Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Adventures of Captain Marvel

Above is one of the posters for "The Adventures of Captain Marvel" movie serial from 1941. The 12 chapter serial starred Frank Coghlan Jr. as Billy Batson and Tom Tyler as Captain Marvel.
This serial is one of the best ever produced and is still a lot of fun to watch. Even though Billy is a lot older than he is portrayed in the comics, he still is a radio reporter who is picked by the wizard Shazam because he is pure of heart. The scene where Shazam grants Billy his powers is great - the old wizard explains that his name is an amalgam of the gods is shown on a stone tablet. The only thing that is missing are the statues of The Seven Deadly Sins of Man.
The serial shows the transformation of Billy Batson to Captain Marvel, Billy (and Cap) shout "SHAZAM!" and in a cloud of smoke, the change takes place. I just wish that they would have shown a flash of lighting. In the comics when Billy or Captain Marvel shout the wizards name, a bolt of lighting strikes from the heavens and a clap of thunder change our hero.
"The Adventures of Captain Marvel" is one of the best serials ever made and one of the only other depictions of Captain Marvel in media other than his comics in the Golden Age.
I highly recommend it.

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