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Sivana vs Captain Marvel & America in early Whiz Comics, at Auction

Golden Age Captain Marvel is often considered the kinder, gentler superhero saga, but but early Whiz Comics could have a savage side.

Early issues of Whiz Comics were published during a tense time in both American and world history, to put it mildly.  With the first several issues of the hit newsstands with the planet marching steadily towards World War II and the United States presidential election in full swing.  The Captain Marvel stories here by Bill Parker with art by C.C. Beck make these early Whiz Comics #4's Captain Marvel tale a fascinating reflection of this particular moment in history.  Formative issues of a historic comic book series, there are several early issues of Whiz Comics available in the 2023 March 26-28 Sunday, Monday & Tuesday Comic Books Select Auction #122313 at Heritage Auctions.

Whiz Comics 3 (#2) (Fawcett Publications, 1940)
Whiz Comics 3 (#2) (Fawcett Publications, 1940)

Often thought of as a kinder, gentler superhero saga, Golden Age Captain Marvel comics are not quite that — think of them as sophisticated stories shown through a child's (Billy Batson's) eyes instead.  For example, Whiz Comics #3 has Sivana in command of thousands of supersoldiers, sophisticated tanks, and planes which he uses to attack the America in his bid to declare himself emperor of the United States.  When these fail against Captain Marvel's might, he resorts to an atom smasher to destroy the world's mightiest mortal, but this too ultimately fails.

With this all-out war having failed, in Whiz Comics #4 Sivana and his daughter Beautia would take over the United States not by brute force, but by subverting the presidential election.  The issue shows a comprehensive propaganda campaign of dropped leaflets, handbills, radio, newspaper, and film coverage which convinces the nation to vote for Beautia.  Once she's in, Sivana will be the true power behind the presidency and proceed to subvert the country's institutions from the inside out, and "If elected, Beatuia will rule the United States — but in name only. The real ruler will be Sivana, under whose oppressive dictatorship liberty, justice and happiness will vanish from America."

In Whiz Comics #7, Billy Batson uncovers a plot at the North Pole that involves stolen military planes and a group of explorers who have discovered a frozen race of prehistoric men who are super strong, super intelligent, and extremely obedient to orders.  The leader of the expedition who discovered them plans to use this strange, powerful army to take over the world.  In stopping this plan, Captain Marvel shows no qualms in tossing pilots out of airplanes to their certain doom (a version of this is shown on the cover of Whiz Comics #7), and destroying the entire plane fleet and all of its passengers, concluding, "Too bad, but you had it coming to you."

There's often underappreciated history in early Golden Age comic books, and these early Whiz Comics issues are no exception.  There are several early issues of Whiz Comics available in the 2023 March 26-28 Sunday, Monday & Tuesday Comic Books Select Auction #122313 at Heritage Auctions. If you've never bid at Heritage Auctions before, you can get further information, you can check out their FAQ on the bidding process and related matters.

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Mark SeifertAbout Mark Seifert

Co-founder and Creative director of Bleeding Cool parent company Avatar Press. Bleeding Cool Managing Editor, tech and data wrangler. Machine Learning hobbyist. Vintage paper addict.
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