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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Shazam Key Comics Part 5

For nearly two decades, the original Captain Marvel's presence in the comic world all but disappeared thanks to DC Comic's lawsuit for copyright infringement. However, karma would get back at DC as Marvel Comics trademarked their own version of Captain Marvel.

This is the reason for the name change when DC Comics licensed the characters from Fawcett and revived the character under their publication. Talk about ironic.

The 70s saw a revival of the character and his supporting cast and rogues by DC Comics. The writer spearheading Captain Marvel's return to comics in about 20 years was none other than legendary Dennis O'Neil.

We will briefly discuss a few important keys during this revival. This Part 4 link will bring you back in case you missed it, but not, here's actually some Shazam key comics from the actual title.

1st Captain Marvel in DC Comics
1st appearance since Golden Age
1st Sivana Family in DC Comics

This was a bargain bin buy nearly a year ago, but when announcement of a Shazam movie, this issue did see a pretty big bump in demand considering what it used to be before.

This is the first time Shazam is published under DC Comics with the character's first new story in years. This issue explains what happened to the Marvel Family after all these years for they were trapped in Suspendium by Doctor Sivana.

I'm not sure if this issue explains the concept of Earth-S, but when DC Comics took over the character and his supporting cast and rogues, it would be established that the Golden Age Captain Marvel and his cast were from Earth-S.

Same kind of dealie with Earth One, and actually all the Golden Age Fawcett characters were originally from Earth-S. DC Comics would ultimately obtain ownership of the rights for Fawcett's library of Golden Age superheroes.

Anyways, this comic may see more heat once an actor is confirmed for the role of Captain Marvel or Shazam. February, 1973 is the publishing date for Shazam! #1.

1st appearance Mister Mind in DC Comics

Mister Mind was a favorite Golden Age villain for Captain Marvel, and he makes his introduction in DC Comics with the 2nd issue of this revival series. Of course, the creatives at DC would retcon how the character fits into the DCU continuity throughout the years.

Mister Mind appears in the revival long before Black Adam does, but it would clear that Black Adam would capture the attention of a new generation of fans more so. Shazam! #2 was published April, 1973.

1st meeting of Captain Marvel & Lex Luthor

Captain Marvel during the 70s revival lived on Earth-S, a long with his supporting cast and villains. The character would not be fully integrated into DC continuity until after the Crisis of Infinite Earths limited series.

Once again, the importance of that limited series is brought up. Although Earth-S, Earth 1, and Earth 2 officially meet in the Justice League of America story arc you're about to discover here or already know about, Captain Marvel as Billy Batson and Lex Luthor do meet prior and their first meeting is in this issue.

Lex is transported to Earth-S and meets Billy Batson on the street, in which he turns into Captain Marvel before his eyes. Superman and Captain Marvel do not meet in this issue. May be a sleeper to consider, and Lex Luthor may be the first DC Comic character Captain Marvel meets ever during this revival under DC Comics.

Shazam! #15 was published December, 1974.

1st appearance of Isis

Probably not the best of names right now, but Shazam #25 has the first appearance of Isis who becomes a Shazam supporting character in the New 52. Her real name is Andrea Thomas, and the character was actually a morning television series before she was a comic character.

Andrea Thomas is a science teacher who gains the powers to call upon the powers of Egyptian goddess Isis. The newest Isis in the New 52 is Andrea Tomaz.

The New 52 version of Isis is closely connected to Black Adam and was his love interest and wife. This newer version of Isis made Black Adam a more merciful figure and was part of the Black Marvel Family. 

Important key concerning Black Adam. This comic was published October, 1976.

1st appearance King Kull in DC Comics
1st Shazam's Squadron of Justice in DC

Although DC licensed Fawcett's characters in 1972, it was Captain Marvel and his main cast that were used during the early Bronze Age era. Fawcett's other heroes were relatively left untouched by the publisher until this issue.

