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Shazam!, The - Archives, VOL 03 Hardcover – Dec 1 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics (Dec 1 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1563898322
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563898327
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2.5 x 25.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 680 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #878,655 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Format: Hardcover
"Shazam Archives Vol. 3" continues the fine tradition of the DC Archives collection. The Shazam Archives do not reprint any particular series in chronological order, but rather collects excellent examples of the character and writing from several comic series.
This volume collects the story "Ghosts of the Deep" from "America's Greatest Comics #1," "Captain Marvel Adventures #2," "Captain Marvel Adventures #3," "Whiz Comics #21," with the first appearance of the Lt. Marvels, "Whiz Comics #22," "Whiz Comics #23," "Whiz Comics #24," and the covers of "Captain Marvel Thrillbook #1" and "X-Mas Comics #1."
Most of the stories highlight CC Beck's work, although George Tuska contributes a few stories. They are all fine examples of the Good Captain, showing his charm and appeal. The printing quality is excellent, and the stories have never looked better.
Keep 'em coming DC! A great book, and I am looking forward to "Shazam Archives vol. 4."
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Format: Hardcover
Having been a fan of Captain Marvel (published under the "Shazam!" heading) for years, I was rather surprised at how uneven this first collection of his adventures is. That's not to say it's BAD, mind you, but I think Captain Marvel needed a little time to find his stride.
Billy Batson, an orphaned newsboy, is led down an abandoned subway tunnel where he encounters the wizard Shazam, who endows him with a gift. By speaking the wizard's name, Billy Batson is transformed in the world's mightiest mortal, Captain Marvel!
The stories, by Bill Parker and C.C. Beck, are typical of superhero comics of the 1940s -- with the superhero going to battle against the Axis forces that are always alluded to but never quite earmarked as the same foes America had not yet faced in the real world ("Nazis" becoming "Gnatzis", for instance). Remember, at the time these books were published, America was still several months away from Pearl Harbor and, with it, total war.
The book reads best as a historical oddity -- it's interesting to note some of the odd, very un-PC stereotypes Parker and Beck get away with, from their depiction of Asian characters to an issue where Billy actually disguises himself in blackface!
Towards the end of this volume the stories begin to hit their stride -- the second-to-last story, in which the evil Dr. Sivana works out a mathematical formula that allows him to become intangible, is my favorite in the book. I'm glad DC has continued this series -- up to the third volume now -- because I've read some of the later "Captain Marvel" stories and I know for a fact that once the series started to hit, it hit on all cylinders, becoming one of the finest superhero comics ever. Read this book for your introduction, then move on to the really good stuff Fawcett Comics did with the Marvels later.
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Format: Hardcover
One of the most popular Golden Age superheroes, the original Captain Marvel has had a hard time carving out a proper niche for himself in the modern era. Though DC has tried to re-establish Cap several times, the results have often been disappointing--partly because of questionable handling by DC itself and also in part because public tastes aren't what they used to be. In an age of anti-heroes and exploitativeness that surpasses anything "Seduction of the Innocent" could have foreseen, a hero as noble as Captain Marvel seems somewhat out of place--much like Superman himself.
But thanks to DC's "Shazam Archives," modern readers at least have a chance to see just why Cap was such a Golden Age icon. This is an outstanding hardcover book, featuring beautifully reproduced art by C.C. Beck and Pete Costanza on high-quality paper. Though written in the 40s, Bill Parker's clever, innovative scripts still hold up well. The price is a bit steep, but there's nothing quite like the classics from the Golden Age.
The stories themselves do show their age--there's nothing remotely like them anymore. Even so, they're top-notch entertainment, featuring lots of action, daring feats of superheroism, last-minute escapes, and plenty of beautiful women to rescue. Though written before America entered World War II, these stories clearly reflect a nation fearful of the world around it, as Cap faces down both barbaric "Gnatzis" and insidious fifth-columnists. Cap's arch-nemesis, the evil Dr. Sivana, is introduced in Cap's very first adventure and makes several return appearances, along with his alluring daughter, Beautia, whom Sivana dreams of seeing crowned "Empress of the World.
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Format: Hardcover
The Shazam! Archives volume 1 reprints Whiz Comics #2 thru #15 starring the original, true Captain Marvel (not the space hero from Marvel Comics) from the Golden Age of comics, as well as the early ashcan prototype Captain Thunder from Flash Comics and Thrill Comics. Overall, I liked this book's stories, seeing how great a superhero Captain Marvel would become. His early adventures are possibly what every kid would dream about, say a magic word and become a superhero. Who wouldn't wish that?
At one time during the 1940s, Captain Marvel would eventually outsell Superman in sales.... In the early 1970s, it would be DC Comics themselves who would bring the character back into publication instead of permanent obscurity. Today, of course, DC now owns Captain Marvel and are the ones who published this Archive Edition.
Originally published in 1992, Shazam! Archives volume 1 went out-of-print for a few years until DC Comics released a second printing in 1999, to coincide with the release of Shazam! Archives volume 2 that same year.
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