The Monster Society of Evil

DC’s collection of “The Monster Society of Evil” was canceled last month amid much consternation. Now that it is officially off the schedule, I thought I’d take a closer look at it for the benefit of those who wanted to read it. The serial originally appeared in Captain Marvel Adventures #22-46 (1943-45) and was described on the splash as “A Thrilling New Serial… Starring Captain Marvel with Billy Batson, Sivana, IBAC, Capt. Nazi, Mr. Banjo, Nippo, Princess Rajabuti and others.”


Billy Batson introduces the story: “Folks, I have a longer story to tell this time!! In fact, a story so long and involved that I don’t know the ending yet! Because you see, Captain Marvel suddenly ran up against a menace so great that for once he knew his job could not be completed with a snap of his fingers! It’s about a strange being known as Mister Mind, leader of the insidious Monster Society of Evil! Who is Mister Mind! What is he?? Captain Marvel wishes he knew! If you have any information about him, please transmit to station WHIZ!”

The first chapter opens with a symbolic double-page splash in outer space. A gigantic figure of Captain Marvel stands atop the Earth in the foreground; his enemies are amassed on the Moon in the background. A disembodied voice rings out: “I am Mister Mind! Space is my home! I am the most evil being ever to live! And you, Captain Marvel… though you are Earth’s mightiest mortal, I will crush you like an ant! Ha, ha, haaaa!!”

As the story begins, Billy Batson greets the Princess Dareena Rajabuti of India who has flown to America to donate jewels to the allied war cause. Billy’s broadcast is heard by Mr. Mind in his “strange scientific laboratory... nobody knows where.” Mr. Mind contacts Captain Nazi and orders him to capture the jewels. Captain Nazi becomes incensed when he discovers that the Princess brought only one jewel, a large black pearl, but a magic one that acts like a crystal ball.


Billy transforms into Captain Marvel. While he deals with Captain Nazi’s henchmen, their leader takes a whiff of flying gas, steals the pearl and kidnaps the princess. She explains that the pearl needs its identical mate to work. Via radio, Mr. Mind orders Captain Nazi to India. Captain Marvel follows, and meets Mr. Mind for the first time (over the radio, not face-to-face). Mr. Mind explains that he has assembled a “Monster Society of Evil,” comprising “criminals, Nazis, Japs and creatures from other worlds.” Captain Nazi whips open a door and reveals Sivana, IBAC, Nippo, Mr. Banjo and three others (a Japanese and a German soldier, and an alien).

Mr. Mind is able to project mental strength through the ether, allowing IBAC to get the better of Captain Marvel, who grabs the princess and beats a strategic retreat to India. Captain Nazi ad IBAC pursue. Princess Rajabuti leads Captain Marvel to the second black pearl, an eye in the idol of Siva. They are ambushed. Captain Marvel defeats Captain Nazi, but IBAC escapes with both pearls.

“Has Captain Marvel met his match at last? Will the sisnister Mr. Mind succeed in taking over the universe? Will the relay race with the world’s most vicious criminals wear even the world’s mightiest mortal down? Don’t miss part two, ‘The Jungle Trap!’”

You need to be a member of Captain Comics to add comments!

Join Captain Comics

Votes: 0
Email me when people reply –


  • Where are you reading this, Jeff? Or are you getting information from some secondary source?

  • Looking at the covers for Captain Marvel Adventures #22-46, it's interesting that for the most part they didn't make a big deal of this epic story.

  • “Where are you reading this, Jeff?”

    I have The Monster Society of Evil – Deluxe Limited Collector's Edition (1989), compiled and designed by Mike Higgs. This oversized, slip-cased hardcover was limited to 3,000 numbered copies. It was published by American Nostalgia Library, an imprint of Hawk Books Limited.

    Each story begins with an intro by Billy Batson plus a recap of the previous chapter. My first inclination is to transcribe these verbatim, but they are lengthy and I fear doing so would make the posts too repetitious.


    IBAC ducks into a rocket ship and heads west to North Africa. Captain Marvel catches up to him, smashes the rocket, and knocks IBAC out of sight behind a hill where he contacts Mr. Mind. Mr. Mind tells him to use the black pearls to predict which way Captain Marvel is coming. (By holding the pearls close together, a hologram-like image appears in the air between them.) Doing so gives IBAC a slight advantage, allowing him to slip away. Mr. Mind then orders him to help the Nazi campaign.

