"Before we begin, I'd like to pay my respects to our dear, departed colleague, Mr. Mind. Only a worm he was, but he commanded the loyalty of many of us, and many others besides, and gave our greatest enemy some of his toughest times. That is, besides the ones I gave him, of course."
"Now Mr. Mind is gone, to that great worm-burrow in the sky. But his idea lives on. It was a good concept, just perhaps not in the most efficient hands. I believe we have a pair of efficient hands in control now, gentlemen: mine."
"In short, welcome to the first meeting of the New Monster Society of Evil."
Here There Be Monsters is a Captain Marvel/Shazam! fanfiction written by DarkMark. The story happens between the last published issue of Marvel Family (December, 1954) and the Suspendium Incident told in Shazam! Vol 1 #1 (February, 1973). It's split into two series, each following a set of characters from Fawcett Comics' Golden Age:
- The Marvel Family: Chapters 1-3, 5, 7 and 9-11. It is 1954, fourteen years since Billy Batson shouted "Shazam!" for the first time, and he still looks fifteen. Captain Marvel, Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel, Jr. must cope with being forever young, which is a hard task indeed. Especially when Dr. Sivana and company want to make sure they do not get too much older.
- The Squadron of Justice: Chapters 4, 6 and 8. In a story which fits into and alternates with The Marvel Family Tale, Radar, Ibis, Phantom Eagle, Spy Smasher, and more find they have a role to play and foes to fight in the Monster Society conflict... if they survive it.
This story this set in the same Fan Verse than Hellsister Trilogy, A Very Kara Christmas, Dance with the Demons, With this Ring... (Green Lantern), Funeral For A Flash, Kara of Rokyn, A Force of Four, Superman of 2499: The Great Confrontation and Superman and Man. Dark Mark has also written The Vampire of Steel, The Unfantastic Adventures of Bizarro No. 1, A Prize for Three Empires, X-Men 1970, Fire!, Devils Diary, Everybody's Gotta Leave Sometime and Maybe the Last Archie Story.
Nothing to do with the webcomic Here There Be Monsters
Tropes found in Here There Be Monsters:
- Adaptation Name Change: Mary's foster mother was not named in the original Pre-Crisis comics. Here, her full name is Edith Bromfield.
- Adult Fear: As pointed out by Georgina, Edith Bromfield has spent years wondering whether her daughter Mary will come back home every time she goes out or goes missing or gets late. Later, Edith listens to a broadcast revealing Dr. Sivana is holding Mary hostage in Venus and he intends to execute her together with her teammates. And there is absolutely nothing Edith can do.Georgina Sivana: "Don't worry. We'll keep you alive until the Earth gets conquered. And then? Daddy'll give you to me. I'm sure I can find something really, really interesting to do with you. I wonder if your stepmother is waiting up for you, Mary. I wonder if she's worrying about her little darling. After all, she hasn't come home. And it's already been a day or more on Earth. Oh, well. She knew that one of these days you wouldn't be coming home. She had to."
- Alliterative Name:
- In addition to Billy Batson, his secretary's name is Joan Jameson.
- Joyce Albright and Chuck Ramsey take up the costumed identities of Midnight Maid and Mister Midnight, respectively.
- Another Dimension: One difference between Earth-S and other universes is Earth-S' Venus can and does support life.The clouded world of Venus lie ahead of them. It was not the planet of other universes, hot beyond endurance and sloshing with molten metal. This Venus could support life, and did.
- Antagonist Title: The "Monsters" referenced in the title are the new Monster Society of Evil, a super-villain team opposing the Marvel Family.
- Arbitrary Skepticism: For some reason, Phantom Eagle finds size-changing magic more difficult to believe that all other instances of magic that he has witnessed.Ibis: "Ibistick! Restore this man to his normal size!"
Phantom Eagle: "I've seen a lot, but if I see that, I'll start believing in the Tooth Fairy."
(Ibis magically shrinks Red Crusher)
Mr. Scarlet: "Well?"
Phantom Eagle: (shrugging) "Guess I'll have to start leaving stuff under the pillows again. When I start losing 'em, that is."
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Thaddeus Sivana, Jr. has been aching for killing Captain Marvel, Jr. for years, and he is not happy to learn his father will let others make the attempt first.Hashimoto: "The work of your father progresses. The one called Ibac successfully placed the transmission dish within effective range of the sun. The disks have been tested and seem efficient."
