SUPERMAN VS. SHAZAM! — DC to Collect Their Greatest Battles

It’s JOE SHUSTER DAY! The Man of Steel and his biggest rival hero are getting a new, expanded trade paperback…

Superman co-creator Joe Shuster was born July 10, 1914 — 106 years ago! This year we have a triple play for you: 1) an INSIDE LOOK at The Toyroom’s custom Mego-style Lex Luthor’s Lair playset, the perfect counterpart to the Fortress of Solitude set we showed you a few months ago (click here); 2) the TOP 13 JOE SHUSTER SUPERMAN STORIES — RANKED, by writer-cum-humorist Fred Van Lente (click here); and, 3) a peek at a new Superman collection coming soon from DC, below.

So let’s get to it, shall we?

Captain Marvel’s debut

OK, we all know the basics of the story: DC ripped off Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster when they bought the rights to Superman. Action Comics #1 came out in 1938 and superhero comics became a gigantic phenomenon. The following year, Fawcett came up with its own hero, Captain Marvel, who eventually outsold the Man of Steel. DC legally stomped all over Fawcett, which helped lead the latter company to stop publishing the Big Red Cheese by the early 1950s. Years later, DC snapped up the rights to the original Captain Marvel and began publishing new adventures in the 1970s under the title Shazam! (The reasons for that are a whole other ball of twine.)

Anyway, the whole Superman vs. Captain Marvel (or Shazam!) thing has been A Thing forever and since DC now controls both, the publisher likes to have the two bash each other around every once in awhile.

Well, get ready for a new collection of these bruising brouhahas with Superman vs. Shazam!, a trade paperback collection due in 2021, according to an Amazon listing. And while this edition shares the same cover as a similar trade from seven years ago, this version includes an additional 64 pages of story.

Dig the official description:

Superman vs. Shazam!

Two of the world’s greatest heroes are brought together in the action-packed collection Superman vs. Shazam!

The Man of Steel and the World’s Mightiest Mortal are two of the strongest men imaginable, but what happens when they find themselves facing up against each other?!

And when Captain Marvel is trapped and the powers of Shazam stolen–will the Man of Steel be able to save him?

Collects Superman #276, The Power of Shazam! #46, Kingdom Come #4, Kingdom Come #1, DC Comics Presents #33, DC Comics Presents #34, DC Comics Presents #49, All-New Collectors’ Edition #C-58, and DC Comics Presents Annual #3.

A few thoughts:

— The 256-pager lists for a lovely $19.99 and is due in March 2021.

— That Rich Buckler/Dick Giordano cover might not be the final one, though I can’t imagine DC would want to change it. Because it is AWESOME. (It was the cover of 1978’s All-New Collectors’ Edition #C-58 treasury.)

— Speaking of that treasury, as much as I dig the look of this trade, I would have loved it if DC published #C-58 as a hardcover, full-size Facsimile Edition, like they plan with Superman vs. Wonder Woman.

— In case you’re wondering, these are the stories that weren’t in the 2013 edition: Superman #276, The Power of Shazam! #46, Kingdom Come #4, Kingdom Come #1. (My hunch is that the Kingdom Come issues are excerpts.)

Superman #276 isn’t really Superman vs. Captain Marvel at all. It’s Superman vs. Captain Thunder (Cap’s original name) in a highly entertaining, 1974 satirical showdown by Elliot S! Maggin, Curt Swan and Bob Oksner that was adorned with a spectacular Nick Cardy cover.

— By the way, my favorite Superman vs. Shazam! story is 1981’s DC Comics Presents #33-34.

— Standard caveat: This has not been solicited by DC yet, so nothing is official until it’s official. Even then, things can change. Just keep coming to 13th Dimension for updates.


— One of the Grooviest SUPERMAN Collections You’ll Ever See. Click here.

— SHAZAM! A Big Red Celebration of ALEX ROSS and KURT SCHAFFENBERGER. Click here.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. I can’t for one minute believe MARVEL would say anything if your title to this article actually used his name Captain Marvel. It’s a blog.

    The recent (and lame) movie shows just how stupid it is. If you get beyond the whole padded suits, the idea the character can’t say his “name” is crazy. The character would be bouncing back and forth between identities answering people’s question of, “What’s your name again?”

    The whole thing stinks as a horrible jab to the original creators. DC lawyers them into near bankruptcy then picks up the rights years later. What is it about the comic business that creators are so freely dumped on?

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    • This is exactly right. Captain Marvel was created by C.C. Beck and Bill Parker; it was not created by DC or Marvel. The idea that Captain Marvel can’t be called “Captain Marvel” due to corporate skull-duggery is appalling and an insult to Beck & Parker.

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  2. Pleasantly surprised to see the exclusion of Trials of Shazam… I can still tolerate the Power of Shazam era but anything beyond that is so terrible, it should fall down the memory hole.

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  3. I don’t like the name change of Captain Marvel to Shazam, but I like that DC is promoting two fan-favorite characters for a bew 2021 paperback.

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  4. I would rather have a truly and respectable redo of the original Cap. There are plenty who could recapture the art. The writing is an entirely different thing. Many of those eight page tales went way beyond anything produced since. A writer might have to come from outside comics to pull it off. Who is the most Binder like writer around these days ? I would want some without multiple this or that, or off putting crossovers. Some simple story telling.

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    • I would recommend this miniseries: Shazam! The Monster Society of Evil; and this series: Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam!; if you didn’t pick them up when they first came out. They aren’t Binder, but both are all ages, not in continuity with anything but each other, and neither are afraid to pour on the whimsy. The Monster Society re-do by Jeff Smith came out first and the Magic of Shazam, created and initially written and drawn by Mike Kunkel.

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  5. The entire thing frustrates me, as a Superman fan I quickly became a Captain Marvel fan ( I refuse to call him Shazam ) when DC brought him back in ’73. Most NON- comic book fans were familiar with him only through the live action Saturday morning tv show, and they so ignorantly called him “shazam” instead of Captain Marvel.

    Now………DC has given credence to this ignorance by renaming the character from Captain Marvel to the msgic word by which he transforms back and forth, they’ve knuckled under to ignorance.

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  6. The inclusion of the first and last Kingdom Come issues on their own feels a little jarring. I’d rather they had put in Justice League 135-137, and/or All-Star Squadron 36-37. Maybe even the Mad “Superduperman” story. Not to mention there’s a number of post-Crisis Superman/Cap tales that could be their own volume.

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