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Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Shazam! 4 - the return of Ibac, and Billy at the fair

Shazam! 4 (July 1973) follows the pattern of having two lame new stories, and then a more impressive reprint tale.

O'Neil and Beck bring back Ibac, who had last appeared in Captain Marvel Adventures back in 1943.

Ibac is a street cleaner, Stinky Printwhistle, who is given powers equal to those of Captain Marvel by Ivan the Terrible, Cesare Borgia, Attila the Hun and Caligula. When those men, who look a bit more like wizards than ghosts in this story, see that Captain Marvel is back in action, they prompt Stinky into saying the acronym of their names.

Captain Marvel and Ibac fight. Usually these fights end with Marvel tricking Ibac into saying his name, which removes his powers. This time around that is about to happen when the four evil men see that Ibac has lost, and take their powers any first. This leaves Captain Marvel puzzled, and me as well, frankly. It's a poor ending to a poor story.

Ibac returns the following year.

The Maggin and Beck story isn't any better. Billy Batson bumps into a man on the street, and the guy discovers that he gets visions of the future, so long as he is in contact with Billy. The reason for this is...umm...why not.

So the guy keeps tagging along and bumping into Billy. At one point he gets a vision of himself standing next to Captain Marvel, but he never puts that together.

After some crooks are apprehended and the guy gives up on the visions we find out it is Billy Batson's birthday. Sterling Morris, Joan Jameson, Mr. Tawky Tawny, Freddy Freeman, Mary Batson and Beautia Sivana cameo.

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