TreasuryCast #74 – Superman vs. Shazam!

Rob welcomes back frequent network guests Dr. Anj and Scott X to discuss ALL-NEW COLLECTORS' EDITION #c58: SUPERMAN VS. SHAZAM!

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11 responses to “TreasuryCast #74 – Superman vs. Shazam!

  1. Great episode featuring some great guests. This (as far as I can recall) was my first ever Treasury comic. I remember it it being bigger than life! Of course I was only 5 and a lot smaller myself.
    The story fully delivered on its title as Superman and Shazam really do battle each other in an all out brawl. These guys just couldn’t be in a dimension together without fighting. The Bronze Age has numerous covers of these two punching each other out. It was a fun era to be reading comics in.
    Unfortunately all but one of the treasury editions I had as a kid ended up “drowning” when the basement playroom I kept them in flooded. I do have the TPB reprint.
    The ages of Mary and Billy are confusing. They are supposed to be twins, but Mary always looked and acted older. I know girls mature faster than boys, but it always seemed to me that Mary was a good 3 to 4 years older than Billy. Maybe Billy moving at super speed stayed younger due to the whole theory of relativity. (Oops… overthinking comics again)

  2. A book so titanic that it needed two guests for the discussion! (Although I’m not sure why Anj isn’t mentioned in the post above…)
    I can definitely sympathize with Scott X and his failure to ever see any treasuries out in the wild back in the day, as iffy spinner rack and magazine aisle distribution often frustrated me as well. However, treasuries could sometimes be found at my usual haunts, so I had a few – although some of the ones I wanted the most tended not to appear anywhere: e.g., Batman vs. Ra’s al Ghul, any of the Legion volumes and this one featuring Superman and Capt. Marvel.
    And speaking of this one, I’ve still never read the story, which is unfortunate, because I really like the Superman and Shazam family team-ups (esp. the two-parter in DC Comics Presents #33-34, also by the Buckler-Giordano art team, and DCCP Annual #3). So I really appreciated the discussion, which allowed me to vicariously experience the story.
    By the way, Rob, I would think that once you finally get around to getting your evil podcasting fortress set up, it would be called Castle Kell(e)y…

  3. Listening now, but I had to point out that Alex Ross has stated that he most defnitely got the idea to use Captain Marvel’s magic lightning against Superman in Kingdom Come from this book. He was upset that it wasn’t used in this treasury, so he wanted to do something with it.

    I do believe you’re right Rob, that for most of the other Fawcett heroes in “Crisis on Earth S”, that was their only DC appearance, before Jerry Ordway began using them in his Power of Shazam series in the 90s. In fact, I think after those JLA issues were published, DC realized they didn’t have the rights to ANY of the none Marvel Family characters. Hence their exclusion from Who’s Who, Crisis, etc.

  4. Great discussion guys! I bought this treasury at a flea market sometime in the early 80s, and really dug it. But somehow it is one of my few childhood comics that got lost over the years. I’ve never had the chance to find a replacement copy for a price that wasn’t nuts.

    Mary’s crush on Superman was cute, but I think her actually throwing herself at him did undermine things a bit. I was always a bit nebulous on how old Mary was supposed to be in hero form anyhow. Did she age up at all, or was she a tween/teen during this era, as in the Golden Age? She doesn’t look any younger than Supergirl who is obviously in her early to mid-20s by this point.

    Supergirl had so many careers, they made a digest off the concept!

    Buckler was one of my favorite artists as a kid. Clearly he set himself in “Neal Adams mode” when working at DC, just like his earliest Marvel work was in “Jack Kirby mode”. I can see a lot of the…er…lifts now, but like you said Rob, the man could still draw. That full page crotch shot of Superman walloping Captain Marvel is awkward, but it kind of illustrates how desperate and messy the fight had became at this point.

    I need to track down one of the TPB reprints of this, just so I can read it again! Scott and Dr. Anj were great guests as always.

    Oh, and SPOILERS for Black Adam, I guess, but who knew your episode dropping this week would be even more appropriate than you thought when you recorded it!

  5. Another classic episode.
    Also a some questions:
    If Shazam 2 two and black atom do well do think will see a movie staring black atoms wife or a Mary marvel or captain marvel jr solo movie in the future?

    Also is the kids super power with Shazam on the list for Saturday morning fever ?

    I’ve heard about a made for TV movie that features Adam west Batman and Shazam is that on list for film and water ?

