homepage logo

Eagerly awaiting Captain Marvel

By Staff | Feb 27, 2019

Bang it’s a bird. Wow. A man of steel – no a woman. Shazam.

Already critical blurbs are showing awesome reactions to “Captain Marvel” (Disney/Marvel) starring Brie Larson, even as a male-versus-female controversy emerges. Gender flack aside, Kayti Burt of Den of Geek tweeted:

1. Cat people will love this movie.

2. Several truly magnificent music moments for this 90s kid.

3. Carol Danvers’ (Cap’s secret identity an aviation test pilot like Charles Yeager) hero moment was very cathartic/true to the female experience, IMHO.

4. The MCU feels more complete now that Carol Danvers (her secret identity) is in it.

Writer Ben Mekler called the film “radical… An awesome 90s period piece & total recalibration of the MCU as we know it! This might be my favorite MCU flick yet.”

Two weeks before wide premieres “Captain Marvel” has established record advance ticket sales. Latest projections suggest a $160 million opening week and $400 million run.

Trolls are attacking Brie Larson for complaining about the ratio of male to female interviewers. One tweet somewhere told men to stay home, this is a female celebration. Interestingly, it’s nearly identical twin “Shazam” has been trashed for the lack of early clips, trailers and other buzz.

Since I’m not on the critic’s ‘A’ list that receives invites or screeners, the deadline has me relying on others. But, as a lifelong comic fan, I have research insights unraveling egregious and convoluted “origins” both film and publication histories of the now transgendered character dating back to 1935.


The emerging World War II created a population explosion of fictional superheroes who tended to bring hopeful uplift to readers/listeners/viewers. At that time, primary media were newspaper comic strips, comic books, radio, movies and eventually TV and social media.

Evaluating court decisions and research, these heroes often had resemblances to Greek heroes (Zeus, Mercury), Roman god Hercules, and fairytales. Identified by capes, masks and (generally) a secret identity, obvious copycatting occurred leading to copyright infringement suits for plagiarism damages.

Debates occur concerning the first “hero” (Mandrake the Magician, Zorro, The Bat, Phantom), but Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster and published in April 1938 by Detective Comics (DC) is accepted as first (the Cleveland teens self published a Superman villain personality in 1933). Captain Marvel (first Captain Thunder) created by Bill Parker and C.C. Beck arrived about a year later (1939) in Whiz Comics.

Superman arrived from the planet Krypton; Billy Batson received powers from the wizard, Shazam, which turned him into Captain Marvel. Beck favored a whimsical, cartoony style for the character which would continually out sell Superman.

Tony Rutherford is a film reviewer for HuntingtonNews.net and a member of the Huntington Regional Film Commission.