"Captain Marvel: "Introducing Captain Marvel!"": One evening, a ten-year-old newspaper boy named Billy Batson is hawking newspapers on the streets of New York, when a strange shadowy man in a long coat approaches him. He beckons Billy to follow him and
Synopsis for Captain Marvel: "Introducing Captain Marvel!"
One evening, a ten-year-old newspaper boy named Billy Batson is hawking newspapers on the streets of New York, when a strange shadowy man in a long coat approaches him. He beckons Billy to follow him and leads him underground into a dilapidated subway station. A driverless subway car, unlike any Billy has ever seen before, roars to the platform and the two get on board. The car speeds off deep underground, bringing them to a vast cavern, inside the Rock of Eternity. Billy disembarks, and both the subway train and the cloaked stranger mysteriously disappear. Before him, Billy sees two rows of statues lining each side of the cavern. Each statue is forged in the likeness of a horrific monster, representing the Seven Deadly Enemies of Man.
At the anterior of the cavern, he finds an old man with a flowing white beard sitting on a stone throne. Above him is a large boulder suspended from the ceiling of the cavern by a tiny, fraying thread. The old man introduces himself as Shazam, the wizard, and tells Billy that he has chosen him to be his champion against injustice. The wizard lights a brazier next to the throne, illuminating the names of six mythological elders inscribed on the wall behind it; Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles and Mercury. He explains that each of these elders will bestow an aspect of their power unto Billy, and all the boy has to do to acquire such power is to speak the wizard's name. Billy shouts the name "Shazam", and a bolt of mystic lightning strikes down from out of nowhere, transforming the ten-year-old boy into a powerful, muscular adult. Shazam christens his new champion Captain Marvel and salutes him.
Moments later, the thread securing the boulder above Shazam's head snaps, and the rock crashes down, killing the wizard. Shazam's spirit rises from the debris and tells Billy that his ghost will always be present inside the Rock of Eternity, should the neophyte hero ever need his guidance. Captain Marvel leaves the Rock of Eternity to begin his amazing career.
In the next morning's newspapers, Billy reads of a threat made by an anonymous maniac, who will soon be revealed as Doctor Sivana, against the entire US broadcasting system. He will use a ray to drive all radio stations off the air unless he gets fifty million dollars. On a hunch, Billy follows two suspicious men to the swanky Skytower Apartments, where he hears one complain about their "maniac scientist" boss. Billy visits Sterling Morris at Amalgamated Broadcasting, where Morris refuses to entertain any belief that a reputable building like Skytower Apartments could host a criminal enterprise. While Billy is shooed out of the office, he does convince Morris to offer him a job in exchange for catching the criminals.
Later that night, Billy, in the form of Captain Marvel, visits Sivana's apartment building, discovering the thugs talking to Sivana over the television. Captain Marvel enters the room and easily takes out the thugs, smashing the radio silencer in the process. While Sivana vows vengeance, Captain Marvel promises to bring the evil mastermind to justice, dead or alive. Billy changes back to his normal self and invites Sterling Morris to see his handiwork. Morris gives Billy the job that was promised. In his excitement, Billy almost gives away his secret identity, but stops himself before doing so.
Appearing in Captain Marvel: "Introducing Captain Marvel!"
- Shazam (First appearance)
- Sterling Morris (station manager for WHIZ Radio) (First appearance)
- The Elders (Mentioned only)
- Shazam's interdimensional underground train
Synopsis for Ibis the Invincible: "Ibis Lives Again!"
In the Egyptian wing of a famous American museum, the 4000-year-old mummy case of the young Prince Amentep, 12th Dynasty, aka "Old Man Ibis," displayed the words: "I will live again!" And at midnight, the ancient mummy stirred and sat upright, and it clasped the Ibistick "the most powerful weapon ever devised." The talisman jewel at one end enclosed the form of the sacred bird. At Ibis' command, the display-case glass melted, and his linen wrappings were transformed into a black suit and a crimson turban. Leaving the museum, Ibis roamed the city, rescuing a mother's baby carriage from a speeding fire engine, by diverting it into an instantly-created underpass, and performing other helpful wonders for random persons. He then began his search for his beloved Taia, buying a steamship ticket to Egypt ($400) with cash conjured out of thin air. On the voyage, the ship was attacked by a U-boat; Ibis reversed the torpedo's trajectory and destroyed the sub.