    Also if you could bring one of the marvel family into the current movies who’s not in them who would you choose ? I’d like to see uncle marvel the version with the mustache and the Shazam van in to the current time it could be done as the Shazam family is all adopted and it wouldn’t be hard for uncle marvel to be a friend of Billy’s adopted dad or mom .
    Have a great holiday season oh
    Billy : SHAZAM .
    Shaggy : Zoinks !
    Velma : jinkies!
    I think Velma and shaggy are honory members of the marvel family.

  6. This Superman vs. Shazam treasury is definitely a good old fashioned ridiculous comic. The Rich Buckler art is great. I remembered fondly his dynamic covers for the World’s Finest dollar comics. His art is a nice blend of Neal Adams and Mike Grell.

    Karmang is a solid megalomaniac villain. He’s got the big castle on a hilltop with a narrow, wavy driveway to annoy any guests trying to figure out where to park (you DO NOT want to have to back down that hill). He named the castle after himself, as one should if you’re going to buy a castle. And his interior designer set up a nice evil control center complete with random button panels and a big flatscreen to make those exploding planet schemes really pop. I like him. And his giant dangling earrings remind me of the ones my Nana used to wear.

    The Superman/Shazam fight lives up to the billing. It’s fun when two big guns can just punch each other through (hopefully empty) buildings. Plus, quite the unusual vantage point on the finishing punch by Supes. A real battle of the “bulge” you might say.

    I really liked the story arc for Supergirl and Mary Marvel. It showed them to be the smarter, more capable versions of their counterparts. And then Gerry Conway turned the book into a 13-year old’s fan fiction on the last page. C’mon, Gerry.

    Great show, as always, Rob.

  7. Great episode guys! It made me go get my Superman vs Shazam and Kryptonite Nevermore books (unfortunately i don’t own either of the originals). Glad to discover what solid reads they remain.
    Love the Kara and Mary approach to the whole situation, and last page notwithstanding, a clever way of saying “guys punch it out, women talk it out (even if they are powerful enough to do it)”. As feminist as a super hero comic could get in the seventies.
    Loved the art, although I have to mention artists struggle not only to get the Billy look but caps as well: eyes and hair should be either full CC Beck or full classic style of the era, anything halfway through looks… weird.

  8. Great episode, one of my favorites of all of the Treasurycasts!

    Regarding DC and Fawcett, most people misremember the outcome of their longtime legal struggle as being DC winning and Fawcett going out of business. Actually, as I understand it, Fawcett had won the most recent lawsuit. But DC was preparing to appeal it, and Fawcett knew it would be expensive to go through yet another court battle. Watching their comic book sales declining, they decided that, financially speaking, it made more sense to simply quit making comics altogether. Fawcett was still a major publisher of paperback books, as well as magazines such as “Popular Mechanics”, so they would continue to thrive even without their comic book line, and indeed they did until they were finally sold to CBS in 1977.

    They sold some of their titles to Charlton in the early 1950s, but apparently they made an agreement to not allow anyone to use the Marvel Family characters without DC’s approval (presumably even with Fawcett voluntarily exiting the comic book industry, DC was still threatening to appeal the case, so Fawcett came to this agreement with them to prevent another suit). Otto Binder and C.C. Beck had attempted to revive Captain Marvel at Lightning Comics in the mid-60s, but DC invoked their legal right to block that, so instead they did “Fatman, the Human Flying Saucer”. Around that time, same Marvel Comics realized that although the original character was locked up, the name Captain Marvel was fair game.

    When DC finally launched their own “Shazam!” book in 1972, they didn’t have ownership of the characters…they leased them from Fawcett. Reportedly that’s why we only rarely saw other Fawcett heroes like Mr. Scarlet and Ibis, because DC had to pay extra for them each time they appeared.

    Presumably the lease agreement gave DC the merchandising rights, as it was the DC trademark appearing on all of those Shazam Mego dolls and 7-Eleven Slurpee cups, not Fawcett’s.

    Finally, someone at DC decided it just made more sense to buy outright all of the Fawcett characters, rather than rent them, so they acquired the full rights to them in 1991. They’re now owned lock, stock and barrel by Warner/DC.

  9. Dr.Anj and Scott X were fantastic guests for a fantastic book! Well done, everyone.

    Because of this show, I’ve started to collect Treasury Comics and, while Captain Marvel is my favourite character and I’ve bought a couple of his treasuries, the Superman vs. Shazam Treasury seems to be a white whale. Any time I’ve seen it (mostly at cons) it’s been ridiculously priced. I can only think this is because of the movies and not for the first appearance of Karmang?! While I know the story itself has been reprinted, I agree with Rob; I would love to see DC to a Treasury sized reprint!

    Well done, again. Keep up the great work!

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