Captain Marvel Wannabees

The One, True, Original Captain Marvel This page is devoted to the various sundry characters who try to emulate, are inspired by, parody, or just plain take the name of the one, the only, the original Captain Marvel.

They are presented here in chronological order.

Captain Marbles | Marvelman | The Mighty Thor | Captain Marvel - Split! | Fatman, The Human Flying Saucer | Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell) | Captain Thunder | Thunder Bunny | Captain Marvel | Captain Thunder | Miracleman | Mighty Man | Prime | Captain Marvel | Captain Marvel


Captain Marbles Captain Marbles
Parody of Captain Marvel by Harvey Kurtzman and Wally Wood
Published by: EC Comics
First Appearance: Mad #4 - April-May, 1953
Secret Identity: Billy Spafon
When Billy Spafon speaks the name "Shazoom" -- he is transformed into a parody of the World's Mightiest Mortal -- Captain Marbles! Captain Marbles gains his power from the following sources:

Strength
Health
Aptitude
Zeal
Ox, power of
Ox, power of another
Money!

Captain Marbles fought Superduperman in a parody of the court battle between DC Comics and Fawcett Publications over the similarity between Superman and Captain Marvel.


Marvelman Marvelman
Adapted from Captain Marvel by Mick Anglo Studios
Published by: L. Miller & Son (England)
First Appearance: Marvelman #25 - April, 1954 (formerly Captain Marvel Adventures)
First Modern Appearance: Warrior #1, 1984 (Quality Publications)
Secret Identity: Mickey Moran
Mickey Moran, copyboy for The Daily Bugle, has but to speak the magic word "Kimota" and he is transformed into the "Mightiest Man in the Universe," Marvelman!

Fawcett Publications had licensed the use Captain Marvel and the members of his family to the L. Miller and Son company of Great Britain. L. Miller repackaged and reprinted the American Captain Marvel and Marvel Family stories. When Fawcett suddenly ceased its comic book line in 1954, L. Miller decided to redraw the Marvel Family stories they had in stock by transforming Captain Marvel into a new character called Marvelman. The architect behind Marvelman was Mick Anglo and his stable of artists.

Other Marvel Family members were also transformed into Marvelman Family members. Captain Marvel, Jr. became Young Marvelman. And in the strangest twist Mary Marvel become the male Kid Marvelman. Dr. Thaddeus Bodog Sivana became the evil Dr. Emil Gargunza.

Marvelman's adventures lasted until 1964. In 1982, Marvelman was revived by Quality Publications in their flagship title Warriors. The redesign was crafted by Alan Moore and Garry Leach. Eclipse Comics licensed the use of the character for publication in the United States where Marvelman was renamed Miracleman.

In my opinion, Mick Anglo's Marvelman came the closest to matching Fawcett's Captain Marvel in charm, wit, and humor.

Additional Source: Miracleman #1 and Miracleman #2


The Mighty Thor The Mighty Thor
Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby
Published by: Marvel Comics
First Appearance: Journey into Mystery #83, 1962
Secret Identity: Donald Blake
When lame doctor Donald Blake strikes his cane on the ground he is transformed into the Norse god of Thunder, The Mighty Thor.

During a vacation in Norway, Donald Blake hides in a cave while fleeing aliens from outer space. Wow, what a vacation. While in the cave Donald discovers a wooden cane. When the cane fails to help him dislodge a boulder in his path he strikes it on the ground in frustration. He is immediately transformed into the Norse god of Thunder -- The Mighty Thor!

Thor's adventures were chronicled by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and Thor became one of Marvel's flagship character's.

However, if you think about it, The Mighty Thor is a thinly veiled copy of Captain Marvel and Captain Marvel, Jr. Donald Blake is lame like Freddy Freeman. When Don strikes the cane against the ground light or lightning transforms him into Thor. Thor is the god of Thunder and Lightning. Yet, it was the rich, but cobbled addition of Norse mythology that distinguished Thor from Cap.

™ and © Marvel Comics


Captain Marvel - Split! Captain Marvel
Created by Carl Burgos
Published by: M.F. Enterprises
First Appearance: Captain Marvel #1 - April, 1966
Secret Identity: Roger Winkle
Roger Winkle, professor of archaeology at Dartmoor College and a robot, has but to utter the word "Split" and his various body parts separate.

Roger is sent to Earth to promote and preserve peace. When Roger becomes Captain Marvel by saying "Split", his various body parts dis-joint yet are under his mental control. When Captain Marvel says "Xam" the various body parts re-link. As Captain Marvel, Roger wears a uniform that includes jet boots and an amulet which energizes him. If his amulet is removed, he becomes immoblie after a short while. His other weakness is that he cannot control his other body parts if glass comes between them and his head.