Landing in Egypt, Ibis proceeded to the now-ruined site of Thebes, once the Queen City of the ancient world. Taia's mummy had been excavated and exported to a European city; Ibis arrived there during a terrific air raid. Ibis formed a bombproof transparent dome over the city, repaired all the buildings and streets, and replenished all the food supplies, then got directions to the city's museum from a shady-looking character, and went there, followed by the same guy. In the museum, Ibis restored Taia to life. But before she could leave the electrically-wired unbreakable glass case, the thug snatched the Ibisstick and raced for the door, pursued by Ibis.
Appearing in Ibis the Invincible: "Ibis Lives Again!"
- Ibis the Invincible (First appearance)
- Taia (First appearance)
- Thief (First appearance)
Synopsis for Golden Arrow: "The Origin of Golden Arrow"
Sole survivor of a deadly airship crash, Golden Arrow was raised from infancy to young manhood, in the Western Badlands, by a gold prospector called Nugget Ned. He could out-wrestle a young bear or overtake an antelope on foot, and could shoot arrows with incredible accuracy and speed. He built his own bow and arrows, and made his arrowheads out of gold, of which old Ned had a large supply. He caught a wild horse one day, a white stallion that he named White Wind.
Ned was old, and one day he had a heart attack, but before he died, he told young Roger Parsons of his true name and background. Roger's parents had been murdered at the orders of Brand Braddock, who had stolen a secret formula from the wreckage of their fallen balloon. Once Ned was buried, Golden Arrow paid a visit on his neighbor Brand Braddock.
Braddock's extremely expensive ranch house was well-guarded by trigger-happy riflemen, but White Wind with a good running start was able to clear the perimeter wall with Roger aboard. Golden Arrow got into the house, stealthily, and at a fortuitous moment: Brand Braddock was that very day bequeathing the stolen secret formula, with which he had done nothing for almost two decades, to his twin sons Bronk and Brute. The formula was the recipe for a nonflammable balloon gas, and Brand was gloating about how he had held onto it all through World War One, but that now with another big war shaping up, his boys should be able to get quite a good price for it. Golden Arrow stepped into the room and confronted them. One of the sons tried to quick-draw Golden Arrow, who shot the pistol out of his hand, then grabbed the formula. The elder Brand had meanwhile summoned a squad of his cowboys into the house, and there was a short fight in which the archer made complete fools of the gunmen, then leapt aboard White Wind and rode away.
A few days later young Parsons had donated the formula to the U.S.Army, and the story was carried in newspapers across the nation.
Appearing in Golden Arrow: "The Origin of Golden Arrow"
- Golden Arrow (Roger Parsons) (First appearance)
- White Wind (Roger's stallion) (First appearance)
- Brand Braddock (corrupt cattle baron) (First appearance)
- Bronk Braddock (Brand's son) (First appearance)
- Brute Braddock (Brand's son) (First appearance)
- Gloria Parsons (Roger's mother) (Flashback only), (Only appearance; dies)
- Nugget Ned (a prospector) (Only appearance; dies)
- Paul Parsons (Roger's father) (Flashback only), (Only appearance; dies)
- American West, 1920s & 1930s
- experimental balloon (Destroyed)
Synopsis for Spy Smasher: "The Coming of Spy Smasher"
The Navy's newest ships and airships and submarines are being burned and stolen and sunk, costing millions of dollars and hundreds of lives. Clearly some very capable spy is directing an efficient program of sabotage. In his Washington, D.C. home, Naval Intelligence officer Admiral Corby discusses this problem with his daughter Eve and her fiance Alan Armstrong, in front of their Filipino houseboy Zambo, who speaks no English. Alan takes his leave and returns to his Virginia estate.
The Mask has an estate in Virginia, and a team of saboteurs, whom he directs to steal a set of plans for a new model of naval mine layers, from a safe in Admiral Corby's big old house, to which the Mask has a pass key. Two burglars crack the wall safe, and then are in the process of murdering old Corby, when a phantom figure appears in the window. They recognize him as the Spy Smasher, and flee in terror. Spy Smasher ensures Corby's safety, then climbs to the mansion's roof and boards his Gyrosub, and flies the super-craft, in absolutely silent pursuit of the fleeing burglar team's car. It crosses the Potomac into Virginia, soon arriving at an imposing country mansion. The burglars hurry toward a pier on the river, where an amphibious airplane is idling and their impatient boss is yelling at them to hurry up. As soon as the plane takes off, a terrific explosion destroys the mansion!
