The importance of a comic book cover can never really be overstated. It's the first thing a potential reader sees, and especially back before we had solicitations and previews, in the days of newsstands --- and sour-lookin' newsstand owners who were quick to remind you that this ain't a library --- it was often a creator's only chance to convince them to pick it up and at least check out what was inside. Because of that, there are decades of comics out there that are either so bizarre that they pretty much demand to be read, like just about every Silver Age DC book, or books plastered with over-the-top dramatic titles like "And There Must Come... A Destiny!"
In 1945, however, things were a little different. So different, in fact, that the fine people at Fawcett Magazines once decided that it would be a good idea to use that precious bit of real estate on the cover of Captain Marvel Adventures to let you know that you were about to get a story where Captain Marvel went to Columbus, Ohio. Although to be fair, they also determined that this was less important than the story about an old man who found a piece of string on the ground.
Superhero movies are a dominant force in modern blockbuster cinema, but with so many heroes appearing on our screens it can be tough to keep up with the release calendar.
To help make it a little easier for superhero fans to know which weekends to keep free over the next few years, designer Dylan Todd has created this infographic featuring all the upcoming releases from Marvel Studios, Fox, Sony, Warner Bros and more, starring characters from the DC Universe, the Marvel Universe, the X-Men books, Power Rangers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the Valiant Universe, and more.
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).
The names of many of comics' greatest creators of the Golden and Silver Ages of comics — Jack Kirby, Will Eisner, Jerry Siegel, and, increasingly in recent years, Bill Finger — are deservedly well known by the average comic fan. However, the name of the writer of some of the best-selling comics of all time, and the creator of some of comics' most enduring characters, Otto Binder, is utterly unknown to many comics readers, making him perhaps the medium's most underrated writer.
Many of comics’ most popular heroes have been around for decades, and in the case of the big names from the publisher now known as DC Comics, some have been around for a sizable chunk of a century. As these characters passed through the different historical eras known in comics as the Golden Age (the late 1930s through the early 1950s), the Silver Age (the mid 1950s through the late 1960s), the Bronze Age (the early 1970s through the mid 1980s) and on into modern times, they have experienced considerable changes in tone and portrayal that reflect the zeitgeist of the time.
With this feature we’ll help you navigate the very best stories of DC Comics’ most beloved characters decade by decade. This week, we’re taking a look at the best Captain Marvel comics.
Faster than a speeding bullet, Comic-Con is upon once again. The biggest, nerdiest party in the world kicks off on Wednesday in San Diego and, yes, ScreenCrush and ComicsAlliance will be on hand to cover it all. With Marvel, Sony, and Paramount, all sitting out this year’s big geek bash, the clear #1 panel to anticipate is Warner Bros.’ Saturday morning showcase of their upcoming slate. The presentation will include clips from the new live-action Pan starring Hugh Jackman, and the movie version of the ’60s spy series The Man From U.N.C.L.E. But the star attraction is unquestionably an appearance by Zack Snyder and the stars of next spring’s hotly anticipated Batman vs. Superman.Faster than a speeding bullet, Comic-Con is upon once again. The biggest, nerdiest party in the world kicks off on Wednesday in San Diego and, yes, ScreenCrush and ComicsAlliance will be on hand to cover it all. With Marvel, Sony, and Paramount, all sitting out this year’s big geek bash, the clear #1 panel to anticipate is Warner Bros.’ Saturday morning showcase of their upcoming slate. The presentation will include clips from the new live-action Pan starring Hugh Jackman, and the movie version of the ’60s spy series The Man From U.N.C.L.E. But the star attraction is unquestionably an appearance by Zack Snyder and the stars of next spring’s hotly anticipated Batman vs. Superman.
Q: You've mentioned it a few times now; what makes the idea of Captain Marvel an even better idea than Superman to you? -- @dispenserotruth
A: The thing about Superman and Captain Marvel --- or Shazam, as the kids are calling him these days --- is that you can't really talk about one without talking about the other. I mean, you can, but the histories of those two characters and how they evolved over the years are so tied up together, both on and off the page, that they couldn't really have happened the way they did about without each other.
Charles Clarence Beck, better known by his initials as C. C. Beck, was born on this day in 1910. A monumentally talented artist and cartoonist, Beck co-created and defined the look and creative direction of one of comics' most iconic characters, who also happened to star in what was, at the time, the best-selling comic in the world: Captain Marvel.
A few months back, Dwayne Johnson hinted at an earlier release date for Warner Bros.’ Shazam, in which the actor is set to play the villain, Black Adam. The film has been scheduled for a 2019 release on WB’s big, busy superhero slate, but Johnson is once again promising that we’ll get to see Shazam much sooner than that.
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