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Thursday, 22 June 2017

Shazam! 30 - the Lieutenant Marvels return


Shazam! 30 (July/Aug 77) features the only real appearance of the Lieutenant Marvels before Crisis on Infinite Earths in the DC universe, thanks to Bridwell, Schaffenberger and Colletta. It does not, despite the cover, feature Superman at all.


Billy Batson and Uncle Dudley are in Pittsburgh in this story, and so is Sivana. He broke into a news company and stole some comic books, and he is shown reading the latest issue of Action Comics. He decides to use the factories in Pittsburgh to create his own man of steel.


Sivana adds something he created into some molten steel, and it comes to life as a sort of steel Paul Bunyan, a character called Magarac. This seems to be an actual legendary steel man, from the way the story is told, although I have never heard of such a character. Anyway, that's who Captain Marvel winds up fighting. Sivana keeps going, and starts creating steel animals that run amok.


So after a chat with Atlas, using the disco lights, Captain marvel enlists the help of not only Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel Jr, but also the three Lieutenant Marvels, Tall Billy Batson, Fat Billy Batson and Hillbilly Batson. These characters had not been seen since 1947, and I doubt anyone missed them. I never cared for them. Not that I even bought this issue as a kid. Anyway, a steel version of Superman does show up at the very end. Captain Marvel defeats it and then gets inside of it, in order to get close enough to Sivana to capture him.

This ends Sivana's spree of cross country crimes. He is next seen the following year in the Shazam series in World's Finest Comics.

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