Back Issue # 93 December 2016 (magazine review)

December 3, 2016 | By | Reply More

There are a lot of captains in comicbooks. One has to wonder why, outside of Nick Fury, that few come with a higher rank starring in their own comicbook. Certainly, none of them ever rose to a higher rank.


The first is the original Captain Marvel and his tenure at DC Comics. Something I didn’t know was his costume was the template for the second version of the Flash. Obviously, in the 1970s, they couldn’t call any comic starring the Big Red Cheese by his name and resorted to ‘Shazam!’, the word that initiates his transformation from Billy Batson. I loved John G. Pierce’s dissertation that many people thought that was Captain Marvel’s name. One thing I wish was cleared up was for Freddy Freeman to become Captain Marvel Jr., he originally needed to say ‘Captain Marvel!’ to initiate the transform but not how he could address the latter. No wonder they shared the ‘Shazam!’ word in the end, although you would have thought the wisdom of Solomon would have solved this earlier.

Next is the third Captain Marvel (let’s not talk about the second splitting version from Myron Fass’ M.F. Enterprises), a Kree soldier infiltrator on Earth to super-hero, Mar-Vell had a chequered past and a final future, one of the few who has never come back.

If you saw the 2010 film ‘The Losers’ but never knew their comicbook history then Christopher Larochelle’s article will fill you in. Writer Bob Kanigher brings surviving characters from the other war comics he wrote, their group name derived from being the only survivors from skirmishes.

The history of Marvel’s Captain Universe, an energy that can endow for a limited time anyone with super-powers starting out of ‘The Micronauts’ title did make me wonder why, having come from their universe, never turned anyone to around 5.5 inches tall. Mind you, the fates of those who were possessed weren’t always so lucky after they lost the power.

Jack Abramowitz’s look at Jack Kirby’s ‘Captain Victory’ tends to start off somewhat tongue-in-cheek but I do agree with him about the flaws. It’s all very well having large ideas but there has to be some grounding in some sort of reality that the reader can relate to.

Then we have ‘Captain Carrot And His Zoo Gang’ where we have a total coverage which looks at all the problems and odd management decisions at DC Comics.

The odd piece of the lot was Eclipse Comics’ 3D version of Disney’s ‘Captain Eo’ because they succeeded in telling us all about the production and its problems but left me no wiser about the story although it is out there on YouTube.

As always with ‘Back Issue’, there are a lot of surprises and if you weren’t informed before, you would certainly be afterwards, especially as there are two more unpublished, until now, pieces of a Paul Gulacy art.

Finally, just in case you want to be ordering ahead, a certain Ms. Mystic is on the cover of the next issue and that means an interview with her creator. Do I need to tell you who that is after all this time?

GF Willmetts

December 2016

(pub: TwoMorrows Publishing. 82 page illustrated softcover. Price: $ 8.95 (US). ISSN: 1932-6904. Direct from them, you can get it for $ 7.61 (US))

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Category: Comics, Magazines, Superheroes

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About UncleGeoff

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’
If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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