Roger takes young Billy Baxton as his ward and confidant. Notice the similarity between the names Billy Baxton and Billy Batson. Roger's platonic girlfriend is Linda Knowles, daughter of the president of the college.

It's interesting how Carl Burgos blended the origins of the original Human Torch and Captain Marvel to come up with this new and unique vision.

© M.F. Publications


Fatman, The Human Flying Saucer Fatman, The Human Flying Saucer
Created by C.C. Beck and Otto Binder
Published by: Milson Publications
First Appearance: Fatman #1 - April, 1967
Secret Identity: Van Crawford
When Van Crawford drinks a chocolate-flavored drink bestowed on him by aliens -- he is able to transform himself into a human flying saucer and the only super-hero with three secret identities.

An ad ran in the second and third issues of Fatman promoting a new comic book hero coming from Milson featuring a hero named -- Captain Shazam! Sadly, Milson ceased publishing before Captain Shazam was released.

™ and © Milson Publications


Captain Mar-Vell Captain Marvel
Created by Stan Lee and Gene Colan
Published by: Marvel Comics
First Appearance: Marvel Super-Heroes #12 - December, 1967
Sensational New Appearance: Captain Marvel #20 - June, 1970
Secret Identity: Mar-Vell
The Kree Warrior, Captain Mar-Vell originally came to Earth to discover if humans were a threat to the Kree race. Eventually, Mar-Vell came to like Earth and sought to protect Earthings and his name was eventually Americanized to Captain Marvel.

Later, Captain Marvel became trapped in the Negative Zone, an other-worldly dimension. A teen-ager, Rick Jones, friend of the Incredible Hulk, finds a pair of bracelets, called Nega-bands, and discovers he has but to strike them together and he switches places with Captain Mar-Vell in the Negative Zone. The switch has a three-hour time limit at which time they swap places again.

It was this latter change that brought Marvel's Captain Marvel much closer to the Fawcett Captain Marvel in origin and power. And no wonder, since this change in Captain Marvel's origin was constructed by Roy Thomas, a Fawcett Captain Marvel fan.

Captain Marvel "died" of cancer in 9999 as detailed in the graphic novel, The Death of Captain Marvel. Since then Marvel Comics has created other Captain Marvels -- the most current of which is the son of this one.

Stan Lee created Captain Mar-Vell simply so he could trademark the name. Once he discovered that it was available through M.F. Publication's ill-fated Captain Marvel book, Stan started work on his version. This is why you'll rarely see the name Captain Marvel in print on the cover of a DC Comic or DC toy and why most Americans confuse Captain Marvel and Shazam!

™ and © Marvel Comics

Additional Source: Marvel: The First Fifty Years


Captain Thunder Captain Thunder
Adapted from Captain Marvel by Elliott S! Maggin and Curt Swan
Published by: DC Comics
First Appearance: Superman #276 - June, 1974
Secret Identity: Willie Fawcett
When Willie Fawcett rubs his mystical Indian belt buckle and shouts "Thunder" -- a thundering "Sha-Boom" and a magical starburst transforms him into Captain Thunder -- a super-hero from an alternate DC dimension.

Captain Thunder was given his belt of power from Merokee, last of the great medicine men of the Mohegan tribe. The belt bestows upon Willie these seven great spiritual powers:

Tornado - Power
Hare - Speed
Uncus - Bravery
Nature - Wisdom
Diamond - Toughness
Eagle - Flight
Ram - Tenacity

The Captain Thunder story that appeared in issue 276 of Superman was to originally feature the first team-up between Superman and Captain Marvel. DC pulled the story and replaced it with this pastiche because they weren't ready to run the story. Presumably, they were geering up for the All-New Collector's Edition of Superman Vs. Shazam! that ran a couple of years later.

Roy Thomas later used the name Captain Thunder for his own creator-owned series Captain Thunder and Blue Bolt published by Hero Comics in 1987 through 1988.


The Superman/Captain Thunder story was reprinted in The Best of DC #16, September 1981.


© DC Comics


Captain Marvel - Monica Captain Marvel
Published by: Marvel Comics
First Appearance: Amazing Spider-Man Annual #16, 1982
Secret Identity: Monica Rambeau
Monica Rambeau, after being bathed with energies released by a strange machine, has the ability to turn herself into pure energy. She can pass through solid matter, create three-dimensional images of herself, and project energy blasts.

