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Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Shazam! 7 - Mr Tawky Tawny loses his voice, and no one should say Captain Marvel.

OK, I have to admit Shazam! 7 (Nov 73) is a bit more entertaining than the previous issues. As before, there are two new stories with art by CC Beck, and then a reprint.

Denny O'Neil scripts the lead story, which features Mr. Tawky Tawny. Tawny chats with some tigers in a private zoo, learning about money stashed in the cage. This is the same money that Captain Marvel is hunting for, after catching the thieves, but not retrieving their loot. Both Tawny and Billy Batson head, separately, to the home of the millionaire with the zoo, who is also the head of a criminal gang. Tawny tries to pass himself off as one of the tigers, but this just means he gets caught and tossed into a cage. The lasso used to catch him winds up damaging his vocal chords, and he cannot speak.

When Billy starts asking too many questions the millionaire decides to feed him to the tigers. He covers Billy in catnip and releases Tawny. If Billy had not managed to say Shazam, Tawny would, indeed, have eaten him, though the tiger feels really badly about this afterwards. Still, it's a rare story in which Tawny is shown to still be dangerous, no matter how nice he is.

E Nelson Bridwell scripts the second story, a massive misunderstanding, and it's genuinely funny. It begins with a couple of thieves, the last free members of their gang. The leader of the two is so upset about Captain Marvel having caught the rest that he insists the name of the hero not be spoken. This gets overheard by a person who then sees Freddy Freeman change into Captain Marvel Jr by saying Captain Marvel. That person mistakes what he has seen, and believes that saying the name causes lightning to come down and kill you.

We then follow the rumour as it spreads and grows, till people believe that saying the hero's name will destroy the world. Sivana plays a small role in this. Captain Marvel learns about the rumour, assumes it is true, and the result of one of Sivana's schemes, but the villain just laughs at him.

When Billy overhears a person say the name unintentionally he realizes that nothing bad will happen. Then he rounds up the thieves. More fun than usual.

Sivana returns a couple of months down the road.

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