Shazam!, The - Archives, VOL 03 Hardcover – Dec 1 2002
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Top Customer Reviews
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."
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.
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.Read more ›
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.
Most recent customer reviews
Shazam is compelling there's a reason its a classic. Still, it really is an example where one sees a comic as being dated. Stereotypes do indeed abound. Read morePublished on July 21 2004
This book is a breezy and exciting read. To see Captain Marvel drawn by his creator is a pleasure. Every young person dreams of being heroic, and this book exemplifies why. Read morePublished on Oct. 25 2000 by Stephen Sonneveld
This book collects the first of (the REAL) Captain Marvel's adventures. The stories overall aren't that good, and I will never quite like his origin, but Captain Marvel is an... Read morePublished on Oct. 19 2000 by Liam Kemp
Shazam Archives Vol.1 collects the Captain Marvel stories from Whiz #2-15. It also includes a rare first appearance as Captain Thunder in Thrilling Comics (never actually sold,... Read morePublished on July 28 2000 by Zack Davisson
Well done reprint of a now forgotten Super Hero who always had his tongue in his cheek.Where's vol. 3 ?Published on Oct. 21 1999 by J. Baesel
This is Golden Age comics at it's very best. Anyone with an appreciation for comic or American history would enjoy this.
The art is simplistic yet effective. Read more
The Golden Age Captian Marvels are possibly some of the finest comics of their era. This is a great collection of his earliest adventures and a definite must have for any fans. Read morePublished on April 7 1999
This great book puts together the early WHIZ COMICS (UP TO #15) stories of the great Captain Marvel and is a MUST HAVE for any and all Marvel Family... Read morePublished on Feb. 5 1999
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