TreasuryCast #34 – Shazam!


Just in time for the movie, Rob welcomes back podcaster Michael Lane to discuss LIMITED COLLECTORS' EDITION #C27, starring Shazam--The Original Captain Marvel!

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20 responses to “TreasuryCast #34 – Shazam!

  1. Yep, this was a very informative episode. I really enjoyed the discussion of these stories.
    By the way Rob, I have to second Michael’s recommendation for the Digital Comics Museum. It’s a fantastic site full of all kinds of Golden Age goodness, and a well I’ve returned to many times.

  2. Great episode guys. I’d love to hear a Film & Water where you cover the new movie. I liked the Geoff Johns Shazam miniseries from a few years back. It made Billy seem like a real/modern teen and not an Andy Hardy innocent. I especially love that John emphasizes the Marvel FAMILY aspect of the golden age stories and updates the Lt. Marvels in a contemporary way.

    FYI: The current Shazam series is great and the art is stunning. Check it out.

  3. Great episode! I too enjoyed all the Marvel Family knowledge Michael dropped in this one. I don’t own this treasury, but I do have the one with Jackson Bostwick looking awesome on the cover.

    I’m a sucker for the Marvel Family during the GA, as well as when Bridwell and Don Newton were creating the series in World’s Finest. Newton created that fine tradition of the Marvel’s having masterful artists. I never thought of the Judy Garland connection with Mary, but it makes total sense, especially when looking at Swayze’s version.

    I always liked Mary, but that fondness tripled when I discovered an old Mary Marvel watch at my grandparents that must have belonged to my late mother. I knew my Mom was a comic fan, but this piece clinched it. So Mary has a special place in my geek heart.

    Love the Filmation cartoon stinger at the end. That was a great series, and was very faithful to the original comics in just about every conceivable way!


    1. I know the Mary Marvel watch you are referring to, I actually own the Captain Marvel that came out at the same time. Stumbled on it in an antique store about ten years ago. That’s wonderful that they held on to your mother’s and were able to pass it on to you. I associate the Marvels with family because they were my fathers favorite heroes when he was a kid, so I am very touched your post.

  4. Great episode as always, Rob! Michael was a great and extremely knowledgeable guest. There was a ton of trivia I really appreciated. I have to second all of Chuck’s thoughts above as well. I’m eagerly awaiting some thoughts about the movie from the network! I’m a lifelong fan of the Big Red Cheese and I really liked what Geoff Johns added to the mythology with the new 52 version. It does update the Lieutenants by celebrating what the Marvels are all about, while getting rid of their more problematic aspects. I’ve seen the movie twice now and I was very pleasantly surprised when there were bursts of applause at both shows during the film’s climatic twist. Hope to hear your thoughts soon!

    1. I’m intrigued, Nathan! What were the Marvel Family’s ‘problematic aspects’. Sure, they weren’t ‘diverse’ but neither were any of the characters who debuted back then; that’s easily sorted by making the world around them more like ours. The Geoff Johns revamp is so diverse as to seem like tokenism. It’s fun, but I’d rather have a more trad Marvel Family – Jerry Ordway and Grant Morrison showed that updating doesn’t have to mean reworking the basic character concept…

      … you may not have meant this, Nathan. Just ignore me!

      1. Hey Martin! That’s a great point about the Ordway and Morrison stories. There’s so much to love about the entire Marvel Family universe and they both definitely got it right. What I meant about the original Lieutenants was really regarding their names. Having been a big kid myself, I’m glad big kids today can see themselves as Pedro, rather than “Fat Marvel.” I also really like the injection of diversity especially in a foster home setting. It just makes sense to me that there’d be a bunch of different types of people there. The whole concept of Shazam is just so awesome and I’m hopeful more kids will see themselves reflected in the characters. I do wish the characters had more time to grow in the comics before they put them on screen. As of now, the movie and comics are pretty much all caught up. Anyway, I’m just thrilled to see Cap on the big screen. Hope you enjoy(ed) it too!

        1. Thank you so much Nathan, that’s a great point – I’ve read so few stories with the Lt Marvels that the names were far from my mind… apparently Tall, Hill and Fat were physically based in three real-life Fawcett staffers; I wonder what they made of the names. I’m glad we’re at least a little more enlightened these days.

