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SHAZAM #1
CGC NM-: 9.2
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PUBLISHER: DC
COMMENTS: Off-White to White pages
C.C. Beck cvr/art; 1st Captain Marvel, Marvel Jr & Mary Marvel since Golden Age; origin retold; smash hit movie!l; only 1 higher
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DESCRIPTION
Off-White to White pages
C.C. Beck cvr/art; 1st Captain Marvel, Marvel Jr & Mary Marvel since Golden Age; origin retold; smash hit movie!l; only 1 higher
Ladies and gentlemen, reintroducing the artist formerly known as Captain Marvel! In the Golden Age of comics, 12-year-old orphan Billy Batson met a wizard named Shazam and by uttering his name he turned into the adult superhero Captain Marvel. However, after a copyright infringement lawsuit by DC Comics claiming Captain Marvel stole the likeness of Superman, and declining sales after World War II, Fawcett Comics ceased publication of the Big Red Cheese. In the early 50s writers tried to revitalize Captain Marvel by introducing a horror element to his adventures, as that was the current hot trend, but his popularity failed to enjoy a resurgence, and Captain Marvel was left to wallow in comic book purgatory. During the Silver Age, DC purchased right to the character and reintroduced him in their comics line. Due to Marvel comics already having a character and owning the copyright to the name Captain Marvel, DC cannily retooled Billy Batson’s infamous word of power and titled the series Shazam! The World's Mightiest Mortal. The new deal required that all related merchandise shed the name of Captain Marvel in favor of his new moniker, which was driven home to the point where mainstream audiences now recognize the character as Shazam. The initial run of the rebooted series included new stories as well as reprints of the 1940's issues, and original Whiz Comics alumni were among the creative teams to produce new Shazam stories. After returning to the limelight once again via DC’s multiverse concept, Shazam & the entire Marvel Family were characters in the DC comics universe featured alongside heroes like the Justice League. Later the character was featured in a number of DC animated TV shows, and more recently starred in the 2019 film titled “Shazam!” further expanding the characters already admirable fanbase.


Artists Information

Beck was the artist most closely associated with the original Captain Marvel at Fawcett Comics, he was the main illustrator for Whiz Comics in the Golden Age while also working on Ibis the Invincible and Spy Smasher. Later in his career he specialized in Golden Age recreations, he also created the oddball Fatman and the Flying Saucer title for Milson Publications.

Nick Cardi (Nicholas Viscardi) was an American comics artist best known for his DC Comics work on Aquaman, the Teen Titans and other major characters. Cardy was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2005. Cardy entered the comics field working for the Eisner/Iger studio, joining circa 1940, he worked on Fight Comics, Jungle Comics, Kaanga Comics, and Wings for Fiction House Publications. He wrote and drew the four-page backup feature "Lady Luck" in Will Eisner's 16-page, Spirit Section, from the May 18, 1941 strip through February 22, 1942. In 1950, Cardy began his decades-long association with DC Comics, starting with the comic book Gang Busters, developing his breakout reputation with Tomahawk, his most prominent series at the time. From 1962–1968, he drew the first 39 issues of Aquaman, whose character had previously starred in a backup feature in Adventure Comics, and all its covers through the final issue (#56, April 1971). Cardy first drew the Teen Titans in The Brave and the Bold #60 (July 1965), wherein the superhero sidekicks Robin, Kid Flash, and Aqualad were joined by Wonder Woman's younger sister Wonder Girl in her first appearance. After next being featured in Showcase #59 (Dec. 1965), the team was spun off into their own series with Teen Titans #1 (Feb. 1966). From 1966–73, Cardy penciled or inked – sometimes both – all 43 issues of the series. Cardy left the comics industry in the mid-1970's for the more lucrative field of commercial art. There, under the name Nick Cardi, he did magazine art and ad illustrations, including movie advertising art (though not necessarily the "one-sheet" posters) for films including The Street Fighter (1974), The Night They Robbed Big Bertha's (1975), Neil Simon's California Suite (1978), Stanley Donen's Movie Movie (1978), Martin Ritt's Casey's Shadow (1978), and Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now (1979).


 

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