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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Shazam Key Comic Books Part 3

Here we are with Part 3 to this Shazam key comic books list or series. We're still stuck in the Golden Age, and while there's a possibility that Shazam's supporting characters like Captain Marvel Jr. or Mary Marvel or even most of his Golden Age villains may not show up in the movie franchise, I find this era pretty interesting.

This is the early Golden Age and the birth of the comic industry after all. Knowing some of this stuff wouldn't hurt. During this time, crossovers of superheroes into another superhero's feature or title was just starting to happen, establishing a shared universe for whatever publisher's library of heroes.

Anyways, this Part 2 link will Shazam your ass back in case you missed it. If not, here's more Shazam key issues.

Master Comics #22 cover picture
2nd appearance of Captain Marvel Jr.
1st Captain Marvel Jr. team up
1st Captain Marvel Jr. cover
1st Captain Marvel Jr. adventure

A lot of firsts here for this comic. The only one that isn't is Captain Marvel Jr.'s 2nd appearance in comics. In this issue Captain Marvel Jr. teams up with Bulletman to take on Captain Nazi, marking the character's first team up.

This issue may also be the character's first classic crossover as well and adventure. Then again, he become a regular feature in this comic title.

The cover for Master Comics #22 also features the first time Captain Marvel Jr. is featured on a comic book cover. So this has quite a bit of key issue significance. May not be extremely major, but it's definitely more than just a good key for the comic character.

21 total CGC submissions currently for this issue. Highest is a 9.6 NM+ and the only one so far. There is also a 9.4 and 9.2.

Highest grades are all Universal Labels, and there are only 3 restored copies so far. The 2nd appearance of Captain Marvel Jr. in Master Comics #22 was published January, 1942.

Master Comics #23 cover image
Captain Marvel Jr. stories begin
1st solo story for character
3rd appearance of Captain Marvel Jr.

In his very first solo story and 3rd appearance, Captain Marvel Jr. once again goes up against his ultimate foe Captain Nazi, but he goes it alone. In this story, Captain Nazi is determined to kill the President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, but not if Freddy Freeman has anything to say about it.

This issue marks Master Comics as Captain Marvel Jr's first home in comics, where his earliest adventures would feature within the title. Extremely low CGC Census. Only 13 total submissions and ten are Universal. Other 3 are restored.

Highest so far is 9.4 NM, and it's the only copy to date. I'm wondering who has all the other high grade copies or if they are truly that rare. February, 1942 is the publishing date for Master Comics #23.

Captain Marvel Adventures #8 comic book cover
  • 1st appearance of Ibac

Stanley "Stinky" Printwhistle attempted to blow up a bridge but was caught in the explosion. Saved by Lucifer, the Dark Lord offers Stinky the chance at a 2nd life as the champion of evil in exchange for his soul.

Of course, Stinky takes the offer and becomes Ibac. All he has to do is say the name Ibac and he is transformed into a super-muscled brute.

Like his nemesis Captain Marvel, Ibac is also powered by elements also, but these powers are derived from the four most terrible men to have ever walked the Earth: Ivan the Terrible, who supplies Terror, Cesare Borgia, who gives Ibac Cunning, Attila the Hun, who gifts him with Fierceness, and Caligula, the sponsor of Cruelty. 

Ibac was a recurring villain during the Golden Age and was even a member of the Mister Mind's Monster's Society of Evil. He would also be carried over to the DC Comics later as well.

The first appearance of Ibac in Captain Marvel Adventures #8 was published March, 1942, and Ibac is another creation of Otto Binder and C.C. Beck.

Captain Marvel Adventures #9 cover image
1st Otto Binder script on Capt. Marvel

Otto Binder is a crucial writer for the Captain Marvel mythos as he created and introduced many important supporting characters. He would also co-create two of Captain Marvel's most enduring and popular villains for the character.

Characters like Black Adam, Mister Mind, Uncle Marvel and Mary Marvel have been staple characters and villains of Shazam.

So naturally, his first script for the character of Captain Marvel in this issue should be noted and should be key that any fan of the character would hunt down and add to their vault. April, 1942 was when Captain Marvel Adventures #9 was published.

Captain Marvel Jr. #1 cover pic
Origin retold
1st issue to 1st self titled series

Captain Marvel Jr. gets his own title and pretty quickly also. This goes to show just how popular Captain Marvel was during the time and how all the spin-off characters gained even more momentum for the comic franchise.

As mentioned before, Elvis Presley was a huge Captain Marvel Jr. fan and was greatly influenced by the character, even in later years of his life. Captain Marvel Jr.'s origin is retold in this issue, and it marks his first self-titled series.

