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Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Shazam! 10 - Mary Marvel begins, and Aunt Minerva's contest


There are still three stories in Shazam! 10 (Feb 74), but one of them, dealing with salad men, is so lame I am just going to ignore it.


E Nelson Bridwell and Bob Oskner handle the first instalment of the Mary Marvel series, which begins in this issue, rotating with Captain Marvel Jr. It's Thanksgiving Day in the US, and Mary Marvel heads off to watch the parade, in which one of the giant floats is of her. Mary's adoptive mother is just one of the multitudes of people who do not realize Mary Batson and Mary Marvel are the same person, even though the only thing about her that changes when she says Shazam is her dress. OK, yes, she gets powers, but she doesn't age like Billy, or heal like Freddy.


Anyway, she spots some thieves. They get away from her by firing a smoke gun, and then climb onto her float to make their escape by balloon.


There ought to have been more interesting visuals with the float sized Mary Marvel and the real one. It makes for an enjoyable read, but visually it could have been much better.


Bridwell also works with Beck on the cover story, which brings back an old foe, Aunt Minerva, who had not been seen since 1948. This is the first DC appearance of the pistol packing widow, who longs for a sixth marriage.


Minerva has no romantic schemes for Captain Marvel in this outing. Instead, she promises her two goons a prize for whichever one can defeat him. Vengeance is her game. The hoods make some lame attempts, and Captain Marvel learns of the contest.


Marvel rounds up the two men and Minerva, and at the end of the story the hoods find out that the prize was going to be getting to marry her. Yeah, not great. 

Aunt Minerva returns five years down the road.

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