The Shazam! Family Archives

 SHFA   (DC, 2006)

For this volume, at least, “Shazam Family” equals “Captain Marvel Jr.” While his origin does not appear, having previously been reprinted in Shazam Archives, The Little Blue Cheese’s solo adventures are reprinted in this spin-off Archives series.

Junior’s adventures, illustrated by the incomparable Mac Raboy, were more serious than those of his mentor. While some Cap Jr. tales sneaked into the Shazam! giants of the 1970s, these war-time tales are, for the most part, previously unseen except by the most die-hard fans.

Casual readers may be surprised by Junior’s recurring villains. Captain Nazi, of course, is familiar to modern readers, but the green-skinned killer Mr. Macabre may be new to many.

There is also a sensitivity to the physically challenged, given the fact that Freddy Freeman, Junior’s alter ego, uses a crutch. This is the focal point of two stories that, while condescending by our standards, were sensitive at the time.

The last story, Mary Marvel’s origin, features the whole Shazam Family and is a nice contrast to Junior’s solo tales.

—Jack Abramowitz

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1 copy available for $49.99
Reprints Captain Marvel Jr. appearances in Master Comics #23-32, Captain Marvel Jr. #1, and Captain Marvel Adventures #18UncreditedMac Raboy, Al Carreno, C.C. Beck, Marc Swayze