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Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Shazam! 2 - Captain Marvel deals with Mr. Mind, and Sunny Sparkle

Shazam! 2 (April 1973) has a fairly lame photo cover, and once again three stories, the final one being a reprint from Captain Marvel Adventures.

CC Beck does the art on both the new stories. The first one is written by Denny O'Neil, and brings back Mr. Mind, who had last been seen in Captain Marvel Adventures in 1945.

Mr Tawky Tawny has resumed his old career, working as a guide in a museum. Billy Batson comes to visit, and is there when an earth tremor shakes apart the building. Tawny had been showing people the exhibit of Mr. Mind, the murderous alien worm behind the Monster Society of Evil, who had been executed for his crimes, or so everyone believed. In fact, Mind had survived this, and is currently controlling an army of worms. It was the worms who shook the building and made it collapse.

Switching to Captain Marvel, Billy gets on the trail of Mr. Mind, which takes him to St. Louis. In most issues of Captain Marvel Adventures the hero would have a story in some US city, and often some landmark would have significance. This story is meant to be in that mode, with Cap using the St. Louis Arch as a huge vibrating tuning fork, driving Mr. Mind and all the other worms up to the surface.

Then all he has to do is spot the one wearing glasses. Easy enough. And not at all an impressive DC debut for the villain.

Mr. Mind returns in this book the following year.

Elliot S Maggin scripts the second story in the issue, which is even worse. It introduces Sunny Sparkle, a kid who everyone likes so much they keep giving him all they have.

Some thieves wind up giving Sparkle their stolen loot, which forms the core of the tale, and gets Captain Marvel involved. He catches the crooks, who keep trying to get the loot from Sparkle, but just wind up giving him more things. Singularly unfunny.

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