Spy Smasher follows the plane, out to sea, where it makes contact with a dirigible, which he recognizes as having recently been stolen from the U.S. Navy. Unobserved, he lands his weightless super-craft atop the dirigible, and enters the airship's superstructure, then makes his way down to the gondola, where he encounters the Mask and his crew. There is a brisk fight, in which Spy Smasher subdues the entire crew, recovers the blueprints, and returns the airship, while The Mask escapes in a light airplane.
Soon a messenger leaves an envelope at the Admiral's mansion, and Zambo delivers it to the Corbys. It is the recovered mine layer plans, with a note from Spy Smasher.
Appearing in Spy Smasher: "The Coming of Spy Smasher"
- Spy Smasher (First appearance)
- The Mask (First appearance)
- Zambo, (Corby's Filipino houseboy) (First appearance)
- Washington, D.C. Area
- Admiral Corby's mansion, in Washington DC
- The Mask's mansion, in Virginia, not far from Washington DC (Destroyed)
- Alan Armstrong's mansion, in Virginia, not far from Washington DC
- Spy Smasher's Gyrosub (a super-craft combining the functions of an airplane, autogyro, speedboat, and submarine) (First appearance)
- Mask's Amphibious Airplane
- Stolen Navy Dirigible
- Mask's Lightweight Getaway Airplane
Synopsis for Scoop Smith: "The Radium Theft of Dr. Death"
A thief calling himself "Doctor Death" steals $350,000 worth of radium from City Hospital, endangering hundreds of patients, and the police can't find it, or him. Hospital President John Galt appeals to his friend, newspaper editor Bruce Lane, who assigns crack newshawk Scoop Smith to get the story. His investigation begins with a taunting note left behind by the thief, and continues thru the hospital's old personnel records, until Smith zeroes in on a suspect: James Kirk, radiology researcher and ex-employee of City Hospital.
Scoop and his cameraman, Blimp Black, head out to the small town to which Kirk has moved, and visit his office, with Blimp faking some illness. Kirk sees thru the ruse, triggers a trap door, and drops both newspaper men into a dungeon, where his henchmen chain up Smith, and throw Black into another room, unsupervised. Kirk shows Smith his invention, the radium-powered "Life Machine," which he hopes will restore him to life, but first of course he must kill him. Kirk then shows his cyanide-dissolving system, working from a timer, set for ten minutes, then leaves the room.
Very luckily for Scoop, the long bolts holding his manacles to the concrete wall extend into Black's neighboring cell, and some wrenches have been carelessly left there. Blimp gets busy unscrewing the bolts, then hammers them into the next room, enabling Scoop to pull them into his cell, which loosens his manacles, freeing him to attack the doctor's assistants. Smith punches them both out, and slips out the door just before it closes, trapping them like rats. Scoop releases Blimp and together they force Dr. Death to save the two henchmen, but they've been gassed to death, so his only hope is to use the Life Machine on them.
It works! The two dead henchmen are resurrected, the radium is returned to City Hospital, and Dr. Death is arrested.
On their return to the newspaper office, editor Bruce Lane tells Scoop and Blimp about their next assignment. They're going to the South Pole!
Appearing in Scoop Smith: "The Radium Theft of Dr. Death"
- Scoop Smith (First appearance)
- Blimp Black (First appearance)
- Bruce Lane, Editor (First appearance)
- Doctor Death (First appearance)
- two henchmen (killed, then un-killed)
- John Galt, Hospital President
- big city
- City Hospital
- Newspaper Office
- small country town
- Dr. Kirk's office, on Elm St.
- Kirk's Life Machine
- Kirk's Cyanide Gas System
Synopsis for Lance O'Casey: "Incident at Maloana"
Lance returns home from an adventure, to Maloana, where he finds everybody there wounded or missing or dead. Enemy Natives, from a distant island, had looted the trading post and ransacked the village, and kidnapped two Americans as well. Lance finds a distinctive footprint on the beach, unmistakably belonging to "Barracuda" Brent. That night he and Mr. Hogan sail 200 miles to visit Brent's home base. The monkey finds Brent's base and directs Lance towards it, and also alerts Lance to a deadfall trap.
