There has been much renewed discussion on the Marvels of Shazam Yahoo!Group about what people would do with the Marvel Family if they were released by DC into the public domain. Inspired, here is my take for the first 10 issues.
Marvel Family Returns Outline
In February 1954, Captain Marvel, Captain Marvel Jr., and Mary Marvel feel compelled to return to the Magic Subway Station and ride the train. There, the Mysterious Stranger explains how they are being removed to the future for their own good. Shazam’s ghost is finally passing on in the past and there is a danger of the Shazam Family’s powers being taken with him if they remained there. The three heroes emerge in a village in October 1978, begin to adjust to life 24 years later, and learn that everyone in the village is a robot.
As the Marvels learn of the robot plot to replace people and begin to combat it, they learn that John Edgewise – their old friend Professor Edgewise’s son – is responsible for the robots and is their prisoner. The Marvels free him and shut down all the robots before they can build more.
The Marvels travel to New York to learn what has become of Sterling Morris and Amalgamated Broadcasting Company. They learn that Sterling has died and his company is being run competently by Pete Morris, Sterling’s nephew – but that in his will Sterling left the entire company to Captain Marvel should he ever return! Pete learns about their alter egos and tries to kill Billy in order to keep the company. Billy also observes the growing romance between Freddy and Mary.
Billy, Freddy, and Mary all enroll in college and take jobs in Amalgamated Broadcasting, with Billy becoming a TV news broadcaster. When an earthquake strikes Greece, the Marvels travel there to respond. The earthquake was inadvertently caused by a coven of witches led by the Witch Queen Theo Bagge when their attempt to summon demons and bind them failed. Theo recognizes Captain Marvel and mistakenly assumes the Marvels are onto them. Then the witches decide to try and bind the Marvels to them with their enchantments. After failed attempts to seduce the Marvels, the Marvels find the coven of six witches together and defeat them all before they can summon even worse demons.
Elsewhere in time and space, the Mysterious Stranger rides the magic subway train when it is attacked! Power armor-clad warriors invade it and secure the train before Zotan, the King of All Time boards. He wants to know where the Marvels have been hidden and the Mysterious Stranger refuses to tell him. Zotan wonders why the Stranger, of all people, would want to protect the Marvels and vows to find them anyway. The Marvels are in Iran both monitoring the Islamic Revolution and covering it as their alter egos when word reaches them of a “phantom satellite” that has been observed in the sky once every year as far back as people can remember. The Marvels leave to investigate and discover that the satellite is both a trap and a beacon. The Marvels are teleported to a distant, airless planetoid, transformed into their alter egos, and surrounded by spaceships about to blow the planetoid up. A projected image of Zotan appears before them to gloat, but he failed to reckon on the “kids” using the last air in their lungs to speak their magic words and then flying up to battle the armada. Zotan, aboard the armada, is teleported away before the Marvels disable all but the flagship and commandeer it to fly them back to Earth.
The Marvels contact John Edgewise and transport him to the captured flagship as soon as they reach home, inviting him to help them figure out the technology on board and help adapt it to Earth technology in the coming months. But no sooner are the Marvels back home and settling back in than they learn that King Kull has re-emerged and endangering Three Mile Island. Kull is tough to beat, wearing a time-belt given to him by Zotan that allows him to see the Marvel’s next moves and prepare for them. The Marvels manage to thwart a meltdown, but Kull escapes while bragging about having a “people” again.
The Marvels intervene in the Tanzanian invasion of Uganda and meet Talky Tawny. Tawny has, in the past 24 years, moved to Uganda and opened a wilderness park for tigers there. The Marvel “kids” agree to give the park media coverage, as well as the invasion, and wind up fighting soldiers again, this time as poachers.
The Marvels are invited to Cape Canaveral, where John Edgewise has been joined by a now-adult Dexter Knox in helping to adapt the first space shuttle to have a newer thrust system, based on captured alien technology, that will let it fly four times faster than previously planned. Later, in town, they spy an old Chinese doctor who reminds them of the spy Ivan Ching and they confront him. While he claims to have retired from spy work, the Marvels are alerted to a threat back at the launchpad – alien Azpaks have come to steal the Space Shuttle. The Marvels defeat the aliens, but learn that a simultaneous attack has stolen back the flagship the Marvels captured. One of the Azpak prisoners, though, turns out to be Prince Yoruk of their people.
At a top secret military base, the Marvels are guests of the federal government debating with the U.S. military what to do about the captured Azpak prisoners, including alien royalty. Suddenly the base is attacked by, as the Marvels learn when they respond, King Kull. However, the Marvels are subsequently attacked by four others who look like Kull. Kull reveals that he has recreated his race through cloning since the Marvels disappeared. With Prince Yoruk as his prisoner, Kull can convince the Azpaks to attack Earth in retaliation and destroy the surface dwellers. Indeed, a sixth Kull-like invader has seized Yoruk and escaped. The Marvels pursue, free Yoruk, and return him to the surface in time as an Azpak ship appears.
The Marvels are seen acting as tour guides around the world to groups of Azpakians. The Azpak agree that they like Earth as a tourist destination and agree to let past aggressions slide. As the Azpakians leave, the Marvels follow them into orbit and help upgrade Skylab. The Marvels return to Earth and resume their new lives, only to have Freddy propose to Mary.
Wolverine by Paul Smith
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