Sunday, January 05, 2014

Number 1502: “So Captain Marvel zapped him right between the eyes...” — John Lennon

In reading and cleaning up the scans of this UK version of Captain Marvel Adventures #69 (US issue #124), John Lennon crossed my mind. In “The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill”* on the 1968 album, The Beatles, there is this lyric:
“Deep in the jungle where the mighty tiger lies
Bill and his elephants were taken by surprise
So Captain Marvel zapped him right between the eyes...”
One Beatles' song website believes the reference to Captain Marvel means John Lennon was spoofing Americans on superheroes. I think it is more likely that because Lennon was a kid when the British Captain Marvel comics were published (he was 11-years-old when this comic was published in 1951, for instance), he may well have seen or read comics featuring Captain Marvel. Captain Marvel was popular enough that in 1953 when his American adventures ended the British publisher, L. Miller, had Mick Anglo do a close version called Marvelman. Captain Marvel was known in England, so John Lennon using the name wouldn’t seem surprising.

*You can read the story of the song’s origin in this Wikipedia page on “The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill”.

At the end of 2012 I scanned and posted the UK version of Fawcett's adaptation of the science fiction movie, The Man From Planet X, and last July I posted a UK edition of The Marvel Family Go to them by clicking on the thumbnails:


Don said...

Is this drawn primarily by the C.C Beck Studio? Pete Costanza? Or?

Don Yost

Pappy said...

It looks like the Beck Studio, and wasn't Pete Costanza part of that group?