Here's my latest entry in this year's A-Z Blogging Challenge. My oh-so-specific theme: Golden Age Comic Book Characters with the Same Name As Modern-Day Characters.
The red-suited gent above is the original Captain Marvel, who first appeared in Fawcett Comics' Whiz Comics #2, in 1940. The Captain was really Billy Batson, news announcer for -- what else? -- WHIZ Radio. Billy became Captain Marvel by shouting the magic word, "SHAZAM!"
Fawcett Publications was sued by Superman's owner, National Comics Publications, who claimed that "The Big Red Cheese," as Cap was known, was a rip-off of Superman. The lawsuit ran on and on, until Fawcett settled in the early 1950s and agreed to stop publishing comics whose sales were on a downswing anyway.
A few years later, what we now call the Marvel Comics Group started up, and a few years after that, they came up with their own Captain Marvel (in Marvel Super-Heroes #12, 1967).
Several people have donned the costume and assumed the name of Captain Marvel since then, but here's the latest, Carol Danvers, who became Captain Marvel in Captain Marvel #1, 2012.
BUT... It gets more interesting. In the early seventies, DC Comics themselves decided to license the rights for the original Captain Marvel, and publish him along with all their other titles.
The problem? Marvel Comics now had the name "Captain Marvel" trademarked. So DC put out a comic named Shazam! -- featuring "the original Captain Marvel" -- and that's why a lot of people, for many years, thought that Shazam was the name of the character, Captain Marvel! Because of this, among other reasons (probably), a few years ago DC Comics actually changed the character's name to Shazam!
Next up? The letter "D."
Thanks for your time.