Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Captain Marvel '67: When Villain Turns Hero

Those first half-dozen appearances of Marvel’s Captain Marvel in 1967-68, by Roy Thomas and Gene Colan, were dramatic and innovative.
The Kree invader Captain Mar-Vell was an alien spy and saboteur who, when accidentally compelled to pose as a super hero, found that he was gradually becoming one.
It’s a theme that has been reworked to good effect since, notably in Marvel’s Thunderbolts (when the Masters of Evil posed as a superhero team) and Superior Spider-Man (in which Dr. Octopus took over his archenemy’s identity).
But I’ve heard Stan Lee was unenthusiastic about Marvel Comics stealing the name and Shazam-born thunder of the famous Fawcett hero of the 1940s (it was his publisher’s idea). As the feature fell into other hands, it careened erratically into relative obscurity. What might have been, had Thomas and Colan stayed with it...

I understand that only the first issue was written by Lee. The next several issues were penned by Roy Thomas.
Captain Marvel battles another alien agent, the Super Skrull, in his second issue.
The public thinks Namor is the villain here, and Captain Marvel the hero. But they're being fooled in the space-born hero's fourth issue.

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