CBSI HOT 5 LIST : Shazam!



1st Appearance Captain Marvel(Billy Batson, Shazam)

Originally Fawcett had released 2 ashcans to secure the rights to the title, one being the infamous “flash comics #1” and the other titled Thrill Comics, both of which featured a character called Captain Thunder, in almost the exact same story.  When it came time to go to print they had changed the title to Whiz Comics and had it as issue #2.  The cover is clearly inspired by the cover to Action Comics #1 though where DC had Superman simply lifting a car, Fawcett one upped the big blue boy scout by having Captain Marvel straight up hurling a car at a wall.  For a long stretch in the 1940s Captain Marvel's main two titles (Captain Marvel Adventures and Whiz) actually outsold Action Comics and Superman, which was DC's best selling title at the time.


First Appearance Black Adam

Believe it or not, for a very long time this was a 3rd tier “key” that was very affordable.  When news was hinted that The Rock was being looked at for the role as Black Adam in a future Shazam movie, this book went absolutely bonkers.  Times have not changed and this book is still considered a true Golden Age key among many circles of collectors.


1st Appearance Mary Marvel

Billy Batson's twin sister also possesses the power to utter the word Shazam and becomes Mary Marvel with all the powers of Solomon and the five Olympian Gods.  This is another example of a book that 5 years ago could be had for pennies on the dollar compared to today's market.  With the ever increasing popularity of female characters in today's comic market, its comes as little surprise to see this book on the rise.  With Grace Fulton portraying miss Mary Marvel on the big screen, this book could and probably should have real staying power.


Reintroduction of Captain Marvel, Mary Marvel, Shazam into the DCU

Starting in 1941(due to the success of Captain Marvel), DC Comics pursued a lawsuit against Fawcett claiming Copyright infringement for the similiarites between Cap and Superman that lasted over a decade.  Well in 1952 Fawcett finally conceded and ceased publishing all Captain Marvel books.  DC Comics, hot off its streak of reintroducing Golden Age Characters into the Silver Age, acquired the rights to Captain Marvel and all the related properties and launched Billy into the DCU in 1973.


Reintroduction of Black Adam, 1st DCU Appearance

Another book that went absolutely bonkers when the Rock was rumored to be playing Black Adam is the 1st DC Universe appearance of Black Adam from 1977.  While I honestly debated putting issue #25 in this spot with the 1st appearance of Isis, no one can deny how hot this book had gotten, and still commands enough respect to be found on a Shazam HOT 5 list.

DC Universe Legacies #9 Variant

Tough to find

While many folks are chasing down the Black Adam #1 Alex Ross variant, the real and true impossible Black Adam variant is the DC Universe Legacies #9…  Near impossible to track down and when it does come to auction it commands a fair bit of coin.

Whiz Comics #4

Classic Cover

Another triumphant CC Beck cover, an impossible Golden Age Classic Cover and a Fawcett “Bondage Cover” to boot.  I know a lot of other books could have made the list here, but this book is just too cool to skip over, and too many folks are probably not aware it exists.

THANKS TO ALL FOR READING, for those looking for smaller more affordable books, I strongly recommend giving SHAZAM #25 a look for the first Appearance of Isis, JUSTICE LEAGUE #21 (New 52) for the first Seven Deadly Sins appearance, especially the 1:100 variant.

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  • Adam Lebednik

    lot of goodness!

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    Justice League #21 (as mentioned) but more for the New 52 additions to the family that didn’t exist in the CM Adventures comics getting powers and team debut and Mister Mind. I think golden age Mister Mind 1st is Captain Marvel Adventures #26 but impossible to find anyway.

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      ….and newsstand and combo pack high grade copies of #21 should be harder to find than 1:100s cuz there was like 100,000 copies of this comic.

      • Topher

        got any data to support this?

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        Not so sure about the combo packs. They were sold in Walmart’s right? So let’s say the print run was 100k. That would mean the 1:100 would have about 1000 copies and well assume DC over printed it so let’s say 1500.

        However there were about 4000 Walmart stores but about 25% of those are the grocery or discount store versions so well elongate those and say 3000 stores. we can probably assume they stocked at least 1 pack per store. So that 3000 combo packs alone would be about double the amount printed compared to the 1:100 variant.

        Now it may be harder to find in high grade because Walmart handles their product about as well as a bull in a china shop but I think the ratio variant would have fewer copies out there than the combo pack.

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          Yeah. I had assumed we were talking high grade when attempting to find/purchase comics but didn’t clarify which is my fault. If you’re attempting to purchase just any condition at all, then yes there are more of the combo packs out there then 1:100s. But like I said in my follow up comment, the 1:100s are still in stock at Midtown so they are a lot easier to purchase if you are looking for any of the 3 versions right now.

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          DC Combo packs were not affiliated with Walmart. Any comic shop could have ordered them. They were $1 more and had little demand from customers. Not many stores ordered them. Especially the later issues and less popular titles.

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      I prefer CM Adventures 27 which is the 1st full app. of Mister Mind over 26 which is a small cameo.

  • accustomfigures

    Some great history here, Ben. Thanks! For those (including myself) who find these out of reach there are some great modern Shazam books. I am really digging the new Jim Lee variant from last week or so.

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    I’m guessing you’re referring to my combo pack and newsstand comment being harder to find in high grade but that’s kinda obvious so I’m not sure if that’s what you’re asking.
    No data really other than what has been pretty much obvious for a really long time. Comics that come in polybags generally don’t stay in as high a condition as comics that don’t and newsstand editions are very hard to find in high grade and less common.
    There are 0 combo pack editions on the CGC census yet and I’ve yet to own or see a newsstand edition on eBay in greater than VF/NM condition.
    Justice League #21 1:100s are still available at Midtown so unless you know of an online retailer with combos and newsstand editions still in stock I’d say that’s another reason they’re harder to find.

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    I would most certainly update this to include Master Comics # 25 (1st Captain Marvel Jr.) and the impossible to find Captain Marvel Adventures # 128.

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    Justice 5 2nd print is a pretty narly Shazam cover!!!

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    Nice! I have that Whiz Comics #4
    I just put a pic of it up on Twitter since the movie is out. Take a look if you want.

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