Wednesday, January 22, 2014
By issue #11 DC had removed CC Beck from the title and replaced him with Bob Oksner, Kurt Schaffenberger and Tenny Henson, who took turns doing there best at aping the Beck style, while giving the book a slightly more traditional comic book feel. For some reason, DC felt the need to keep Captain Marvel and the Marvel Family in a style that was very different from every other book they published. Even recent humorist DC books like Plastic Man and The Maniaks strip in Showcase were still drawn in a fairly traditional manner. Given this, Shazam! #34 was a bit of a surprise.
Alan Weiss was the anti-CC Beck. His art was dynamic and powerful, featuring beautifully sculpted muscled men and sexy women. In the 17-page "The Fuhrer of Chicago" he gave us a completely different Captain Marvel and Captain Marvel Jr. There are three other things that make this issue such a dramatic turnaround for the title. First, the book is inked by, well, next to Neal Adams, the best inked Weiss ever had, Joe Rubinstein. Though powerful, Alan's pencils can sometimes go out of whack a bit, his figures' proportions can get a bit wonky. A great inker will correct this and Joe Rubinstein is a great inker. Second, the coloring on this book is at times spectacular, being the work of Cornelia Adams, Neal Adams' first wife. Third, E. Nelson Bridwell turns in a hell of a good story, featuring the return of Captain Nazi, not seen in comics since Captain Marvel, Jr. #19, April 1944.