  5. Terrific episode, this was the first Treasury I ever had and I still treasure it. In the manner of all the best comics, it taught me a word – ‘diorama’. Mind, even as a kid I wasn’t going to wreck my lovely big comic!

    Michael is the great guest a great host deserves, hugely knowledgeable, but wearing the old learning lightly. Mind, I could do with never having heard about Otto Binder’s last years, the poor man.

    I’d never made the connection between ‘Sivana’ and ‘savannah’, as you lads pronounced it… love it! I wonder if Bill Parker had that in mind.

    I loved Kurt Schaffenberger’s art from the first time I saw it – his rounded lines, lush finishes, gorgeous figurework, sublime storytelling and mastery of emotion just chimed with me. Please find a show on which to discuss this DC great.

  6. Well done on a great episode! It was fantastic to hear from both of you your enthusiasm on the Captain Marvel/Shazam character. He has always been my absolute favourite character but I’ve never been able to find the treasuries that feature the character (though I guess the internet makes that a lot easier now). I thank Mr. Lane for bringing all the great Golden Age Marvel knowledge. It was great to hear! Some of those Golden Age stories, though kid-oriented, weren’t afraid to go weird and have the confidence the kids would keep up. Any of the podcasts in the network that focus on Shazam certainly help me Find My Joy.
    Keep up the great work!

    P.S. – I would second the motion for you to do a Film and Water episode on the Shazam! movie. I’m in the same exact camp as Mr. Lane on his feelings on the movie before I saw it but since I saw it, I thoroughly enjoyed it and would love to hear your feelings on the movie.

  7. Nice! Michael was entertainingly informative! I quite like his Twitter feed on Comics in the Golden Age! I really appreciate all the background you both brought to us about this book.
    I have never read any of the stories included in this Treasury, even though I’ve read Shazam: From the 40s to the 70s, and other Marvel Family reprints!
    Like Rob, I did not care for Kurt haffenberger’s art when I was a young comics buyer. I was partial to Neal Adams-influenced art, and Shaffenberger was about as far from that as could be in mainstream superhero comics! However, I gradually “got” it. His ultra-clean lines, suberb story-telling, and economy of image were first-rate! (I still don’t like how he drew Batman’s ears under the cowl!)
    I was kind of disappointed to learn that Mac Raboy was a “swipe artist.” But, man, his drawings are beautiful!
    E. Nelson Bridwell and Don Newton revisited many of the Golden Age concepts, like Billy’s uncle Ebenezer, in their Captain Marvel series in World’s Finest. Those stories would justify a Treasury sized comic!
    Finally, Martin, yes Sivana’s name is pronounced like the city in Georgia. That’s why his daughter is named…Georgia.

  8. Another great episode featuring a character that I LOVE with a fantastic guest who added so much wonderful information!

    One cool thing about SHAZAM! and the Treasuries is that he is the first superhero to have two (and actually three) Treasury appearances before any other hero was repeated!

    *The only other double treasury appearances before SHAZAM! were Rudolph and Tarzan.

  9. I’m always glad to see a new episode devoted to the Treasuries. Thanks for the enjoyable listen.

    The treasuries are the only Golden Age Captain Marvel stories that I’ve gotten to read. I’m a huge Elvis Presley fan and knew about his fandom for Captain Marvel Jr. I really like that this treasury spotlighted both Junior and Mary, so I could see the differences between their stories and the original Captain. I wonder if any readers back then were disappointed that the entire treasury wasn’t devoted to Captain Marvel.

    Since you guys brought it up, I think the “Papa Spank” comment must have been a thing back then, because in addition to it appearing here and in the Batman story, there was a golden age Wonder Woman story where she she said “Mama Spank.” I don’t remember what issue it was right off the top of my head, but it was in one of the Golden Age Omnibuses. I also don’t remember if it was the issue where Wonder Woman spanked a female villain on panel. Hmmmm….I wonder if I shouldn’t have posted that. I don’t want to get a rep as the Pervy Poster, but “Mama Spank” was pretty mild next to some of the stuff going on in Wonder Woman comics back then.

  10. This was a positive show and I don’t aim to muck it up, so let me just say my breast swelled listening to the incredible, bizarre imagination that went into these truly fantastical tales. This is the Marvel Family I want to read about!

