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Sunday, April 02, 2006

A Planet Where Mice Evolved From Men?!

In case you've ever wondered why Captain Marvel--not to be confused with Shazam, the old wizard who gives Captain Marvel his powers, you cretins--has never quite achieved the level of popularity of his contemporaries, the ISB has the answer:

You can have a great costume, godlike powers, and call yourself the World's Mightiest Mortal all you want, but when you're in mortal danger from a block of wood, a spring, and a piece of metal, there may be a problem here.

Seriously, though? That's got to be one of the most awesome covers I've ever seen. There's a six-foot albino mouse bearing down on Captain Marvel, and he seems to be more annoyed by the whole situation than anything else: "Aw, man. Giant Rats? Just my luck!" Of course, this sort of thing seems to be de riguer for the Big Red Cheese, considering that Chad once told me about a story in the Archives where Dr. Sivana lures him into a warehouse in order to blow him up with--prepare yourself--one million tons of dynamite.

According to Google, the Scientist's Best Friend™, that would be the equivalent of a 6.0 on the Richter scale, or a thousand times the energy output of a small nuclear weapon, and if memory serves, Cap gets a little dusty after the explosion. So admittedly, there's probably a really good reason why he isn't too worried about the mice.

But how the heck did he get into that situation? Well, hypothetical voice, I'm glad you asked! Here's how it all goes down, in a story reprinted from 1953's Captain Marvel Adventures #145.

Billy Batson's hanging out with the Franklin Roosevelt-esque Professor Edgewise, who has apparently been using Science! to send things into the 820th Century. The only problem with this--aside from the fact that transmitting component electro-charges across the curvature of time is a slightly tenuous prospect--is that all the evidence seems to point to a race of giant rodents who have somehow wiped out mankind!

Dun-dun-DUN!

I for one welcome our new Rodent Overlords, but Billy Batson isn't the kind of guy to let this sort of thing slide, so he says his magic word--right there in front of the prof, because secret identities are for sissies--and slingshots around the Rock of Eternity and into the exciting world of The Future!, which is immediately recognizeable from all the phallic architecture:

Cap flies around for a while, checking out giant mice riding around in helicopters until he spots a shaggy, Hestonesque human struggling in the iron grips of a man-trap.

He frees him and they escape through a hole in the wall, but not before Cap takes the time to give some giant rats The Business:

Eventually, Heston Jr. leads Cap to the (literally) underground Resistance, which remains free from the clutches of the Uber-Rats despite the fact that they live in a network of man-size tunnels.

But that's neither here nor there, as Cap meets with their leader, who explains what led to the current state of conflict:

Yes, it all boils down to the fact that the mice stole Delicious Hostess Fruit Pies.

"You'll pry my real fruit filling out of my cold dead hands, you damn dirty rat."

Anyway, Cap leads a strike force to go kidnap the Mouse Leader when a lightning bolt hits him and turns him back to Billy Batson, leading to a Hal Jordan-like Double-Head-Bonk. Eventually he wakes up and learns that the mice aren't killing the humans, like he was told, but rather sending them to school and helping them out. Meanwhile, the Reistance is on their way to grab a bomb that can blow up the world, because you see...

Man... is the real monster.

It's a philosophical revelation that has to be dealt with in the only way we solve problems here on the ISB:

A little bit of civilization, courtesy of Mister Fist.

9 Comments:

Blogger Ragnell said...

So, when did the giant rats get ahold of the time-machine, so they could send one of their own back to 1889 Summatra?

4/03/2006 1:26 AM

 
Anonymous Nuckles said...

That was created byt he great and powerful Profesor Splinter who saw in his wisdom he must go back in time and train those who would one day lay the foundation for their entire society.

4/03/2006 4:28 AM

 
Blogger Doctor Polaris said...

Don't underestimate Captain Marvel. He's a tougher nut than he seems. And don't get me started on Sivana...

4/03/2006 7:04 AM

 
Anonymous Jakanapes said...

Excellent! Do you know how hard it is to find references to stories from GA Captain Marvel where he deals with the future? No wonder this blog is a daily stop...

4/03/2006 8:45 AM

 
Blogger Scott said...

"In case you've ever wondered why Captain Marvel--not to be confused with Shazam, the old wizard who gives Captain Marvel his powers, you cretins--has never quite achieved the level of popularity of his contemporaries, the ISB has the answer:"

Actually, I'm wondering why you say this, when Captain Marvel was *more* popular than any of his contemporaries during much of the 40s and 50s, outselling Superman by a considerable margin.

4/03/2006 1:22 PM

 
Blogger Mark said...

Thank Zemu it's buh-bye to the emo and back with the punching!

And Cap'n Marvel rocks - the reason the various updates don't work compared to the massive success of the original is 'cus DC keeps skimping on the whimsy (evil worms, talking tigers, etc) that made the series great kid's fiction. But that's cus only adults read superhero comics these days.

4/03/2006 3:11 PM

 
Blogger Chris Sims said...

Scott said:
"Actually, I'm wondering why you say this, when Captain Marvel was *more* popular than any of his contemporaries during much of the 40s and 50s, outselling Superman by a considerable margin."

Purely for the sake of a joke.

Also: I love to lie.

4/03/2006 6:30 PM

 
Anonymous captmarvelevram said...

This was a great review... it was kick in the pants, pie in the face, and the boink on top of the head funny. Thanks, I would love to see more reviews like this, about ol'CM. And this is why this DC updating just won't work...make mine Fawcett every single darn time.

8/07/2006 8:56 PM

 
Blogger Tim said...

The black haired guy in the last panel looks like Captain Haddock from Tintin. I wonder if the intrepid boy detective is hiding in the background someplace hoping to drag Haddock back to the 20th Century via a Professor Calculus invented time machine.

12/13/2006 12:37 AM

 

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