Friday, July 13, 2007

The Horror of Captain Marvel

Still glorying in Golden Age Fawcetts, I'm struck by how the company was jumping on the horror comics bandwagon toward the end of the legendary Marvel Family's run. Not only were the superhero stories becoming darker (and often featuring monsters) but the flagship WHIZ COMICS actually began spotlighting an EC-like storyteller named Doctor Death! In fact, in one of his earliest stories, we actually have this character here who immediately brought to mind EC's Old Witch from THE HAUNT OF FEAR! Still, the handwriting was not only on the wall for Fawcett but also on all those legal papers that DC had been sending their way for years so as sales dwindled, the company threw in the towel and retired what may have been the single greatest Golden Age hero franchise of them all and settled for publishing DENNIS THE MENACE comics and paperback romances ever after. (For the record, in the grand tradition of false advertising, the cover scene of the monster with Sivana's head does not appear anywhere in the book.)

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:04 AM

    Jumping on the horror bandwagon,
    I wonder what C.C. Beck thought about this late period flirtation
    with the dark side! From all the
    highly opinionated essays he wrote
    over the years, I'm guessing he
    wasn't happily on board with the
    "grim and gritty" Big Red Cheese!
    But, being a professional cartoonist, first and last, Beck
    probably gritted his teeth and did the work.
    However, when he came back to the
    character at DC in the '70's, he
    eventually decided to quit rather than compromise his ethics.
    Ironically, the Original Captain
    Marvel was wildly successful in
    the Golden Age and lasted about
    14 years. DC has continued to
    revive and give new life to the
    Good Captain for over 30 YEARS,
    with limited success.