    Captain Marvel says the magic word and Billy Batson visits the nearest allied base, thereby boosting moral with tales from home. Meanwhile, IBAC uses the black pearls to spy on the camp and learns where the secret plans are hidden. IBAC changes to his other identity (Slinky Printwhistle) to surreptitiously substitute false orders. [Slinky Printwhistle was granted his abilities by Prince Lucifer; when Slinky says his magic word, he is transformed into IBAC in a flash of green flame and the sound effect “ZEEEE!”] Billy spots Slinky sneaking into camp. They both change to their alter egos and a fight ensues.

    Captain Marvel gets the false orders, but IBAC flees into the jungle where he stampedes a herd of elephants. They trample Captain Marvel, but he is unhurt. He then forces IBAC to change back to Slinky Printwhistle. Just then, a tribe of cannibals (stereotypical depiction, bone in topknot, etc.) arrives on the scene. Slinky transforms into IBAC and the natives worship him because of his “magic.”

    I don’t know where Captain Marvel’s “wisdom of Solomon” was that day, but he decides to demonstrate his “magic” as well by saying his magic and changing to Billy Batson, who is immediately gagged by IBAC and put in the cannibals’ cooking pot! Mr. Mind then orders IBAC to deliver the black pearls to Nippo in Tokyo to assure Axis victory in the Pacific.

    “Is there any hope for Billy now? Slowly he is being boiled alive in a cannibal’s pot deep in darkest Africa! Can this brave boy somehow escape and get back on the trail on Mr. Mind, the arch villain of all history? Next month – Chapter III: ‘The Second Pearl Harbor’”

  • “Where are you reading this, Jeff?”

    I have The Monster Society of Evil – Deluxe Limited Collector's Edition (1989), compiled and designed by Mike Higgs. This oversized, slip-cased hardcover was limited to 3,000 numbered copies. It was published by American Nostalgia Library, an imprint of Hawk Books Limited.

    Well LAH-DEE-DAH ... he said jealously.

  • The far-seeing black pearls were evidently inspired by one or both of the existing versions of The Thief of Bagdad.

    Capt. Nazi first appeared in a crossover that started with a Bulletman/Capt. Marvel team-up story in Master Comics #21. Capt. Marvel then fought him solo in Whiz Comics #25. The concluding part of the story introduced Junior. Junior then teamed up with Bulletman to fight Capt. Nazi in Master Comics #22. In the first instalment of Junior's feature the next issue Junior fought Capt. Nazi solo, and the villain was apparently killed. He was afterwards Junior's recurring foe rather than Capt. Marvel's. He acquired his flying gas and a cape in Master Comics #34.



    “Lightning never strikes twice in the same place – but a stab in the back may! Once again Mr. Mind, the greatest evil mid of all times, smashes at the allies, sending vicious Nippo, the Nipponese, to create a second Pearl Harbor! With the magic black pearls Nippo sets the stage for the most staggering coup of the war! And all the mighty SHAZAM powers of Captain Marvel, from S to M and from A to Z, are needed to stem the dread debacle! Here’s chapter three of the world’s greatest serial about the world’s mightiest mortal against the world’s greatest brain!”


    “In pursuit of the two magic black pearls so vital to the allies, Captain Marvel has crossed the world to Africa! But here the monster IBAC set a deadly jungle trap, planned by his master, the mysterious Mr. Mind! As we take up the threads of this thrilling adventure, we find Billy Batson in the hands of cannibals in darkest Africa…”

    A cannibal swipes at Billy with a meat cleaver, but Billy turns aside so that his gag is cut loose. Billy transforms into captain Marvel and sets off for the Pacific. Under orders from Mr.Mind, Nippo kills the C.O. of Pearl Harbor, dons a disguise ad takes his place. The C.O.’s daughter, a nurse on the base, is not fooled, though. Nippo orders all troops on furlough. Captain Marvel arrives and defeats him. Mr. Mind orders “Plan Two” while Billy investigates the C.O.’s disappearance.

    He finds the officer, still alive after all, on a volcanic isle. Nippo plans to cause the volcano to erupt. Nippo gives Captain Marvel the slip and ties the general’s daughter to explosives and drops the whole package into the volcano. Cap saves the father and daughter, prevents the explosion, defeats Nippo, and retrieves the black pearls. Over Nippo’s radio, Mr. Mind taunts captain Marvel with the next phase of his plan, involving Sivana in Alaska.

