Shazam #26. November, 1976
Cover Artist: Ernie Chua (Chan)
“The Case of the Kidnapped Congress”
Writer: E. Nelson Bridwell, Penciler/Inker: Kurt Schaffenberger
Managing Editor: Joe Orlando
Captain Marvel discovers that Sivana has stolen the Brooklyn Bridge! He is summoned to meet the old wizard Shazam and meets Mary Batson, Freddy Freeman and “Uncle” Dudley in the ancient cave.
Shazam warns Billy that Sivana threatens to destroy America city by city – Captain Marvel must stop him! Fortunately, Billy’s boss at TV station WHIZ arranged for Billy to travel the country to do specials reports on young people. He is given a TV van and a driver – Uncle Dudley! Rather than needing to return to Shazam’s cave, the six gods who give him his powers will be available to Billy in his TV van via the Eterni-stone! (Thus, the comic is now morphed more closely to the TV show)
Off to Washington to assess Sivana’s threat! While discussing where to turn next, Bllly, Mentor and new friend Rod Porter watch as the Capital Building disappears. Captain Marvel is baffled to discover most of the population don’t care. Much the same thing would happen today, in fact.
Sivana televises his threat – make him Supreme Ruler of the Universe or we will never see our senators and representatives again!
With a clue from the Elder Hercules, Cap deduces the Brooklyn Bridge and the Capital were whisked back in time 100 million years. Cap restores the Bridge and fights off a dinosaur intent on having politicians for dinner! He guesses Sivana is hiding in the Capital and (as Billy) is captured by Sivana’s caveman guard. Billy turns in to Captain Marvel and forces Sivana to restore the Capital Building to its rightful time. Sivana escapes into the time stream and warns Cap his next caper will be in Philadelphia.
More thrills in the City of Brotherly Love on sale in the third week of October!
Missives in the letter column discuss issue #24, the last reprint issue before its brief hiatus and its reinvention into the first DC-TV comic.
Kurt Shaffenberger is called the “World’s Greatest Artist” in the letter column. I agree! No one short of CC Beck fits better with the style and mood of Shazam! The story is aimed at younger readers, so some of the internal logic may cause us older and more cynical readers to squint and look askew. But I take these comics for what they are – fun adventures!
There’s nothing wrong with that!
About the author: Michael Curry is the author of the Brave & Bold: From Silent Knight to Dark Knight, The Day John F Kennedy Met the Beatles and the award-winning Abby’s Road, the Long and Winding Road to Adoption and How Facebook, Aquaman and Theodore Roosevelt Helped. Check his website for more releases! Thanks for reading!