By dawn, they've reached Barracuda Brent's "palace," which is surrounded by his cut-throat Island Native henchmen, who are holding a hideous victory dance. Captured Americans Betty and Bentley Brewster are set up on rope swings, to get dropped into a tiger cage, unless Miss Brewster consents to become Queen of Barracuda Island. That's when Lance O'Casey swings in on a vine, topples Brent, and grabs his sub-machine gun, and that's also when the tigers both burst loose from their ill-constructed cage. Lance brings down one big cat, while Brent gets behind him with a knife, and when the second tiger pounces, O'Casey sidesteps, and the beast lands on Brent. It rips him apart, buying Lance a second to use the Tommy gun again. With Hogan's help, the Brewsters get free, and run for the beach, while O'Casey discourages the charging natives.
At the beach there's a problem. Lance's dinghy is missing, and the Brian Boru is a little too far away to reach, due to the many barracuda in the local waters. O'Casey uses a sapling to catapult Mr. Hogan onto the sloop, and Hogan cuts the anchor rope, then steers the ship to the shore. Everybody piles aboard and they leave, just as the pursuing natives come swarming out of the jungle. They sail back to Maloana.
Appearing in Lance O'Casey: "Incident at Maloana"
- Lance O'Casey (First appearance)
- Mr. Hogan (First appearance)
- Enemy Natives
- Barracuda Brent (Only appearance; dies)
- Skipper Jones (Single appearance)
- Betty Brewster (Single appearance)
- Bentley Brewster (Single appearance)
- two tigers, imported from India (both die)
- South Sea
- Maloana Island, O'Casey's home port
- Barracuda Island
- The Brian Boru, 2-masted schooner (First appearance)
Synopsis for Dan Dare: "Seals of Doom"
Private Detective Dan Dare is called to Sea Castle, Florida, via telegram, by multimillionaire Carlos Peseta, to solve a murder mystery. He flies there in his 300-mph airplane, and his secretary Carol Clews comes along. Carol checks into a hotel, while Dan interviews Peseta at his magnificent oceanfront estate. Carlos Peseta has an outdoor ballroom by the beach, and a large pool where his pet seals live. He sometimes releases them but they always return, like homing pigeons. Peseta hires Dare for $5,000 cash up front.
On the night of the murder, Peseta was hosting a ball, with hundreds of guests. The body of Seminole Sam, a local fisherman, was found on the beach. Peseta is sure that local ne'er-do-well Portuguese Pete is the culprit, but the local police are not so sure, and Peseta wants Dare to pin the crime on him. Police tell Dare about a local dope smuggling operation, suspected to be run from a gambling ship, the "S.S. Pirate," anchored offshore, outside the 3-mile limit. Police have the murder weapon, an ordinary jack-knife with no fingerprints on it. Dan calls Carol, instructs her to seek out Portuguese Pete, find out what he knows about the S.S. Pirate, then later meet Dan at Dan's hotel. Posing as a wealthy playgirl, Carol meets Pete at a local nightclub, and he invites her out to the gambling ship for the following evening. When she phones Dan to tell him about that, a waiter is listening in. Thus that evening, on the gambling ship, Carol gets grabbed and dragged away from the salon to the engine room.
At the Peseta estate, that next evening, Dan stealthily takes a swim in the seal pool, finds an underwater passage, and follows it to an underground vault, where he finds a bloodstained pair of white silk gloves. Peseta and his butler walk in, both packing handguns. Dan disarms Carlos with a thrown object then wades into the pair of them, beats them down, ties them up, and leaves them in the vault. Back at the seal pool, he finds the steel sea-gate closed, but he bends apart two bars, slips thru, and swims three miles out to the gambling ship. Swimming the last 100 yards underwater, Dare boards the ship undetected, and reaches the engine room just as the crew is about to toss Carol into the boiler furnace. Wielding a coal shovel, he beats up all the gangsters present, and rescues Carol.
Later at the police station, Dan describes Peseta's smuggling operation, which was using the trained seals to move well-packaged dope from offshore to Peseta's mansion, and lays out his theory about Seminole Sam's discovery of the operation, and the blackmail threat that got Sam murdered. Then Portuguese Pete tried to blackmail Peseta about that murder, so Carlos called in an out-of-state private detective to pin the crime on Pete. It hadn't worked out for him the way he expected.