Captain Nazi would be Freddy Freeman's most notorious arch nemesis during the Golden Age. 42 total copies in the CGC Census at the time of this writing. Highest is a single 9.6 NM+, and there are 11 copies under the Restored Label. Captain Marvel Jr. #1 was published November, 1942.

Captain Marvel Adventures #18 1st appearance Mary Marvel
1st appearance of Mary Marvel
Origin of Mary Marvel

Created by Otto Binder and Marc Swayze, Mary Marvel is first introduced in Captain Marvel Adventures as a supporting character for the Captain Marvel comics. Artist Marc Swayze based the characters look and personality off of actress Judy Garland, most known for her role as Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz.

Mary Batson is the long lost twin sister of Billy Batson, but was first introduced with her adopted name of Mary Bromfield. Like her brother, she is given the powers derived from the wizard Shazam, and she would quickly be spun-off into her own feature in Wow Comics.

Mary Marvel would also be in the Marvel Family Comics that hosted her own solo adventures as well. CGC has a total of 67 copies in their census. Highest is a Universal 9.0 VF/NM, and there are a total of 5 restored copies to date.

December, 1942 is the publishing date for the 1st appearance and origin of Mary Marvel in Captain Marvel Adventures #18.

Captain Marvel Adventures #19 2nd appearance Mary Marvel
2nd appearance of Mary Marvel

Here we are with the 2nd appearance of Mary Marvel and this issue is obviously a Christmas issue. In terms of other first appearances or key statuses worth noting, this issue doesn't have any.

Though ole Saint Nick is on the cover of this comic, he doesn't appear in the actual story. Low CGC census for this one. 17 total submissions, but I'm sure there are more raw copies out there. Three 9.4 Universals and two 9.2 Universals as well.

Captain Marvel Adventures #19 featuring the 2nd appearance of Mary Marvel was published January, 1943.

Wow Comics #9 cover image
Mary Marvel stories begin
3rd appearance of Mary Marvel

In her 3rd appearance, Mary Marvel is dropped into Wow Comics which would be her home for a while and feature her own stories. This story sees Mr. Scarlet and Pinky the Whiz Kid guest star.

Mr. Scarlet is another superhero from Fawcett, who made his debut in Wow Comics #1. He originally hailed or operated in Gotham City, but a different Gotham from the DC version.

Wow Comics #9 marks the beginning of Mary Marvel's feature in the comic book title. She would get her own headlining comic later. This comic was published January, 1943.

Captain Marvel Adventures #26 comic cover
1st cameo appearance of Mister Mind

Another creation by Otto Binder and C.C. Beck, Mister Mind became a primary villain for Captain Marvel. His presence as a voice first appeared in issue #22 of this comic title.

He is a 2 inch alien worm, but possessed an intelligence far beyond human capability. His first appearance is part of story arc in which Mister Mind gathers the Monsters Society of Evil, which would include a host of Captain Marvel's villains like Captain Nazi, Adolf Hitler, and even Black Adam when DC revived Fawcett's Marvel characters during the 70s.

Mister Mind is shown in two panels of this comic, but not clearly. His first full appearance would be featured in the next issue of this comic series.

This version of Mister Mind had limited telepathy and could spin silk faster than the human eye. His silk was nearly indestructible. Captain Marvel Adventures #26 was published August, 1943.

I'm curious as to how rare these comics truly are. They have a low census, but are there quite a bit of raw copies that just haven't been submitted for some strange reason?

Captain Marvel and his supporting characters fell out favor when DC or National Periodical which the company was called at the time won their suit against Fawcett and forced the publisher to stop printing the character. Ole Marvel didn't exactly fall out of favor with comic fans, but the hiatus did remove the character from the forefront of most comic fan's eyes throughout the years.

DC's revival didn't push this character exactly into the top tier. It wasn't until the announcement of a Shazam movie that his first and early DC appearances were moved out of the Bargain Bins.

But, the character is once again growing in popularity. I'm wondering just how many more graded copies will come out of the wood work when more news of the movie comes out. Perhaps, they truly are more rare and only a few will trickle into the CGC Census.

I dunno. Something to think about, but I'm loving the artwork on these comic covers. Great stuff!

Anywho, that PREVIOUS link below will bring you back to Part 2 in case you need to read up on that. Part 4 of this Shazam or Captain Marvel key comics books series continues one click away below.


  1. Wow - Otto Binder. He is a legend. He also did some work on the Mighty Samson.

    Speculation Jones

    1. He sure is Speculation Jones. Pretty important to the development of Captain Marvel and adding some spin-off characters and creating two villains that would be popular for the mythos. Black Adam is one of course.

  2. Hey man,
    I know you're a huge fan of the Punisher. Have you seen this promo ad for next year?

    1. Hi there, thanks for the link. I'm pretty excited about the Punisher! Didn't know the news until Gerry texted me.