Trying to work in a way to fit these other Golden Age Fawcett character, they became linked to Captain Marvel as Shazam's Squadron of Justice in their first debut in DC Comics. As I featured before, the Squadron of Justice were first a team comprised of Captain Marvel and the Lt. Marvels.

In this revival of Fawcett characters however, the heroes of Ibis, Bulletman, Bulletgirl, Mister Scarlet and Pinky, and Spy Smasher are gathered together by Mercury to save the elder gods, goddesses, and the wizard Shazam from an assault by King Kull.

Mercury also gathers Earth One and Earth Two heroes from the Justice League of America and Justice Society of America to battle the impending threat of King Kull. While this is the 1st appearance of Shazam's Squadron of Justice in DC Comics, it is also the more important 1st appearance of Bulletman, Bulletgirl, Ibis, Mister Scarlet and Pinky, and Spy Smasher in DC Comics.

They would all be retrofitted into the publisher's continuity, and this is not the canonical first. It's their first published introduction in the DCU. Of course, they would be retconned during this time or later to make more sense of why or how they fit into the DCU world of comics.

May not be a huge key issue or major one, but it's interesting nonetheless. Of course, King Kull is a Captain Marvel baddie from the Golden Age, and his first appearance in DC makes this a key issue that belongs on this Shazam key comics list.

October, 1976 is the publishing date for this comic. 

1st meeting of Superman & Captain Marvel

In the storyline that begins in Justice League of America #135, Shazam is paralyzed and thus Captain Marvel, Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel Jr. cannot turn into the Marvels. This whole storyline sees the meeting of Earth-S, which the Marvels hail from, Earth 2 and Earth 1 finally crossover on a large scale.

As the cover clearly states, this is the first real meeting of Superman and Captain Marvel. While they have been featured on covers together, the inside interior stories never saw them meeting. It was always a robot or a different version of the real characters. 

Of course, I am talking about 1st publication here. No retcons and no later story that tries to pre-date a 1st meeting that is written later.

There is a story in Justice League of America #103 that sees Superman go up against Captain Marvel, but this is not the actual Captain Marvel. It is a regular person dressed up as Captain Marvel for a Halloween parade. Not Billy Batson.

The story in JLA #103 sees several characters dressed up as Spider-Man, Captain America, Captain Marvel who are possessed by demons that give them the powers of those particular superheroes. So, technically, that doesn't really count although it is a teaser of sorts.

December, 1976 was when this comic was published.

2nd ever appearance of Black Adam
1st Black Adam in DC Comics

This sucker took off pretty fast in demand and value once it was confirmed that Dwayne Johnson would be playing the role of Black Adam. It's revealed in this issue that Black Adam's power derives from Shu (stamina), Hershef (strength), Amon (power), Zehuti (Thoth) (wisdom), Anpu (speed), and Menthu (courage). All are Egyptian gods.

While noted by sellers as the first appearance of Black Adam, it is technically his 2nd appearance in comics, but it his first appearance in DC Comics. 

Anyways, this comic jumped past the $1,000 mark and has sustained so far for high grade CGC copies. CGC Census only has 89 total submissions at the time of this writing. There are currently only 12 9.8s and all are Universals.

9.6 NM+ has 20 Universal copies thus far with no Restored copies. Not sure how much more these numbers will bump up or exactly how rare this issue really is.

There seems to be quite a few raw copies in the market currently. Shazam #28 was published April, 1977.

2nd Black Adam in DC Comics
1st Superman vs. Captain Marvel
3rd appearance of Black Adam ever

Don't let the cover of Shazam #1 fool you. Superman may be on the cover, but he is not in any of the stories of that issue. Actually, the first time the once rivals of the comic newsstands actually slug it out is in this issue right here.

Superman and Captain Marvel first meet up in Justice League of America #137, and in traditional comic book fashion, the two titans are stopped just inches before they go at it. DC fans were robbed of the climatic battle they had been itching for in JLA #137, but they are not in this issue.

