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Thursday, 22 June 2017

Shazam! 26 - Captain Marvel goes to Washington

Bridwell and Scaheffenberger spend a lot of time in Shazam! 26 (Nov/Dec 76) harmonizing the comic with the Saturday morning tv show.

Shazam calls Billy Batson, Mary Batson, Freddy Freeman and Uncle Dudley to the Rock of Eternity. Being all knowing, Shazam is aware of Sterling Morris' plan to send Billy cross country, and also of Sivana's plans to disrupt Bicentennial celebrations. He informs Mary and Freddy that they need to up their game while Billy is on the road, and orders Dudley to accompany him and be his "mentor." On the tv show, there was an Uncle Dudley type of character, who was always called Mentor.

Shazam also gives Billy a disco light thing, which he can use to contact any of the gods who give powers to Captain Marvel. Once again, this is an element of the tv show, never before part of the comics.

Finally, Sterling Morris gives Billy and Dudley a motorhome to travel around in, just like they have on, you guessed it, the tv show. Mr Tawky Tawny, Dexter Knox and even Sunny Sparkle show up to say goodbye, aware that they are not likely to get many more appearances in the book, because they aren't on the (you can fill in the rest of the sentence yourself).

So off Billy goes to Washington DC, just in time for Sivana to steal the Capitol. This was shortly after Nixon, and the people in Washington display the same kind of contempt for their government that one sees now. In other words, no one is sad to see them gone.

But Captain Marvel is still determined to find it. He uses the disco lights to talk to Hercules, and learns that Sivana has moved the things he stole into the past. Cap fights with a dinosaur and a cave man, but manages to get the Capitol and the Brooklyn Bridge back to the present.

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