Here's a letter I got this week. Is the guy right?


Hello.

I recently read your article about the upcoming roster for the Justice League. You had a couple of mistakes when it came to two characters.

1) Freddy Freeman is not the new Captain Marvel. His character is named Shazam after,of course,the wizard.Billy Batson,although de-powered at the moment,is still Cap.

2) Dick Grayson,as Nightwing,was not only a member but leader of the Justice League during the Obsidian Age storyline a few years ago.

Still a good article though. Thanks for your time.

Respectfully,

Brian J. Adkins


If the CBG article in question is required, I'll post it. But I'm not gonna re-read "Obsidian Age" without a gun to my head! :)

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As far as I know, he's right about Freddy. The DC Database confirms that.

I don't know about the "Obsidian Age" storyline. I do know that Dick (as Nightwing) was first a Justice League member in Justice League Task Force #1 (1993). Well, DC Database didn't help here but I just returned from Wikipedia and that article says that he was chosen as leader for the replacement League.
Dick was NOT a member of the Justice League in Justice League Task Force #1, which was made clear in dialogue throughout that particular story arc, and is what I mentioned in the CBG article. Very, very specifically JLTF made it clear that people who participated in J'onn's "secret missions" -- and Dick in particular -- were NOT officially Justice League members. And, again, at the end of that "secret mission" Dick himself explained how he was NOT a member of the JLA, and probably would never be.

I researched this thoroughly when I was doing the JLA roll call that is somewhere else on this board, so I'm not making this up. Honest, Jeff, I'm not trying to come down on you when you were trying to help. But I know this particular bit forward and backward.

But this guy is saying Dick BECAME a JLA member during "Obsidian Age." Which, again, is not a storyline I remember very well (because I hated it) and will not read again on pain of death.

And I have no idea what he's talking about with Freddy, because I don't know WTF is going on with the Shazam characters currently, and I did read the Power of Shazam mini that made Freddy the new Captain Marvel. That's what I was referring to in my CBG article, but he's saying I misinterpreted it. Or that it's changed. Or something.

Does anybody know?
I'll gladly take your word for it about the Task Force, Cap. It's not like I went and pulled out the issue. And (ahem) I don't have a CBG subscription and haven't read the article in question. I'm amazed to find that I didn't transfer the JLA roster from the old board to our JLA group like I did for other teams. On the other hand, I just visited that old thread and it is kind of messy. Nightwing is mentioned a couple of times. He's mentioned as having joined (chronologically) between Hawkgirl (Kendra) and Green Lantern (John). Nightwing is also listed as a member of Justice League of Arkham (from the JL? event). This is just from skimming the four pages of that thread. (I'm tired!) Since Task Force doesn't count and I'm not inclined to include Justice League of Arkham as an official JLA team, I'd say that it does look like "Obsidian Age" is when he officially became a Leaguer. I'm guessing that Batman wasn't serving with the JLA when Dick stood in for Bruce during "Prodigal." This page also indicates "Obsidian Age" as the time the Dick joined the League. DC's website doesn't help and if it is mentioned in an issue of Secret Files & Origins then it is an issue that I don't have.

As for Nightwing leading the League and Freddy being Shazam, click the links in my previous post.
Last thing before I hit the sheets: Justice League: Cry for Justice #5 is the only issue I have sitting at my desk. It happens to be the one with the text piece & two page origin story for Freddy. The two-pager is titled "The Origin of Shazam!" That's the only point in the entire issue he's called Shazam, though. In the main story, he's only called Freddy by other characters. And this article at CBR has writer James Robinson calling him Freddy Freeman, not Shazam or Captain Marvel. I did not, however, read the entire article but just the team line-up.
I don't think anyone knows what's up with the Shazam characters. How about Billy as Captain No Marvel Copyright Infringement and Freddy as Captain WTF?

Anyway, I hated the Obsidian Age too and have never re-read it but my memory is that Nightwing was the leader.
The Winick mini was Trials of Shazam. We discussed it here and here, and in other threads.
Cavalier said:
Last thing before I hit the sheets: Justice League: Cry for Justice #5 is the only issue I have sitting at my desk. It happens to be the one with the text piece & two page origin story for Freddy. The two-pager is titled "The Origin of Shazam!" That's the only point in the entire issue he's called Shazam, though. In the main story, he's only called Freddy by other characters. And this article at CBR has writer James Robinson calling him Freddy Freeman, not Shazam or Captain Marvel. I did not, however, read the entire article but just the team line-up.

Well... that short that had Freddy got his COSTUME wrong, showing his cape as white, not red - so immediately I treat the article with a big ol' grain of salt (because, y'know, it's really hard to find anything about Freddy Freeman before "Trials of Shazam." :P )

Then again, according to "The Power of Shazam", both Billy and Mary were called Captain Marvel - which dictum lasted about the duration of one of Zeus' thunderbolts (Let the writer of the book have his way? It interferes with artistic freedom! If they want to call her Mary Marvel, they're going to! Just ask anyone who has used the Super-Man and Spiderman in their books... :P ).

As for what's going on with Captain Marvel now - why, whatever the current writer wants, it seems, and devil-take-it to those editors who want to make the character consistent. Myself, I wish they would just reintroduce Earth-S and reset THAT little cast of characters to their own world.

Batman DID recruit a back up league during the Obsequious age as I recall (the writer trying to still show Batman as a no-nonsense tough guy - which never worked in JLA unless Grant Morrison did it, because I thought that GM let a little humanity show through as well, instead of making Batman a flaming sphincter boy.) I also refuse to go back to that GOD-AWFUL maxi-mini-series in a book, because I remember it being horribly bad.

But for my money, going back to Justice League of America 50, Dick Grayson's always been a (Teen) Titan, and only an incidental guest in JLA at best. YMMV, of course.

x<]:o){
Oh, I agree, Dick is Titans all the way.

Now I'm trying to remember if were ever told why Freddy was never aged by the power of Shazam. maybe something to do with him being an adolescent rather than a young kid?
He's right about #2. I noticed the error as well.
I never read "The Obsidian Age", but my memory of what I heard about the story (and I may've read the first issue, too) is similar to Mart's and the reader's letter.
In Obsidian Age, all of the JLA were gone, (lost in time), and that triggered one of Batman's contingency plans. The JLA (or Bat-) computer contacted Dick Grayson, and made him watch a YouTube pre-recorded video from Batman on the Watchtower. The video made Nightwing the "field commander" of the JLA, with the new team being made up of heroes pre-selected (by whom? Batman? the whole JLA? It doesn't say.) to face whatever crisis that "killed" the JLA.

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Cry For Justice SPOILER ALERT!






It seems that Freddy hasn't been in Cry For Justice at all. It was Prometheus in disguise.

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