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The Power of SHAZAM! Happy Birthday, Captain Marvel

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There have been nearly a dozen characters named Captain Marvel in the last seventy-five years of comics, but only one of them has headlined the best-selling comics franchises of a decade, and, indeed, one of the best-selling series of all time. And guess what? It wasn't the one who could make his arms and legs fall off.

The very first of these Captains Marvel debuted on this day in 1939, in Fawcett Comics' Whiz Comics #2, which was, somewhat counter-intuitively, actually the first issue of that series. The character was originally named Captain Thunder, but someone else already held that trademark. And so, in a story by Bill Parker with art by CC Beck — who would go on to become the defining artistic voice for the character — and with some hastily re-lettered word balloons reflecting the last minute name change, Captain Marvel zoomed toward his destiny in the last days of 1939 (issue cover dated Feb. 1940).

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The Great Super-Costume Poll: Captains Marvel

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For day four, we look at the high-ranking uniforms of the Captains Marvel, with our pick of the best costume for each major character to bear the title --- four of them from Marvel and one from Fawcett (via DC). How does Carol Danvers' cosplay-favorite flight-suit stack up against the big red cheese's fancily embellished union suit?

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The Complete History of Comic-Book Movies, Chapter 1: ‘Adventures of Captain Marvel’

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Republic Pictures

The number one movie of last year was based on a comic book. The year before, two of the top five movies were based on comics. The year before that, both of the two top movies of the year were inspired by comics; both went on to make more than $1 billion worldwide and are now among the top 15 highest-grossing movies in history. Next year, no less than ten (10) movies based on comic books will open in theaters. Blessed are the geeks, for they have inherited the earth, at least as far as Hollywood is concerned.

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