Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Let's get small
When I began reading and collecting Golden Age Comics I liked the Captain Marvel stories and their sense of humor. It wasn't that other comics, even comics of "my" era, the early 1960s, couldn't be funny. It was just that the Captain Marvel stories seemed to be built on humor, rather than just having humor injected into some of the stories. Even today, looking at this not-untypical battle between Captain Marvel and villain Sivana I'm impressed by the sense of fun that permeates the strip. Maybe that's why I don't care about most superhero comics; they take themselves too seriously.
After all, the premise of Captain Marvel is a kid turning into a superhuman adult by using a magic word. What's sillier than that? But with the tongue-in-cheek scripting of Otto Binder and artwork by Peter Costanza the story works. In what other superhero comic would you see the villain when caught yell "Eek!" or be defeated by a clout to the head and a sound effect, "Bong!"? "Sivana's Capsule Kingdom" is from Captain Marvel Adventures #134, 1952.