Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Mister Mind isn't the most dated thing in this one.

The original Monster Society of Evil fought Captain Marvel for a solid two years, from Captain Marvel Adventures #22 to #46. This more recent serial was much shorter, with only four parts, but was this the end? From 1998, the Power of Shazam #41, "Death Warrant (The Monster Society of Evil part 4)" Written by Jerry Ordway, pencils by Pete Krause, inks by Dick Giordano.

The evil worm Mr. Mind's war against humanity has already destroyed the Marvels' hometown of Fairfield; and now Mary and Captain Marvel must stop the now-inexplicably giant Mr. Mind from destroying the White House! Actually, there may be an explanation for his growth spurt: watching the fight on TV (and seeing that Cap and Mary are fighting thin air) aged hero Bulletman realizes he's seen this suit Mind is wearing before, in 1942 with Abin Sur! He calls Alan Scott to see if he can get a Green Lantern to help, and somewhat surprisingly, gets two!

These days it would almost be more surprising not to get at least two. At the time, Kyle Rayner was the only current GL; but this was set during Hal Jordan's visit from the past circa Green Lantern #101-106. This sets up a bit of confusion, as Mary figures Hal is a dated illusion from Mr. Mind; and it takes the heroes a few tries to get through all his tricks, but together they crack open Mr. Mind's armor and remove the worm, but he still has "pilot worm" controlled slaves working to cause nuclear armageddon.

Cap seems willing to kill Mind to stop him, but the decision is (quite literally) taken out of his hands, as Sarge Steel kills him with a "molecular scrambler." Steel had previously had Mind in his head, and was still wearing bandages, he "knew the only way we'd win was for Mind to die!" Mind's slaves are also released, as we see Captain Marvel III and the Teen Titans bust in...just in time for a dead worm to fall out of a guy's ear. (That was the virtually unrecognizable '96-98 Titans, with a de-aged Atom!)

There's one more surprisingly-of-the-moment guest spot here: stopping a nuclear missile from launching, Max Mercury and a shaved Impulse, from Impulse #35 or thereabouts. All of which goes a long way towards making Captain Marvel a part of the larger DC universe, but is probably going to seem out of place when these are reprinted: it's a nice looking series, I'd be surprised if there wasn't a bit of a push whenever that Shazam movie comes out.


SallyP said...

It's Hal. She isn't hitting him for being in the weong time, she's hitting him for hitting ON her.

Oh Hal.

H said...

DC doesn't really seem to care about Shazam series from before Geoff Johns'. I wish they did because this is the best one for Marvel Family characterization. Alter egos are a bit weak but very enjoyable otherwise.