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Introduction

Captain Marvel, an iconic and influential example of the genre.

Superhero fiction is a genre of speculative fiction examining the adventures, personalities and ethics of costumed crime fighters known as superheroes, who often possess superhuman powers and battle similarly powered criminals known as supervillains. The genre primarily falls between hard fantasy and soft science fiction spectrum of scientific realism. It is most commonly associated with American comic books, though it has expanded into through adaptations and original works.

Selected character

Captain Marvel
All that is necessary is to repeat my name, Shazam. By its repetition, you will become Captain Marvel and take on the virtues you see recorded there. The wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the great courage of Achilles and the speed of Mercury.

Dialogue performed by Nigel De Brulier, Adventures of Captain Marvel March 28, 1941.

Captain Marvel is a comic book superhero, originally published by Fawcett Comics and now owned by DC Comics. Created in 1939 by artist C.C. Beck and writer Bill Parker, the character first appeared in Whiz Comics #2 (Feb, 1940). With a premise that taps into adolescent fantasy, Captain Marvel is the alter ego of Billy Batson, a youth who works as a radio news reporter and was chosen to be a champion of good by the wizard Shazam. Whenever Billy speaks the wizard's name, he is instantly struck by a magic lightning bolt that transforms him into an adult superhero empowered with the abilities of six mythological figures.

Captain Marvel was, based on sales, the most popular superhero of the 1940s, since the Captain Marvel Adventures comic book series sold more copies than Superman and other competing superhero books during the mid-1940s.

Selected media

C. C. Beck 1982.jpg
Credit: Alan Light

Captain Marvel creator C. C. Beck (1910-1989) at the October, 1982 Minneapolis Comic-Con.

Selected biography

Steve Ross Purcell

Steve Ross Purcell is an American cartoonist, animator and game designer. He is most widely known as the creator of Sam & Max, an independent comic book series about a pair of anthropomorphic animal vigilantes and private investigators, for which Purcell received an Eisner Award in 2007. He performed freelance work for Marvel Comics and Fishwrap Productions before publishing his first Sam & Max comic in 1987.

Purcell's work in superhero fiction came primarily from his freelance work for various comic book companies, for which he was hired for such work as New Mutants, Hellboy Christmas Special, Alpha Flight, Marvel Comics Presents, Secret Files and Origins, and Defenders of Dynatron City. (read more...)

Selected article

I want your love...I want your marriage.

Mephisto dialogue by Joe Quesada, The Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 3 No. 545, January 2008.

"One More Day" is a four-part, 2007 comic book crossover storyline, connecting the three main Spider-Man series concurrently published by Marvel Comics at the time. Written by J. Michael Straczynski and Joe Quesada, with art by Quesada, "One More Day" starts in The Amazing Spider-Man #544, continues in Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #24 and The Sensational Spider-Man (vol. 2) #41, and concludes in Amazing Spider-Man #545.

After his Aunt May has been shot, Spider-Man seeks help to save her life. He encounters the demon Mephisto, who offers to save her life if Spider-Man gives him his marriage. Spider-Man and his wife Mary Jane Watson agree, and this part of their history is erased so that, effectively, they have never been married.

The decision to abruptly end Peter Parker and Mary Jane's marriage and the events of "One More Day" were heavily criticized upon the series' conclusion, although the artwork received praise.

Selected quote

Garth Ennis

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Captain America cosplay o.jpg

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