“Is the writing team on this the exact writing team for at least the story of the movie?”
Geoff Johns wrote the serialized origin story and is now writing the current series.
“Was the first arc #1-4???”
The first storyline is still unfolding.
“Was the concept of all of Billy's foster siblings being the Marvel Family introduced in that immediately post-New 52 JUSTICE LEAGUE back-up???
“Were there any Shazam! titles or features in the era in between the arc's ending and the new title?”
Not that I know of. I don’t think so, but I could be mistaken.
“Has the concept that the figure Billy turns into was once, anyway, referred to as " Captain Marvel " ever been referenced ~ or even hinted/joked about - in-story?????????”
In the comic book, yes, but not in the movie.
“I think I have read that the reported " at one time, CAPTAIN MARVEL ADVENTURES outsold SUPERMAN may be total sales over a year, from the time that CMA was published bi-weekly. True???”
I don’t think so, despite the fact that virtually every article about the original Captain Marvel mentions that Captain Marvel once outsold Superman. Applying Occam’s Razor, this factoid arises from the annual circulation figures required by the U.S. Post Office. Generally, these figures are reported by individual series, but Fawcett lumped the sales of all their titles together, giving the perception that Captain Marvel outsold Superman when compared head-to-head. But unless you believe that Captain Midnight, Bulletman, SpySmasher and Nyoka the Jungle Girl also outsold Superman (and sold the exact same number of titles as each other), you should take those reports with a grain of salt.
It was when Billy and Freddie were brainstorming names for Billy's heroic persona (Thundercrack, Mr. Sparklefingers, etc.). They briefly conidered, then rejected, "Captain Marvel." (I forget the reason they gave, if any.) In the current version of the comic as well as the movie he is known as "Shazam."
I remember that in the movie Batman Forever, which was slightly less horrible than Batman and Robin, Dick Grayson considered the name Nightwing.
MMW CAPTAIN MARVEL v6:
Okay, listen up because this is important.
Captain Marvel #58 through Marvel Spotlight #3 (eight issues) is the best run of Captain Marvel stories ever.
And that includes the Starlin run.
But, unless you have read the original issues (when they were new or as backissues), chances are you’ve never read these stories because they have never been reprinted in their entirety until this volume.
Marvel Premiere Classic v43 (2010), The Death of Captain Marvel, also included issue #34 (in which he contracted the cancer which killed him) as well as Marvel Spotlight #1-2… presumably because it was a first and second issue, but it was actually the sixth and concluding chapters of an ongoing story which began in #58.
Issues #58-62 and Spotlight #1-2 introduce characters and situations which will be referenced in “cosmic” stories for many years to come, including Mar-Vell’s lady love Elysius, Stellarax, Tartarus, Gaea, Chaos and Dionysius. ISAAC, the super-computer which runs Saturn’s moon Titan, has been corrupted by a failsafe program written by Thanos. The characters above were created in the “lifebaths” (another “cosmic” concept) by ISAAC. Drax serves as an uneasy ally of Mar-Vell’s.
This run (plus Spotlight #3, the beginning of a new story) is written by Doug Moench and drawn by Pat Broderick. After a few covers for other series, this is Broderick’s first regular assignment… and he nails it. Moench moved the setting to Denver, and I always thought Broderick’s Captain Marvel looked a bit like Clint Eastwood. The series was cancelled with issue #62 due to low sales, but Moench and Broderick were working three months ahead. Editor Roger Stern took the contents of what was intended to have been #63, commissioned a new cover, and published it as Marvel Spotlight #1, reasoning that that titles was intended to “spotlight” characters without a regular series, which Captain Marvel now was. Issue #2 completed the current storyline and #3 began a new one, introducing plot elements which remain unresolved to this day.
Months passed, and the material intended for Captain Marvel #63-65 became Marvel Spotlight #1-3. Then Marv Wolfman suggested that he write a Captain Marvel story for Steve Ditko to illustrate. When it came time to script the story, Wolfman was unavailable, so that task fell to Archie Goodwin and became Marvel Spotlight #4. The Captain Marvel story that appeared in #8 has an even more convoluted behind-the-scenes story; suffice it to say that it was co-plotted by Mike Barr and drawn by Frank Miller. This was Frank Miller’s second commissioned story, but it sat in a drawer for years. In fact, his third commissioned story appeared in print before either his for or second.
