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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on September 10, 2006
A simple but nicely told retcon of how Superman first met Captain Marvel, fighting big ugly monsters, cultists, giant robots, etc.

I may get flamed for this, but it's better than the Justice League Unlimited episode "The Clash", in which Superman uncharacteristically acted like a callous d***weed towards Cap for an honest mistake; the overall ep was basically just an excuse to have Superman and Captain Marvel duke out, which has been a popular feature in the comics.

"First Thunder" is not exactly a Hugo Award winner, but it's briskly paced and worth a look for seeing Supes befriend Marvel, watching them chit-chat back and forth about their powers, where they've been, what they can do, all that good stuff. There's some poignant moments thrown in with the humor and violence as well, with Superman making a passionate speech against the Wizard who gave little Billy Batson his powers in the first place about how a little kid shouldn't have to carry the weight of being a superhero, with the last few panels alluding that Superman will become a mentor to Captain Marvel.

All in all, a nice little diversion.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on March 18, 2008
Ever since I was a child in the 70s, I have loved Captain Marvel/Shazam, but he has always been in the shadow of the Big S! A meeting of these two have always been like two world champion Superbowl teams meeting in a head to head battle. Though past issues have always wanted to see the two guys battle, it is better to see the two equally admire and aid each other. This reintroduction of their first meeting is a little on the light side for literary merit, but overall is excellent in execution and artistic action. I do not want to go into too much detail of the storyline, but if you like Shazam at all, this is a great read, less so for Superman fans since he is more of the secondary act in this tale. Shazam material is hard to come by, there isn't as much out there, and I've read them all, this one is my personal favorite to date. Thanks.
John Dae
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 5, 2007
I am surprised at the tepid ratings from some of the other reviewers. I really enjoyed this story and the art grew on me as well. The story was best when exploring the characters of Superman, Billy Batson and Sivana. In particular Sivana is well realized. He actually comes across as an old amoral narcissist, proud of his accomplishments and mildly irritated that he runs the 4th largest conglomerate in the world and Lex Luthor has the 3rd. He is seriously and realistically portrayed.

I also liked the way the nature of magic and "people of magic" are used to highlight the clearly immoral nature of using a 10 year old boy to further even the most laudable goal. Superman is appalled and confronts Shazam very directly. Unfortunately this will likely be underutilized as a story element, and Superman rather blithely accepts blandishments from the old sorcerer and moves on. I consider this the only real flaw in the story.

The action is utterly incidental. The threats, like most threats to Superman and to a lesser degree Captain Marvel are hardly worth mentioning. Combat is a story device to get the two together and let them

I would heartily recommend the book.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon June 20, 2006
Captain Marvel has always been the underdog in the struggle against the Man of Steel. The upstart hero took on Superman in 1940's and 50's and actually beat him in comic sales with a combination of fantastic artwork from C.C. Beck and superior writing. Unfortunately he lost the war thanks to a copyright lawsuit that put Cap on the shelf until the Fawcett characters were bought up by the very company that killed Captain Marvel in the first place. As if poor Cap hadn't been through enough Marvel Comics discovered that DC neglected to copyright the name Captain Marvel and snatched it up for themselves. When DC brought Captain Marvel out of mothballs in the early 70's the comic couldn't legally be called Captain Marvel hence the title 'Shazam!'. DC managed to get C.C. Beck back but the honeymoon was short lived with Beck leaving bitter and the comic folding after the stories went through a rapid decline in quality. Sadly, 'Shazam!' was likely the pinnacle for Captain Marvel in DC comics.

I always imagine there's a feeling of guilt on the part of DC comics for the treatment of Captain Marvel and in a sense the infrequent meetings of Marvel and Superman always gives me a feeling that Superman wants to make amends. `First Thunder' is written to be the first encounter of Superman and Marvel. The artwork is a beautiful compromise between the cartoony art of C.C. Beck and the more realistic art of the Superman comics. However, once again Captain Marvel is given short shrift as the story is absolutely anemic. The first half of the book deals with a group of museum robbers who are collecting artifacts in order to unleash Sabbac, a longtime villain of Marvel's. At the same time Superman is occupied with Eclipso who is busy doing what he does best. Luthor makes a brief and inconsequential appearance and Sivana tries to ice Marvel by taking out Billy Batson for the six thousandth time.