    “and so, though CaptainMarvel has saved Pearl Harbor, defeated the vicious Nippo and found the two black pearls, he finds that the insidious Mr. Mind has combined with the world’s wickedest scientist, Sivana, to bring a brain-stunning doom to America! How will captain Marvel, in the next chapter, combat the frightful menace of ‘Glaciers Over America’?”


    Captain Marvel arrives in Alaska to find the state and Canada threatened by giant glaciers. He can stop the one immediately endangering a town ad army base, but he can’t stop them all. The glacier is too big for even captain Marvel to lift, so he bores enough holes in it so that it collapses under its own weight. Something has changed weather patterns across the United States. It’s summer, but some areas are experiencing snowfall; in sea ports, water is freezing up affecting shipping; in the Midwest, crops are threatened.

    Captain Marvel uses the black pearls to locate Sivana, who ducks into a small tunnel to escape. Captain Marvel must change to Billy Batson to follow. Inside the cave, Billy finds Sivana’s pole changer, a giant gyroscope forcing Earth to shift on its axis. In a few weeks, the new North Pole will be in the heart of Texas. Billy becomes captain Marvel and destroys the machine. Sivana escapes back into the tiny tunnel, and Captain Marvel much change back to Billy to pursue. Billy catches up to him but is forced to turn around when Sivana points out that the Earth will stay as it is now that the pole changer has been destroyed.

    Billy changes back to Captain Marvel and rebuilds, then reverses the machine. Calculating exactly how long it will take to restore the Earth to its proper axis, Captain Marvel changes back to Billy who radios the base and has armed guards posted with orders to destroy the tunnel and machine when Earth is back in place. Billy then sets out in pursuit of Sivana who, by this time, has a tremendous lead. But Sivan has stopped to set a trap, a washtub full of water and a trip wire, which Billy blunders into. He sees his danger and is able to shout “SHA—“ before he is instantly frozen in a block of ice.

    “Is BILLY DEAD? Has his frozen body given up the ghost? Or is there still a spark of life burning in him? And can he, by some miracle, burst loose from his icy prison? BUT HOW? With his throat frozen, how can he ever finish the magic word, that alone can save him? Don’t miss the next amazing chapter of this smashing serial: Chapter V, ‘Marvel Meets Mr. Mind!!’”

  • A Buck Rogers storyline in which Earth's tilt was changed appeared in 1938/39.

  • "Nippo" sounds like the Marx Brother no one talks about.


    Before leaving the scene, Sivana plants a sign which reads: “This is Billy Batson who froze to death in 1943.” A hungry polar bear nosing around in search of food knocks over the block of ice, breaking it in two. “—ZAM!” says Billy. Captain Marvel uses the black pearls to show him Mr. Mind’s hideout, which is on the Moon. Captain Marvel flies to the Moon and overcomes Mr. Mind’s defenses. He then confronts Mr. Mind, who appears to be a half-man/half-goat hybrid. Captain Marvel defeats him easily, but then Mr. Mind’s voice says that that was only one of his minions. Next, Mr. Mind’s voice comes from a robot, and Captain Marvel defeats that as well. Then Mr. Mind appears as a giant head with Octopus arms. Mr. Mind explains that these are synthetic forms of life which he has projected his mind into.

    After defeating Mr. Mind’s latest simulacrum, Captain Marvel takes the chance of searching as Billy Batson, hoping to make himself an easier target to draw the real Mr. Mind into the open. A small green worm drops to Billy’s shoulder, but he brushes it away. Suddenly, a bald circus strong man with a handlebar mustache appears and claps his hand over Billy’s mouth. Is this the real Mr. Mind? The man intends to perform brain surgery on Billy, making him a slave. Before the anesthetic takes effect, Billy manages to say “Shazam.”

    The two battle for twelve hours. Mr. Mind’s castle is totally destroyed. Captain Marvel finally wins by literaly butting heads with the strong man. Mr. Mind’s voice is then heard, no longer coming from the strong man. “Think back,” he taunts. “Maybe you saw me once.” He then escapes to Earth in his spaceship. Captain Marvel doesn’t see it, but we readers see something very small whiz in front of his face.

    “What’s the Baffling answer? Will Captain Marvel, in the next chapter, unravel the brain-stunning mystery and finally unmask evil, uncanny Mr. Mind? Don’t fail to read chapter six, ‘Mr. Mind on Earth!”

This reply was deleted.