Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Monster Society of Evil--Parts 11-15

When we last left Captain Marvel, he was a captive of the crocodile people on the planet Punkus, while Mr. Mind and several Axis scientists were preparing to open fire on Russia and America with a giant cannon capable of destroying continents with a single shell.

Fortunately, the villains are just as bad at keeping Billy Batson properly gagged as he is at not saying "Shazam!" at inopportune moments. Billy gets loose, transforms into Captain Marvel and--using a
crocodile-head disguise-soon learns where the ammo warehouse for the cannon is located. He blows this up.

But two shells have already been sent to the cannon. Captain Marvel is too late to stop one of these shells from being fired at Russia, but he manages to destroy the cannon before it can launch the last one at the U.S.

Capturing Mr. Mind and stuffing the little worm in his belt, Captain Marvel flies after the shell. But the evil Mr. Mind has his most evil plan ever ready to go--HE BEGINS TICKLING CAPTAIN MARVEL, distracting the World's Mightiest Mortal sufficiently so that he can't completely stop the shell from landing.

Gee whiz, I love this stuff. I love every silly plot twist this story is taking. I love the matter-of-fact casualness that writer Otto Binder and artist C.C. Beck treat every absurd thing that happens. I love the extremes to which Comic Book Logic is stretched without ever breaking. I love it so much that I'm only mildly disappointed on how this particular sub-adventure in the serial is resolved. The shell lands in Russia, but just happens to be a dud. But at least Captain Marvel managed to see that it landed in an open field rather than a city, so he still helped out a little.

That takes us through Captain Marvel Adventures #33 and 34. Mr. Mind has managed to squirm away (making getaways isn't that hard when you're only an inch long) and by issue #35, he's got a new evil plan already started. This time, he's using a ship disguised as a big floating island to sneak an German invasion force into Scotland.

Captain Marvel investigates, but for the 8000th time in a row, he turns back into Billy Batson at an unwise moment and gets captured. But in issue #36, he escapes. Mr. Mind unfreezes a prehistoric mammoth that was trapped in the ice atop the island, intending for the beast to destroy his arch-enemy. But Captain Marvel whips the mammoth into submission, then uses it to help wipe out the invading Nazis.

 Once again, I simply love all this. Captain Marvel is riding a prehistoric mammoth while helping to fight off a Nazi invasion of Scotland--and it all makes sense in context.

Captain Marvel Adventures #36 has our hero searching the United Kingdom for Mr. Mind. He finds him in an old castle, where the worm and a hideous rat-man henchman are planning to drill down into the Earth's core and form a volcano that will destroy England. Despite getting captured again while in Billy's form, Marvel chases the bad guys away, but to stop the volcano, he caps off the lava by sitting on it. Will he have to stay there forever to save England? We'll find out in a month or so when I cover parts 16-20. In the meantime, remember you can access the entire 25-chapter epic HERE.

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