Thursday, April 12, 2012
Superman vs. Captain Marvel
Comic Books were a big deal in my boyhood, such a big deal in fact, that the 1950s usual gang of idiots sitting in Congress blamed them for all the ills of society, at least as far as juvenile delinquency and youthful misdeeds were concerned. A few years they blamed all such ills on Elvis Presley and Rock 'n' Roll and then on Television. The current gang of idiots in Washington DC now blame all our ills on computer games.
I didn't care about how they looked as a kid. Most of the early comic heroes were not well drawn. I just liked the stories. And I liked Captain Marvel better than Superman. Maybe it was the persona of his alter ego. I mean, Billy Batson wasn't just Captain Marvel in glasses. He didn't even wear glasses. He was a kid just like us boys reading this stuff. He could call out to this wizard Shazam, and be transformed into Captain Marvel. How cool is that? You didn't have to come from some other planet, you just had to know a good and powerful wizard. Man, that could happen to any of us and then let the bullies look out.
I never saw much reason to single out Captain Marvel for copyright infringement. He seemed quite different enough from Superman to stand on his own. Most those super heroes fed off each other anyway. A lot of them ran around in long underwear and capes. Look at Batman.
Speaking of costumes, at least most super heroes got shorts to wear over their tights. It must have been a bit embarrassing for Captain Marvel dashing about in those form fitting red leggings. No wonder he was red.
Here he is on the right having his bicep admired by TV comedy great Lucille Ball.
This is downright embarrassing. At least George Reeves looked somewhat imposing towering over Lucy. Tom Tyler looks ready to do a pas de demux from Swan Lake with Baby Snooks here.
But no matter these choices of thespians to portray our The Man of Steel and The Big Red Cheese, I liked the comic and I liked Captain Marvel better than Superman.
I liked Batman better than Superman, too. After all, Batman was just a mortal man who trained himself to be a super crime fighter. Bullets didn't bounce off him and he couldn't fly or leap tall buildings. Maybe you could never be as good as Batman (especially his repelling up and down those tall buildings since I feared hight), but at least with some dedication and effort you could improve your body and your skills. You didn't have to be born in outer space or even know a wizard.
Maybe it was because my favorite color was green.
It sure couldn't have been that costume he wore.