Black Adam and the Marvel Family Rogues Gallery

Captain Marvel first appeared in the first edition of Whiz Comics at the start of 1940. During the next decade, he became the most popular superhero, outselling even Superman comics. The character and his creators at Fawcett Comics faced several challenges, primarily a lawsuit by the creators of Superman for copyright infringement. The outcome saw Captain Marvel retire for decades, and re-emerge as Shazam, and a stablemate of Superman. But before facing these real life challenges, Fawcett created an array of villains to bring peril to Captain Marvel on the comic book pages. Fawcett created several iconic villains, though to date few have appeared on screen. With sequels to 2019’s Shazam! feature on their way, we look at some of the origins of the character’s Rogues Gallery.

Doctor Sivana

Initially alluded to by newspaper reports of a ‘Phantom Scientist’ holding world radio operations to ransom in Captain Marvel’s first story, Doctor Silvana was discovered and revealed by Billy Batson. With ideas ahead of his time, Sivana was a scientist driven mad by a world that shunned his revolutionary inventions.

When Captain Marvel and his supporting characters re-appeared on comic book store shelves following a 20 year hiatus, their absence was even explained as one of Sivana’s plots gone wrong.

Black Adam

Long before Billy Batson met Shazam, the ancient wizard had found another he deemed to be a worthy candidate for his powers. With evil seeping into ancient Egypt, Shazam nominated a good man, Teth Adam, to bestow his powers upon. Initially using the magic word to become Mighty Adam to protect humanity, the gifts of the world’s mightiest mortal soon corrupted the man, and he became Black Adam.

An indestructible force attempting to take over the world, the only option for the wizard Shazam was to cast Black Adam into the farthest reaches of space. But even this could not protect the Earth from Black Adam forever…

The Scorpion

While the world tries to find clues to determine the true identity of Captain Marvel, so too does Marvel hunt for the identity of The Scorpion. The hooded figure debuted in Captain Marvel’s first on-screen appearance, and went on to feature in Fawcett’s comics.

Captain Nazi

Genetically altered by his father as a ‘perfect specimen’ to deliver as a gift to Adolph Hitler, Captain Nazi was used as a weapon against American superheroes. At the time, patriotic superheroes were abundant in comics, and Fawcett had several on its comic book pages, including Minute-Man, Bulletgirl and Bulletman, and Spy Smasher. Captain Nazi appeared as a nemesis to all, appearing in cross-over stories through the Fawcett Universe, and providing a pivotal moment for Captain Marvel and the Marvel family.

Mister Mind

A diminutive alien, Mister Mind became aware of life on Earth with the advent of radio broadcasts, becoming a fan of the ventriloquist dummy Charlie McCarthy. Enraged upon arriving and discovering that the broadcasts were made by a fictitious character, he formed the Monster Society of Evil to punish humanity for making a fool of him.

Recruiting at various times the villains of this list, he also worked with an assortment of both fictitious characters from Fawcett’s library, and real life scoundrels like Hitler and Mussolini.

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