Saturday, February 10, 2007

Random Reading: Showcase Presents Shazam! (Part Two)

Continuing from part one of my look at Showcase Presents Shazam! vol. 1. Various highlights from issues 14-33:

* Dr. Sivana kidnaps Uncle Dudley, the weird old man who doesn't have any superpowers, but still likes to dress up like Captain Marvel and try to fight crime. He then hooks the old man up to some weird machine that makes his dreams a reality and since Dudley's been reading about mythology, weird mythological creatures with Sivana's head appear. So, the Marvels switch Dudley's book with a book about the Marvel family and suddenly, dream versions of the Marvel family appear and defeat the creatures. And then Captain Marvel destroys the machine and the dream Marvels disappear. Why didn't he just destroy the machine to begin with?

* An evil villain replaces the statue of justice outside the courthouse with a statue of injustice, so the judge begins acting like an asshole. And everyone just does what the crazy old guy says, including Captain Marvel, who goes to prison.

* The city promises some weird hippy guy with a magic music machine that makes criminals follow him into prison a million dollars for doing that service. Except once he does it, he's told the city doesn't have a million dollars, but will he accept $28 and a ticket to the policeman's ball instead? Fucking assholes.

* A prince was turned into a frog and when he gets turned back, it turns out he was so ugly he already kind of looked like a frog. The best part was how Mr. Tawny (the talking tiger) is the only one who can hear the frog talk. Gee, a frog who doesn't act like a frog, but only does so for one person--wonder where THAT idea came from.

* Dr. Sivana's son makes crippled news-vender Freddie Freeman forget the words "Captain Marvel," so he can't turn into Captain Marvel Jr. Except, Freeman can still remember "Captain Marvel Jr." so he just says that.

* Some alien kid uses a lightning-rod helmet to get Captain Marvel's powers and when Captain Marvel finally gets the kid turned back to normal, he gives him the spanking of his life.

* Some lame criminal thinks Uncle Dudley actually has powers. What a fucking idiot.

* A scientist recreates Ben Franklin's experiment with a kite and lightning, and it somehow turns him into three of himself. He then merges the three versions of himself and passes a superhuman detector test only to reveal he is a superhuman. Dr. Kilowatt is the same genius who invented the anti-gravity machine that no one wanted. Here, he is totally owned by this other scientist that proves his superhuman detector machine--bullshit. Total bullshit. Kilowatt is such a lame scientist.

* Sivana goes on a multi-city tour of crime, which is really an excuse for us to learn stupid facts about American history. Except Captain Marvel almost doesn't try to stop him, because Billy works in New York. BUT! Billy and Uncle Dudley get sent to these cities to film news reports, luckily.

* In Washington, Sivana steals the Capitol Building and every member of congress. And no one cares, which blows Captain Marvel's mind. It unhinges him so much, he takes to shaking his fist and yelling at TVs.

* In Philadelphia, Sivana gets various criminals from history to help him, including Benedict Arnold--who then betrays him.

* Sivana brings Black Adam back from the dead to help him become ruler of the universe--so Black Adam tells him to go fuck himself, because HE wants to rule the universe. At this point, I began feeling sorry for Sivana, because he keeps getting betrayed by his evil buddies.

* Captain Marvel apparently knows off the top of his head that "magarac" means "jackass" in Serbo-Croatian.

* Billy has tape over his mouth (again), so he makes fun of the villain, so he'll hit Billy so hard that the tape will come off.

* We discover there are Lieutenant Marvels: Fat Billy Batson, Hill Billy Batson and Tall Billy Batson. And when they all get together, they sing a song.

* Captain Marvel is shy around girls, so he needs a guy from World War II to beat them up for him.

* The cover to issue 32 has Captain Marvel sliding into home with an alien at batcatcher. The ump is yelling "YER OUT!" Except, Captain Marvel's foot is on home and the ball hasn't reached the catcher's glove. This ump sucks.

* In the same issue, Tawny tries out for the Detroit Tigers. And makes it. Genius.

* One word: Shazamobile.

All in all, a fun read. Some of the plot turns are horribly lame, but some? Genius. Pure fucking genius.