The only interesting points are the bonding moments between the Worlds Mightiest Mortal and the Man of Steel. Cap is awestruck by Superman's vast array of powers while Superman shows some magic envy. In the end it all amounts to very little and First Thunder goes down like a heaping bowl of whip cream. It looks great and tastes delicious for the first few bites but it's all empty calories with no substance.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 17, 2011
What I Liked: Characterization is accurate and consistent. Ending is touching. Conversation between Superman and Captain Marvel is especially satisfying. Artwork is detailed. There is plenty of action but gore is absent. Vengeance and death are taken seriously.

Some FYI: Social-political propaganda is present. The artistic style is more cartoonish than most.

What I Didn't Like: Dialogue is inconsistent, at times natural, at other times artificial yet lacking any affectionate quirkiness.

Summary: First Thunder respects its iconic characters. I'm glad I purchased it and I recommend the book to others.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 20, 2011
Without knowing much about Captain Marvel, I found this to be great intro to an underused character, without telling a straight origin story. At first glance, Superman and Captain Marvel can seem too similar, but this story paints them as just similar enough to bond while remaining different in many aspects.

I enjoy how awestruck Marvel is when he first meets Superman. You can see Billy Baston's childlike amazement show through the adult exterior. You can also tell that Superman doesn't fully understand or trust Marvel at first, just by the look on his face. Overall, the artwork is really splendid.

First Thunder does however lack a truly frightening villain. Dr. Sivana is the typical mad scientist type and Sabbac is interesting as Marvel's opposite, but neither is properly developed as a character. Frankly, I found Sivana too non-threatening to be the main villain. Especially when compared to Lex Luthor who makes a brief cameo.

A good read, but would be better if the villains were written as well as the heroes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 13, 2011
I really enjoyed reading this book. Might not be the best story out there or the best art, but i really enjoyed it. I tought it was really cool to see to superheroes envy each other with powers the other one has. Like superman wishing he could do better against magic and Shazam wishing he had freezing breath and x-ray vision.

The art is quite decent in my opinion and the story is a good story if you don't take it too seriously. What better ennemies than luthor and the doctor (forget his name) to team up and try to get rid of the 2 cape wonders.

I usually buy books and sell them later on when i'm done reading them a couple times. This one is still in my collection and will remain there. I must have read it at least 5 or 6 times and i still enjoy it.

That one's a keeper for me
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 5, 2011
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 2010
Let me start off by saying that its good to see Judd Winick writing Capt Marvel. This guy obviously likes & gets him. The story is great. It takes two powerful heroes & teams up for a very memorable adventure. I'd definately reccomend this book.
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on June 22, 2013
In these adventure comics, you expect some pretty quick story lines, new characters who come and go, and plenty of action.I loved the back and forth between all these characters, especially between Superman and Capt. Marvel. The barrel-chested heroes were so typical of these characters and the sort of oriental look to Billy and other characters added a different dimension.
What I welcomed was the fact these two heroes didn't 'throw-down' on each other in the first couple minutes they 'met'. After a dangerous brawl, they headed off to a mountain-top and talked to each other, appreciated each others strength and powers and walked away friends. In the end, a possibility for mentorship could develop. I miss this Superman. He's the guy who, before all this '52' mess, would soar into space and stare-down an invading alien army without moving, and they would back-down. However when he meets Superboy, Supergirl, Superpuppy; he begins to blast away.Perhaps it sells issues but there isn't wisdom there and being a god who walks among us, he needs to know when to pound and when to step down his game.
Their enemies were tough enough to be a challenge and, when Capt Marvel reacts to an attack personally, you can feel he is a confused child. Great work for the writer and I loved the art.

I recommend purchasing this for your kids. It has big battles, gooey monsters and epic heroes. But, in the end it's about friendship and trust.
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