Thursday, March 28, 2019

Captain Marvel Loses His Name

Same guy
I recently wrote up a big post about Carol Danvers in anticipation of her then-upcoming film. Now, in the interest of fairness, I want to do something similar for the other Captain Marvel; everyone’s favorite homeless orphan boy turned superhero, Billy Batson! Or, “Shazam”, if you’re nasty.

The original Captain Marvel predates both Carol Danvers and her predecessor Mar-Vell by about thirty years, debuting back in the Golden Age of Comics. Published by Fawcett Comics at the bottom of 1939, Captain Marvel’s title was considered to be the most popular of the era, outselling Superman. When taking that in mind it might seem a bit curious as to why Billy isn’t more of a widely known character in modern pop culture. Indeed, he can’t legally be called “Captain Marvel” and instead has taken the name “Shazam.” The sad fact is the Billy was the victim of circumstances, both legal and internal design, and where he was once the most popular superhero in America he has since fallen to the level of second-tier, maybe even third-tier, character who struggles to have new ongoing series greenlit. With his new movie about to hit theaters his fortunes are swinging back in his favor, but the fact is that Captain Marvel should be a face on the Mount Rushmore of superheroes alongside the likes of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Spider-Man. But he’s not even close.

Today we’re going to talk about the rise and fall of the Big Red Cheese!

More on the power of Shazam after the jump.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Review: Captain Marvel (Film)

After years of aborted cameos and discarded introductions, Carol Danvers has finally arrived in theaters in her first movie, Captain Marvel. We finally get the longtime superhero up on the big screen and, more importantly, Marvel Studios have finally gotten up of their asses and brought out its first solo female led film since the studio’s creation. There has been quite a bit of controversies surrounding this flick. As far as I can tell the brunt of it comes from star Brie Larson suggesting that she didn’t want to be interviewed by white men during her press tour and wanted non-white, non-male voices to have a chance since such people are laughably underused in movie journalism. Which, by the way is 100% correct. Apparently, a lot of people were upset by the words and took them to mean she hates white men and engaged in a campaign to hurt the film, including sabotaging the Rotten Tomatoes viewer score. Hell, I even saw one guy literally compare her to Adolf Hitler, which shows how ridiculous this was all getting. I mean, really; I’m fairly confident that Hitler would have been fine with being interviewed by exclusively white men.

Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, there was a lot ridding on this film’s success in order to make sure Marvel and Disney don’t decided that making female led action films was a waste of money. Thankfully Captain Marvel made almost half a billion dollars its opening weekend. But even though the movie is doing well, the reviews and reactions have been mixed at best. Is Captain Marvel a good movie or is it a lackluster disappointed? Also, is asking that the title character to smile more on the posters, knowing goddamn well that you’d never ask the same of Iron Man or Captain America, a cool idea? (Hint: No, it’s not a cool idea)

Full review after the jump.

[WARNING: This review contains spoilers, potentially a major one depending on your point of view.]

Friday, March 8, 2019

Captain Marvel Stakes Her Claim

You try to invade Earth, you gotta deal with her
Captain Marvel hits theaters this weekend, so I thought it would be a good time to write up an article I’ve been thinking about doing for some years now. Carol Danvers, the longtime Marvel Comics character rose from the role of a supporting character and, over the course of thirty-five years, claimed prominence as one of the company’s premiers heroes. There has been some pushback from some fans against Captain Marvel as a major character but, unfortunately for them, if this upcoming film does well it will forever cement Carol’s place as one of the top comic book properties for the foreseeable future. Which is cool.

But Carol’s is a shaky history, as I can think of very few characters that Marvel has done dirty worse than her. The fact that she’s managed to still be a relevant, let alone major, character all this time is a minor miracle. For those who are looking forward to this new flick I thought today would be a good time to look back and recall, somewhat briefly, the history of the good captain. The good bad, and the ugly (i.e. Avengers #200).

Before we start, I think it’s worth noting that there exists a different character, owned by DC Comics, who is also known as Captain Marvel who is also getting a movie in 2019. I think this topic deserves its own blog, so I won’t go into too much detail (how long until SHAZAM comes out?). Short version: the original Captain Marvel was created in 1939, one of many superhero characters published in the wake of the success of Superman. Despite the character being super rad, DC successfully sued the comics’ publisher, Fawcett Comics, and thus ending the Captain’s comic despite being massively popular at the time. By the late-60s Marvel Comics stepped in a acquired the trademark to the name “Captain Marvel” but did not get the rights to the character himself. Instead they created a brand-new character with the name, whom we’ll talk about shortly, and have been publishing comics with that title ever since. Meanwhile DC did acquire the rights for the original Captain Marvel…but couldn’t get the now Marvel-owned name and thus regularly published the character under the "Shazam" name (though up until recently he was consistently called “Captain Marvel” in the comics themselves).

Confused? Just know that both Marvel and DC own a character called "Captain Marvel" who have literally nothing to do with each other.

Anyway, enough of the legal; a look at Carol Danvers after the jump.
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