  11. What a great Episode! Like multiple posters above me, I really enjoyed and appreciated all that extra info about the treasury, the creators (OI! Sad about the Binder family…) and the context of some of the story and art touches. I did notice both Steamboat and the other gentleman, immediately, in the art, and think ‘Ouch! Unfortunate!’ But sadly y’all were correct that this kind of character, while Obviously Offensively Wrong, Even Then, was also way too prevalent in the Golden Age (And the Silver Age, though thankfully to a lesser extent. But Still… I mean, Egg Fu? Really?), with characters like Ebony White (from the Spirit) and Gargantua T. Potts (from Tex Thompson) making the reading of GA comics a mix of ‘Oh Wow This Is Pretty Fun!’ and ‘OMGoddess how could anyone anytime ever think this was OK?!’ Glad to hear about the character eventually being removed due to the complaints of civic groups, at least.

    What a Great Comic! I’ve had the honor of reading this, and the previous Shazam treasury, and even with the sketchy descriptions you gave, it was enough to recall the look of the comics and pin-ups, and tap into the sense memory of having read them! I agree that at least with the 1st two Shazam treasuries, it’d be hard to pick which to cover… so I hope a future Treasury Cast has the two of you teaming up (or with, to mix it up, a few other Marvel Family Fans, like Dave Weter) and tackling C-21 at some point!

    And yes, Mary Marvel has been one of my favorite (and earliest favorite?) DC superheroes since I was a wee lass! The ‘?’ on ‘Earliest’ was because I don’t remember which of those 2 live action shows I saw first, but the ‘wish fulfillment’ of spinning into / getting bolted into ‘the perfect version of yourself’ was very strong, so I don’t actually remember which happened first, but WW and MM were fast faves!

    As for the Movie, WOW! I was too much of a fan of the ‘old and silly’ Captain Marvel for me to really enjoy any movie they put out, I thought. Nope, it was a blast! I did have a FEW complaints that kept it from being a perfect score, but It Does Score Big! As for the Nu52 Shazam comics, I LOVED the other foster kids, but thought the rest of it was a bit ‘tries too hard to be edgy and cool’ for my taste, so I was quite pleased to see they not only cast well for it, but the ‘child actors’ were pretty great! And yes, 100% would love to hear a Film and Water Shazam coverage (or heck, even a FYJ ep, b/c there sure is a heaping helping of Joy in that film!

  12. Terrific episode!

    Ruth and I thoroughly enjoyed the Shazam movie and it was great to hear you and Mike talk about this fun treasury collection.

    We’re long time fans of Zachery Levi from “Less Than Perfect” and “Chuck” and knew he would be perfect for the character and he definitely was.

    Mike is such a huge fan of the character and brings so much knowledge with him. Great choice for a guest.

    Thanks as always for a great show!


  13. I wanted to give an update on the copyright status of Fawcett’s comics. At the time I recorded this, all of their Golden Age comics had been available on public domain websites for years and were generally thought to be in the public domain. However, recently, WB sent out notice to public domain websites that certain Fawcett books are still under copyright protection. They did not claim that with respect to all Shazam family titles though, only certain ones. At WB’s request, the Digital Comics Museum and Comic Book Plus removed the following issues:
    Captain Marvel Adventures nos. 3-6, 46-129, 131-141 and 143-150;
    Captain Marvel Jr. nos. 29-34, 36-106, 108-117 and 119;
    Captain Marvel Story Book nos. 1-2;
    Fawcett’s Funny Animals nos. 31-79;
    Hoppy the Marvel Bunny nos. 1-15;
    The Marvel Family nos. 1-3, 5-80, 82-89;
    Mary Marvel Comics nos. 1-28;
    Master Comics nos. 61-126, 128-132;
    Whiz Comics nos. 3-6, 64-98, 105-118, 130-153 and 155;
    Wow Comics nos. 36-69.
    That still leaves alot of Captain Marvel & Captain Marvel Jr. books available for free reading and downloading, but removes most Mary Marvel & all Hoppy the Marvel Bunny (of all things…) comics from these sites. This is likely related to the recent film, but beyond that I am not sure what the details are behind this, including why copyright is still in effect for some but not others.

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