterization of Ibis, whose dialogue was peppered with frequent sighs to demonstrate how bored and jaded he is with the world. Granted, it was annoying to the characters within the story as well, but it was pretty aggravating to have to read.
  • An element of the series that had slipped my mind was the old wizard Shazam leaving the Rock of Eternity to live with Billy Batson as his “grandfather.” Yes, it’s the old chestnut of someone high and mighty having to adjust to living with the common folk, but it generally works amusingly in this context.
  • I realize that DC probably thought that modern comic audiences didn’t want a cartoony Mr. Mind (as seen at the top of this page) as the Big Red Cheese’s arch-nemesis, but the wormy villain is so much a part of the Marvel Family milieu they could hardly afford to ignore him. The gradual evolution of the “realistic” alien worm into a version of the character that more evokes the earlier Mr. Mind was one of the fun elements of the series. (Am I wrong in remembering that the new Mr. Mind eventually gets a little radio translator to wear around his “neck?”)
  • Just recently, pal Dorian and I were talking about Thunder, the future Marvel Family member, and how we’re probably never going to see her again given her ties to one of the many previous revamps of Legion of Super-Heroes continuity. Too bad…this was a fun character (with the nice twist of the wizard Shazam’s position being taken by the aged Billy Batson version of Captain Marvel).
  • For my mostly minor problems with the series, it’s about a thousand times better than this thing. I normally love Roy Thomas’ work, and I normally love Tom Mandrake’s work…but this version of Captain Marvel was a carwreck. The series ends with Sivana in some bar drinking straight from a bottle of Tequila…and the worm at the bottom of the bottle was, you guessed it, Mr. Mind. What the…?!?

Additional linkage:

Some custom Legion of Super-Heroes figures, including the aforementioned Thunder.

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