Dare then hands over the $5,000 with which Peseta had hired him, and tells the Police Chief to donate it to the Community Chest. Then Carol's hopes, of luring Dan away for a long-overdue vacation, are dashed by the arrival of a telegram, calling him away to San Francisco for another life-and-death case.
Appearing in Dan Dare: "Seals of Doom"
- Dan Dare (First appearance)
- Carol Clews (First appearance)
- Carlos Peseta (Single appearance)
- Manuel, his butler
- Portuguese Pete (Single appearance)
- his underworld associates
- Seminole Sam (deceased)
- Sea Castle, Florida
- Peseta's ocean-front estate
- Police station
- Dare's Airplane
- S.S. Pirate, gambling ship
- This series was published by Fawcett Publications. All characters and likeness(es) thereof associated with the Captain Marvel family of titles became the legal property of National Periodical Publications (DC Comics) in 1991.
- Whiz Comics was published by Fawcett Publications. The series actually begins with issue #2.
- The character of Captain Marvel was originally to be named Captain Thunder for the first issue of Thrill Comics. Thrill Comics would have taken the #1 slot for this series, but it was never published, beyond a single ashcan preview edition.
- The entire issue was reprinted in Famous First Edition #F-4 and Millennium Edition: Whiz Comics #2.
- "Introducing Captain Marvel" was reprinted in Shazam!: From the 40's to the 70's, The Shazam! Archives Vol. 1, Shazam!: The Greatest Stories Ever Told and Shazam!: A Celebration of 75 Years.
- According to Shazam! #20 the Messenger who meets Billy Batson is Mercury.
- Dan Dare, the private detective appearing in Whiz Comics in the 1940s, is not to be confused with Dan Dare, a pilot adventurer published by Eagle Comics in the 1950s.
- Carol Clews gets kidnapped for the first time.
- In his long career in Whiz Comics, Ibis, the Invincible does relatively little killing, but in this inaugural story he kills a complete submarine crew.
- The captions call Lance O'Casey's sailboat a "schooner."
- The Doctor Death appearing in this issue's Scoop Smith story is a one-off villain. His cadaver-reviving Life Machine is likewise never seen again.
- There are at least seven villains called "Doctor Death" who have appeared in DC, Quality, and Fawcett comic books over the decades, with most not making even a second appearance.
- In Whiz Comics #154, in 1953, yet another "Doctor Death" will appear, as the host/narrator for the horror stories appearing in the final two issues of this magazine.
- Spy Smasher:
- Spy Smasher has apparently already established a reputation among the bad guys before his first appearance in this issue's story, at which time two burglars recognize him by his outfit, and flee in terror.
- In "The Coming of Spy Smasher", the main character's identity, and that of his arch-enemy the Mask, are treated as mysteries, and a great deal of misdirection is used to disguise the secret identities of both.
- Spy Smasher's Gyrosub is weightless while in aerial operation, and operates silently.
- Eve Corby speaks and understands Tagalog, and Admiral Corby probably does also.
- Of the seven series beginning in this issue, only three will still be in the line up at the final issue of Whiz Comics, #155: Captain Marvel, Ibis the Invincible, and Lance O'Casey.
- Billy Batson exclaims, for the first time, "This is a job for Captain Marvel!" He would repeat this exclamation frequently over the coming years, but he may not have been the first to use it.
- To date, Lance O'Casey has only made one appearance in a DC comic, in The Power of Shazam! #34.
- Princess Taia is a cousin of King Senwosri III.
- Marvel Family Recommended Reading
- Whiz Comics (Volume 1)
- Captain Marvel Adventures (Volume 1)
- Captain Marvel, Jr. (Volume 1)
- Mary Marvel (Volume 1)
- Master Comics (Volume 1)
- Wow Comics (Volume 1)
- Marvel Family (Volume 1)
- Hoppy the Marvel Bunny (Volume 1)
- Shazam! (Volume 1)
- Shazam!: The New Beginning (Volume 1)
- The Power of Shazam! (Volume 1)
- Superman/Shazam!: First Thunder (Volume 1)
- Shazam!: The Monster Society of Evil (Volume 1)
- The Trials of Shazam! (Volume 1)
- Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam! (Volume 1)
- Shazam! (Volume 2)
- Shazam! (Volume 3)
- Shazam! (Volume 4)
- Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe #4 (Captain Marvel biography page)
- Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe #20 (Shazam biography page)
- Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe #21 (Sivana biography page)