Marvel Spotlight was cancelled with issue #11, but there was a Captain Marvel story scheduled to run in issue #12. It eventually saw print in Marvel Super-Heroes #3 (1990). This Masterworks includes Marvel Spotlight #1-4 and #8, as well as Marvel Super-Heroes #3 and the never-before-published covers intended for Captain Marvel #63 and Marvel Spotlight #12. Also included in an article from F.O.O.M. #9 and the volume is rounded out by an obscure (yet often-reprinted) five-page Drax and Thanos story from Logan’s Run #6 which serves as a coda (or, because it originally saw print in 1977, it could be read first as an introduction which leads directly into #58, a Drax issue).
The volume concludes with The Death of Captain Marvel which, if you’ve never read it, this presentation gives it some context. I’ve already said that Captain Marvel #58 through Marvel Spotlight #3 is the best run of Captain Marvel ever; Marvel Spotlight #1-3 and #8 and the bonus features are just icing, providing behind-the-scenes insight.
I was reading Flash 182, in the Flash Bronze Age Omnibus volume 3. Ross Andru has taken over from Carmine Infantino on art at this point, but this -- after the two-part Samuroids story written by Frank Robbins -- again has John Broome as writer. The plot is simple -- Abra Kadabra has mind-controlled the whole city into giving him their money. He's even mind-controlled Flash, who doesn't escape the hypnosis until Abra makes him kneel at his feet like a dog, the the humiliation shakes him out of it. So...not a great story, by any stretch of the imagination.
But it does have this panel, from before Abra hypnotizes a magicians' convention to commit crimes for him. The line "We're all honest magicians" just cracked me up. That's one field where honesty isn't in the job description.
THE NEW INVADERS (2004: I wasn’t particularly interested in reading this series. I read “Once an Invader” when it was initially released and decided not to follow it into its own series beyond the “zero” issue. As I have learned with the Defenders, there are some iterations of the team it is safe to ignore in my own personal continuity. The New Invaders is one of them. It’s not even the proper Invaders (although some real Invaders do play roles), which makes it easier to ignore. Judging from the discussion on pages 51-55 of Richard Mantle’s “Complete Invaders” discussion, I am not alone in this assessment. The series lasted only nine issues. The last issue contained comments from the entire creative team (the only such editorial interaction in the entire series). Their comments were heartfelt, and I truly believe they were creating a series that they themselves believed in. Writer Allan Jacobson commented, “It’s a tough market, and apparently the world wasn’t quite ready for this particular version of the Invaders. Truer words were never spoken. I bought this series recently in order to fill up space in themed box, and it serves that purpose quite well.
NEXT: A much better Invaders series is on the horizon.
MMW MS. MARVEL: I saw the Captain Marvel movie in March and it inspired me to re-read the original series. As usual, I felt the need to “get a running start” at it by re-reading the entire Captain Marvel series (and Inhumans) first. I’ve read Ms. Marvel (once) before, but I didn’t read it when it was current. As I recall, I read The Death of Captain Marvel first, then I filled in all the holes in my Captain Marvel collection (which was most of the series). Then I read Ms. Marvel. Ms. Marvel has another distinction, too, in that it is one of the few series I ever sold or traded after reading it. I just wasn’t that impressed.
But I wasn’t impressed with the original Nova series, either (which I also collected as backissues), when I first read it, although when I re-read it a couple of years ago I appreciated it more. That didn’t happen with Ms. Marvel. The most interesting thing was, first, reading 24 year-old writer Gerry Conway’s editorial in the first issue, then reading 61 year-old Gerry Conway’s introduction in which he cringes about what he had written in that editorial 37 years earlier.
Volume one reprints issues #1-14.
Jeff, did you read Spider-Man Life Story #4 yet? Got it yesterday.
I got it, too, but no, I haven't read it yet.
It's first on my list, but after today I'll be offline until Monday.
I really liked Cockrum's Ms. Marvel outfit, the black one with the yellow zig-zag and red sash. One of my disappointments with the series was that a tough, independent female character was turned into a spin-off of a male character, and not a very important one at that. Having her own, non-Mar-Vell outfit helped ameliorate my disappointment. Plus, it was really attractive -- at least when Cockrum drew it.
So I saw some potential there, but I felt like it wasn't realized. It just all seemed so pro forma, more an exercise in trademark protection than a stab at a major superheroine.
I haven't re-read any of those stories since they came out, so maybe my opinion could change. I'll read your assessments with interest, Jeff.
One of my all-time favourite costumes too Cap.
I agree though that MsMarvel never really reached her potential even when joining up with the Avengers prior to 'that #200' and Chris Claremont upped the angst way too much using her in the X-Men after that.
Busiek made a good attempt in his run but the alcohol had all been done before and the name Warbird was pointless.
Captain Comics said:
I really liked Cockrum's Ms. Marvel outfit, the black one with the yellow zig-zag and red sash.