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Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Shazam! 12 - the golden plague, and Captain Marvel Jr retrieves the mail

Shazam! 12 (May/June 1974) sees the book expand to 100 pages, although most of that consists of reprints. There are two new Captain Marvel tales, and one new Captain Marvel Jr story in the issue. Only the last one inspires me to write about it, but I will include the Captain Marvel story that get mentioned on the cover.

Bridwell and Oskner bring back Professor Kilowatt in the lead story, which sees the inventor create a form of gold that turns anything it touches into more gold.

The tale opens as a reporter from the distant future comes to visit Billy Batson. This is the one and only day in recorded history in which Captain Marvel was not called upon, and the reporter wants to see what he was up to. Things seem to go oddly when Captain Marvel answers a cry for help almost right away, but that leads them to Kilowatt and the golden plague.

Because the Midas effect would have kept spreading until everything in the world turned to gold, Captain Marvel finds the solution by pulling the fillings out of Kilowatt's teeth and wrapping the super gold with real gold, on which it will have no effect. Gotta feel a bit bad for Kilowatt, losing his fillings would hurt. On the other hand, maybe that will teach him to make smarter inventions. Anyway, the gold thing is to be kept a secret, which is why no news of it was recorded.

Maggin and Giordano provide the Captain Marvel, Jr story in this issue, which involves some foreign spies, and a boy who is so average that no one notices him. The spies enlist the boy in stealing the mail of a notable German man, clearly meant to be Kissinger.

Even Freddy Freeman is not able to see the average boy until he switches to Captain Marvel Jr. Then he learns how the spies are using the kid, and captures them quickly.

The irony lies in the fact that the mail being stolen is pretty boring and average as well.

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