SHAZAM! on the Big Screen
Adventures of Captain Marvel (1941) was a Republic Pictures film serial produced by Hiram S. Brown, Jr. and directed by John English and William Witney. Featuring Frank Coghlan, Jr. as Billy Batson, who, when he says the magic word…SHAZAM!!! Billy becomes Captain Marvel (wonderfully played by Tom Tyler).
This serial was adapted from the popular Captain Marvel comic books (Fawcett Comics) Whiz Comics and Captain Marvel Adventures.
WHAT’S A SERIAL?
“A serial, film serial, movie serial or chapter play, is a motion picture form popular during the first half of the 20th century, consisting of a series of short subjects exhibited in consecutive order at one theater, generally advancing weekly, until the series is completed. Generally, each serial involves a single set of characters, protagonist and antagonistic, involved in a single story, which has been edited into chapters after the fashion of serial fiction and the episodes cannot be shown out of order or as a single or a random collection of short subjects.
Each chapter was screened at a movie theater for one week, and ended with a cliffhanger, in which characters found themselves in perilous situations with little apparent chance of escape. Viewers had to return each week to see the cliffhangers resolved and to follow the continuing story. Movie serials were especially popular with children, and for many youths in the first half of the 20th century a typical Saturday matinee at the movies included at least one chapter of a serial, along with animated cartoons, newsreels, and two feature films.” – Wikipedia
Folks would crowd into theaters…where all you needed was a quarter for an afternoon of great entertainment (that quarter includes a coke and popcorn by the way). One of the top serials of all time was the Adventures of Captain Marvel….SHAZAM! indeed.
SHAZAM! Returns to the Theatre!
The Adventures of Captain Marvel did so well that it was frequently re-released. Here’s the “Return of Captain Marvel” (one of the re-releases) trailer:
SHAZAM! Influenced by Captain Marvel
In my comics books, Skarabis is a Egyptian mummy superhero who’s creation was very much influenced by the Adventures of Captain Marvel serial. Skarabis has no SHAZAM! style magic word but I tried to make Skarabis’ name have that same classic feel.
SHAZAM! …and now it’s chapter 1 of the Adventures of Captain Marvel:
WHO’S VANCE CAPLEY?
“When I was a little kid, before I could talk. My Mom said that I wanted some water, but I couldn’t say it. She said I grabbed a piece of paper and drew a picture of water…..”
“I’m VANCE CAPLEY. I was born May 1972. I’m a self-taught artist who has worked in various mediums, including drawing, painting and graphic design, for over 20 years. I’ve done artwork for musicians, publishers, and video production companies. I even write and illustrate my own publications. I’m truly blessed to do what I love to do. I hope, that when you see my work, the joy I experienced as I made these, shines brightly and makes your day.”
You can support Mr. Capley’s work by visiting our Teepublic store.
And by visiting our book store at lulu.com.