Dan is too proud to accept help from Captain Marvel when his airplane runs out of gas in the middle of nowhere. Dan learns that everybody needs help once in a while when a fierce forest fire breaks ...
Chosen by the Immortal Elders - Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles and Mercury - Billy Batson is a young boy with a special duty in life. Accompanied by his Mentor, he travels from place to place in a Winnebago learning about life and helping people along the way. When the situation is heading for disaster, all he has to do is to shout the magic word, "Shazam!" and call down the magic lightning that transforms him into the World's Mightiest Mortal, Captain Marvel.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The character Captain Marvel was originally created by Fawcett Comics in the 1940s as a rival to Superman. A successful lawsuit by Superman's owner, DC Comics, resulted in the character disappearing for more than a quarter-century. DC, which had acquired the rights to the character, relaunched him in the comics in 1973. However, during Captain Marvel's long hiatus, DC rival Marvel Comics launched its own, unrelated Captain Marvel character, which prevented DC and the producers of this series from using Captain Marvel as a title. As a result, the title "Shazam!" was introduced (as of 2007, Shazam! is still used on all DC publications featuring the original Captain Marvel). Captain Marvel was actually created in 1939. In mid-1939 an ashcan copy of a comic printed under both the names "Flash Comics #1" and "Thrill Comics #1" was printed purely to secure copyrights for the character, but the names used were already in use elsewhere. The name of the main character was changed to "Captain Marvel", and the title of the magazine changed to "Whiz Comics". Whiz Comics #2, reprinting the stories from the earlier ashcan copy, was printed for distribution in late 1939, and dated February 1940. A copy of the ashcan edition was discovered in 1985, at which time this was considered to be the most valuable comic book in existence. See more »
Occassional flipped shots of Captain Marvel are given away by his lightning bolt emblem pointing left instead of right. See more »
Oh, Elders, fleet and strong and wise, appear before my seeking eyes!
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"SHAZAM!!" With this desperately bleated out word, young Billy Batson (Gray) turns from a 25 year-old teenager to a bland, 30-something guy in a red body suit who saves horses lives and puts out school fires. (...a far cry from the loftier efforts of the comic book superhero who inspired this Saturday morning kid's show!) Pretty, youngish Gray (who owns one shirt) travels the globe (actually the same neighborhood over and over) in a Winnebago with his 'Mentor' (chickenhawk Tremayne sporting the worst comb-over in the history of TV.) While Tremayne dispenses sage advice with his formerly-velvet announcer voice, Gray learns lessons each week from an animated (actually one picture in which only the lips move!) array of 'elders'. These elders spout platitudes on how things should be and then, miraculously, Gray and Tremayne stumble across an example in which they can put their newfound knowledge to work. On cue, a danger comes about which is beyond Gray's ability to solve. This invariably means that Gray will have to call out "Shazam!" (an acronym of the elders' names) and Captain Marvel will appear in his place. Marvel was played by two men, neither of whom were able to get anywhere after this show, though the second one did do a large amount of TV guest roles. While they are handsome, they are hopelessly average in build and strength. The costume just sort of clings here and there, rather than being stretched across rippled muscles. The producers may as well have gotten the guy who played "Dennis the Menace's" dad to do the part. The poor guys are further humiliated by eternally cruddy flying effects in which the men lie on a board while a fan blows on them and stock footage of sky is projected behind them. More hilarious is watching Tremayne ALMOST keep his hands off Gray. He paws on the kid at every opportunity, telling him what to do, and his "this just in" vocal style adds a campy, homoerotic flavor to their scenes. Still, the show is irresistible and watching it brings back a lot of memories. The overbearing music is like a brainwashing device. Once one hears it again, it sticks in the mind and can't be excised. A flood of childhood memories involving jumping off a rock and landing face down in the dirt reappears. A delightful companion piece is it's spin-off "Isis".
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