Also, this issue may see the 2nd appearance of Black Adam in DC Comics, or his 3rd appearance ever in comics.  With the hype surrounding Warner Bros. new take on their movie franchises and linking their on-screen characters together in a shared universe, many are speculating that we may see Captain Marvel and Superman meet and battle it out on the big screen since a Shazam movie has been confirmed at least for now.

Not exactly a bargain bin, but it is over-looked for it's key notation concerning the first real battle between the comic titans, or the 2nd appearance of Black Adam in DC Comics and 3rd appearance ever. All New Collectors' Edition #C-58 was published May, 1978.

eBay | ComicLink | ComicConnect

There is a Superman #276 issue that teases a Captain Marvel/Superman meeting and team up, but it is not Captain Marvel. Instead, it is Captain Thunder in the issue. So, quite some interesting keys concerning Captain Marvel's  entrance into DC Comics.

Of course, Shazam! #1 is the first comic cover Supes and Captain Marvel are on together. Fawcett's Golden Age heroes creep into the DCU and this Shazam key comics Part 5 features some issues that see that happening.

There will be Part 6, and we will be heading into the Copper Age of comics for this character. We are nearing the end, and Part 6 is ready. Just click the link below to carry onward.


  1. Hi,

    i have noticed that you have posted that the "ALL NEW COLLECTORS' EDITION #C-58" is the 2nd Black Adam in DC Comics and 3rd appearance of Black Adam ever. I see alot of seller in eBay where they have posted "DC Comics Presents #49" as the 2nd appearance of Black Adam in DC Comics. Can you please clarify or can someone please clarify as to which is the correct one.

    1. Have no idea why some sellers are noting that as the 2nd appearance of Black Adam in DC Comics. In terms of publishing date and the next time the character is seen in an actual DC Comics publication, All New Collectors' Edition #58 is his 3rd appearance ever and 2nd appearance published by DC Comics.

      Perhaps, they are thinking in actual DCU canon or a retconned appearance in continuity (a story written later but precedes the events of a publishing date appearance). I have no clue what their reasons are or how they came up with that one.

      If they are actually thinking of DCU continuity as in Earth One, it might be Black Adam's first appearance on Earth One. I don't count that jargon.

      I mean DC Comics as in published date of appearances by DC Comics when DC Comics licensed the characters starting with the 70s revival and introduced them into publication under their trademark.

      Not the DCU as in universe or canon. It shouldn't be a big deal since this era still saw Earth One and Earth Two and they did cross over with Earth-S in the storyline that ran in Justice League of America #135 to #137.

      They could see that as the first appearance in canon maybe, but I think it's just trying to tack on an unnecessary key note to make something more valuable. That's just my opinion though and if there are fans that make a big deal out of stuff like that, who am I to say what they should or shouldn't geek out over.

      But publishing date wise, published by DC Comics, All New Collectors' Edition #58 has the character of Black Adam's 3rd appearance and 2nd published appearance in story and flashback by DC Comics.

      If they are talking about actual canon, it should be noted first or 2nd appearance in canon. I may be wrong but DCCP #49 could be Black Adam's 1st appearance in canon or mainstream continuity but even that is iffy.

    2. Thanks Mayhem for the info that you have provided. Thanks as well for creating the Total Comic Mayhem website. Very helpful and lots of information in here.

    3. Hi Mayhem,

      I have to ask this question as i buy my comics based on the info you provide. Now that you have provided me the info on 2nd app of Black Adam published by DC Comics, what is the 3rd app of Black Adam published by DC? I am starting to see in eBay were eBay Sellers are posting that the 3rd app of Black Adam published by DC is Worlds Finest 257. Is this correct?


  2. Hi Mayhem,

    I have to ask this question as i buy my comics based on the info you provide. Now that you have provided me the info on 2nd app of Black Adam published by DC Comics, what is the 3rd app of Black Adam published by DC? I am starting to see in eBay were eBay Sellers are posting that the 3rd app of Black Adam published by DC is Worlds Finest 257. Is this correct?