™ and © Marvel Comics


Captain Thunder Captain Thunder
Adapted from Captain Marvel by Roy Thomas and Don Newton
Never Published by: DC Comics
First and Only Appearance: The Comics Buyer's Guide #16, 1982
Secret Identity: Billy Batson
When Billy Batson speaks the name of the ancient wizard Shazam -- he is transformed into Captain Thunder -- the World's Mightiest Mortal of Earth-One. At least that's what the proposal said of about this updating of the Captain Marvel character.

Note: Jerry Ordway, who currently writes and paints the covers for The Power of Shazam!, inked this promotional piece of artwork.


© DC Comics


Thunder Bunny Thunder Bunny
Created by Martin L. Greim
Published by: Charlton Comics, WaRP Graphics, and Archie Comics
First Appearance: Charlton Bullseye #6, 1982
Secret Identity: Bobby Caswell
When Bobby Caswell thinks of a giant, pink rabbit and claps his hands, he becomes Thunder Bunny. Bobby was given his powers by Dr. Bar-ko, the last of an anthropomorphic race of beings. Dr. Barko transferred the essence of his world's greatest hero, Thunder Bunny, into a device for safe keeping. When Bobby initially touched the box he gained the ability to become Thunder Bunny.

Note: Just to keep the Jerry Ordway connection strong, this illustration pencilled by Brian Buniak was inked by the Ordster himself.


© Martin L. Greim


Miracleman Miracleman
Redesigned by Alan Moore and Garry Leach
Published by: Eclipse Comics
First Appearance as Miracleman: Miracleman #1 - August, 1985
Secret Identity: Mike Moran
Mike Moran has but to utter the super-scientific word, "Kimota" and he his body is immediately replaced by that of Miracleman. Miracleman is the American adaptation and continuation of Alan Moore's updating of L. Miller's Marvelman.

™ and © Eclipse Comics


Mighty Man Mighty Man
Created by Erik Larsen
Published by: Image Comics
First Appearance (Bobby Berman): Megaton #2, 1983.
First Appearance (Ann Stevens): Savage Dragon #1 (mini-series) - July, 1992
Secret Identity: Bobby Berman then Ann Stevens
When Bobby Berman taps his wrists together, released energy transforms him into the World's Mightiest Man -- Mighty Man -- (not to be confused with the Mightiest Man in the Universe -- Marvelman). In a strange twist nurse Ann Stevens gained the Mighty Man powers as revealed in her origin in Image Comics' Freak Force #6, June, 1994.

When Bobby Berman died he mistakenly passed on his Mighty Man powers to nurse Ann Stevens instead of his grandson Billy.


Note: not to be confused with the Mighty Man who appeared as part of The Plastic Man Comedy Adventure Show produced by ABC-TV.


Tip: The "Golden Age" Bobby Berman version of Mighty Man has recently appeared in Big Bang Comics.


™ and © Erik Larsen


Prime Prime
Created by Gerard Jones & Len Strazewski and Norm Breyfogle
Published by: Malibu Comics
First Appearance: Prime #1 - June, 1993
Secret Identity: Kevin Green
When Kevin Green wills it -- his body is surrounded by protoplasmic mass and he becomes the mightiest super-hero of the Ultraverse -- Prime!

™ and © Malibu Comics


Son of Captain Mar-Vell Captain Marvel
Published by: Marvel Comics
First Appearance as Captain Marvel: Captain Marvel #1 - December, 1995
Secret Identity: Son of Mar-Vell
The current Captain Marvel is the son of Marvel's original Captain Marvel. He started out his super-heroic existence as Legacy.

™ and © Marvel Comics


Captain Marvel - Amalgam Captain Marvel
Amalgamated by Gerard Jones & Mark Waid and Howard Porter
Published by: Amalgam Comics (DC Comics)
First Appearance: JLX #1 - December, 1995
Secret Identity: Billy Marvel
When Billy Marvel speaks the super-scientific word "Kree" -- he is transformed into Captain Marvel!

™ and © DC Comics and Marvel Comics


Sources
The World Encyclopedia of Comics
Maurice Horn, Chelsea House Publishers, ISBN 0-87754-030-6
The Encyclopedia of Super-Heroes
Jeff Rovin, Facts On File Publications, ISBN 0-8160-1168-0
The Steranko History of Comics
Jim Steranko, Mediavue Publications
The Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide- 22nd Edition (1992)
Robert M. Overstreet, Avon Books, ISBN 0-380-76912-3