jaybee3: (captain marvel)
[personal profile] jaybee3 posting in [community profile] scans_daily

The Catwoman #82 post reminded me of the request by thokstar for final issues from the January Blackest Night one-shots. This is my first post so correct me at will. It may not be dial-up friendly - 6 pages out of 22. ;)  
Power of Shazam #47 art and script by Jerry Ordway



 

 

Basically, the plot is that Freddy and Mary have had their powers temporarily stolen by a lame villain and Billy gets knocked out into the hospital. At the same time Black Adam is trying to be a “hero” in Fawcett which unnerves Freddy and Mary to no end because he has never paid for the crimes of Theo Adam (the murder of the Batsons). The JLA dogs BA’s steps because they pledge to protect the Batsons against him. Black Adam says that he is innocent and hands himself over to the courts - who let him go because they say he is a different person than Theo Adam. Black Adam then teams with Sivana to free his lover Blaze (Shazam’s evil daughter) who he thinks has been wrongly imprisoned in the Rock of Eternity. Billy is pissed and with the help of a Mother Box (and the Wizard) goes after BA. Issue #47 opens with BA learning he’s been tricked into doing this by a monster called The Three Faces of Evil.



 

Cap, the Wizard, and Shazam beat the monster, as well as foiling Satanus (Shazam’s evil son who had been behind it all). Shazam then uses the Mother Box to send BA and Cap to a neutral battlefield to fight/discuss their differences. Cap and BA duke it out and get sucked into a River of the Dead. Cap is eventually saved by Black Adam (still trying to prove he’s not Theo Adam even if its Theo’s body) but they continue to fight to the death because the Wizard told them only one of them was going to come out of there (“No hard feelings” BA tells Cap).


Cap is not buying and tells BA that he will not kill since becoming a murderer like BA would dishonor his parents. He then transforms into powerless Billy.




Naturally BA can’t kill Billy in cold blood and then both are seemingly attacked by the Cerebus of Hades (multi-headed dog) which turns out to be really be the Wizard - because this whole fight has been another of his tests/mind games.



Shazam uses the Mother Box to send BA wherever he wants to go and then re-powers Freddy and Mary and re-pledges himself to guide his chosen Champions.




And now the final page of the series and you can really feel that it’s a goodbye from Jerry Ordway who had written the whole series. It’s also really the last time we ever see the “happy” Marvels again for almost a decade.



After this I think we all know what happened. DC (by all accounts Dan Didio himself wanted this direction) decided that the only way to “fix” the Marvels was to destroy everything they stood for - to make them dark, edgy, even murderous. The Wizard died in Day of Vengeance and Billy took over the role. Black Adam found a family in 52 and became a true anti-hero and then was in the space of one issue turned into an insane mass murderer of an entire country, single-handily killing millions of men, women and children. Mary was sent into a coma (as near to fridging as you can get) to provide angst for Freddy in Trials of Shazam where Winnick turned the star of the series (Billy) into a gray haired “Marvel” who did nothing but watch TV on the Rock and turned the sidekick (Freddy) into the new red-suited “Shazam” or “Captain Marvel” (even DC doesn’t know what to call him -while the solicits for #48 say Cap, Didio says Shazam) with powers that have nothing to do with the Wizard at all. And then for some bizarre reason the sweetest teenager in the DCU was turned into a nasty power-hungry, violent and idiotic “Black Mary” (basically turning the character into a one-note joke) and then in Final Crisis had her possessed by DeSaad and kill someone (for the first time - she didn’t even do that in Countdown!) only so Supergirl could beat her down like a drum. Then because that wasn’t enough they had her turn bad (for the 3rd time!) in JSA so she could corrupt Billy with Black Adam’s power (oh yeah, Isis is evil now too) so the Wizard could come back to life and like a jerk take their powers away and tell them to get lost. None of this matches the tone of Ordway's Power of Shazam which is as different in tone as can be. For a company that seems to be recalling everything from the Silver Age from Barry Allen to the classic Doom Patrol, in the case of the Marvels it seems they’ve used as a template the worst excesses of the 90’s for stories. I’m not expecting much from the Blackest Night one-shot but I’ll hope for the best.

 

 

 

 

 

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