Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Shazam! It's July 4!

(click on images to read full-size)

In honour of our U.S. cousins, a special find from a recent mystery hoard: Capt. Marvel's Bicentennial Bear Battle.

From Shazam! #25, 1976. For the U.S. bicentennial, writer E. Nelson Bridwell took Captain Marvel on a cross-country jaunt in pursuit of Dr. Sivana who has decided to "destory America, city by city" beginning with an attempt to sabotage Billy Batson's WHIZ-TV documentary. The adventure would continue into 1977 and involve the return of Black Adam, among others.

In this excerpt, Billy and his pal Whitey Murphy, imported into the comics from the Captain Marvel movie serial, encounter the ancient enemy of patriotic Americans, the brown bear. I love it when superheroes fight bears! (That's Sivana in a blue wig in the last panel.) Later in the issue, Capt. Marvel rescues a young actor dressed as Buffalo Bill Cody from fireworks and then is captured by Sivana aboard "a replica of the captured British ship David Glasgow Farrabut commanded when he was 12!" The American Revolution sure involved quite a bit of child labour!

The art is by the one and only Kurt Schaffenberger.

Happy 4th, Yanks! To quote John Adams: "This day will be the most memorable epic in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival."

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