I’ve been in the process of preparing a “comic book starter kit” for my little nephews and it occurred to me that I’d like to include a good Captain Marvel story as part of the package. While having, overall, very good memories of “The Power of Shazam” series, I can’t say that any story jumped out at me as the one that should be included. Therefore this seems like as good a time as any to take a look back through the series I remember so fondly. Since I’m reading through anyway, I thought I’d post my observations and open up a discussion for anyone that might be interested
The Power of Shazam started with an original graphic novel, written and painted by Jerry Ordway, released in 1994. DC had made a couple of prior attempts to integrate the Captain Marvel characters into the DCU but I would argue that, despite a timeframe that made it more concurrent with Zero Hour, this was the post-Crisis version of the character. [Previous to this series, Cap had been “re-invented” for the ‘80s in the mini “Shazam a New Beginning” and a followup feature in “Action Comics Weekly”, plus he had roles in “Legends”, the “Justice League” series before it went international, “War of the Gods”, and “Eclipso: The Darkness Within” . However, this version didn’t seem to gain any traction and one could easily see the Ordway version filling the role in Justice League and the crossovers, (which was the DC continuity party line.)]
For my purposes, I intend to start at the OGN and continue through the end of the series, including guest spots in other titles but not any of the crossover events from that time. [A side note: This doesn’t say anything about the quality of those events or Cap’s place in them. In fact, I quite enjoyed “Underworld Unleashed” which had Cap in a pretty prominent role. I just feel that the events didn’t affect the series very much and therefore, don’t need to be covered.] So, the reading order I will be following is:
The Power of Shazam 6-7
The Flash #107
The Power of Shazam 8-13
Superman: The Man of Tomorrow #4
The Power of Shazam 14-18
Showcase ‘96 #7
The Power of Shazam 19-34
The Power of Shazam 35
The Power of Shazam 36-43
The Power of Shazam #1,000,000
The Flash #1,000,000
The Power of Shazam 44-47
Supergirl Plus The Power of Shazam
Superboy Plus The Power of Shazam
The Power of Shazam 48
At one point Fawcett made Mary look a lot older than Billy even when she wasn't a Marvel.
The starting out with the discovery of an ancient tomb is how Billy met Shazam in the movie serial.
The series started out all right but I jumped ship not long after this point.