Thaddeus Sivana: "Neat. Maybe then Pops'll let me hook onto one of those things and tear into Little Blue, like I've always wanted to."
Mashita: "Unfortunately, your father is reluctant to let you or your daughter partake of their power yet. He wishes to test their use through some of the others first."
Thaddeus Sivana: "Why, that old—! He can't do this to me! I'll burn up his long underwear! I'll put acid in his Burma Shave! I'll—I'll tear up his old Captain Marvel scrapbooks! Better yet, I won't let him look at my pictures of Irish McCalla anymore!"
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Doctor Sivana turns Red Crusher into a fifty-foot giant via a growth serum, and then he sends the mace-wielding human soldier out to rampage through North America.One of their foemen was human, or appeared to be, if one could discount his fifty-foot height.
- Ax-Crazy: Georgia Sivana is a murderous, gun-loving loony. She is willing to spend hours shooting Marvel Family dummies until there is nothing left of them, and she gets crestfallen when her father tells her she is not allowed to kill her older sister.A succession of pistol shots were heard. He jerked his way in their direction.
It was his daughter. Georgia was holding a smoking automatic. Before her were three scarecrows, planted in the alien soil, dressed in makeshift uniforms to resemble Captain Marvel, Captain Marvel, Jr., and Mary Marvel.
All of them had their heads shot off.
The Mary Marvel scarecrow was also dribbling stuffing through its stomach area.
- Badass in Distress: Captain Marvel attempts to assault Sivana's Venusian base single-handedly and ends up defeated and captured by the Monster Society of Evil.
- Batman Can Breathe in Space: The entities empowering both the Marvel family and villains like Ibac and Sabbac grant their chosen ones the ability to survive with no atmosphere.Ibac was somewhat reassured when he found that the vacuum and cold of space could be resisted by calling on his powers, plus the shield that Sabbac had given him.
- Battle Couple:
- Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel, Jr. have been together for so long as they have been crime-fighting.
- Before their retirement, Amantep -a.k.a. Ibis the Invincible, an ancient Egyptian wizard- and his wife Taia used to fight supernatural threats together.
- Bear Hug: As fighting Captain Marvel, Ibac hugs him and crushes him into unconsciousness.Ibac's lip was swelled a bit, but he was still grinning. Before Captain Marvel could react, his opponent had both mighty arms wrapped around his arms and chest, and was crushing him in a grip that held more power than he had ever had before.
More power, Cap was prepared to admit, than Marvel himself possessed.
Neither of them needed to breathe in space, but the force of the grip was itself taking a toll on the hero. He resisted its force, trying to expand his chest and arms beyond their confines, but could not do so. Captain Marvel closed his eyes in effort, straining to liberate himself from Ibac's cruel grip, but could not.
- Big Bad: Dr. Sivana puts a New Monster Society of Evil together to destroy the Marvel Family and take over the world.
- Big Damn Heroes: Subverted. The Squadron of Justice travels to Venus to rescue the Marvel Family, but they are intercepted and defeated, too.
- The Big Damn Kiss: Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel, Jr. have just gotten the hint that Mary's mother does not approve of their relationship getting more serious. Not knowing what else do, they kiss in midair.The World's Mightiest Girl turned to the World's Mightiest Boy. Both stared deeply at each other and tried to find something to say.
But there really wasn't much left to talk about.
So they fell into each other's arms and kissed, long and hard, while the Earth, the clouds, and over a thousand feet of sky turned beneath them.
And they didn't pay any of it the slightest bit of heed.
- Big "SHUT UP!": Dr. Sivana angrily shouts his daughter to shut up when she points out how badly his master plan has failed.Dr. Sivana: "A Sivana is always prepared. Remember that."
Georgia Sivana: "Oh, sure, Daddy. Like we were prepared for the Marvels to beat us on television, with the whole world watching. Like we were prepared for everything to mess up, and all of the Society but us in jail. Like we were"
Dr. Sivana: "SHUT UP!"
- Black Magic: Trug is a powerful black magician.Trug spoke an incantation. A bolt of black force leaped from his fingers and struck Junior in the chest. The World's Mightiest Boy gasped. Freezing coldness paralyzed his lungs and spread through his body.
- Blatant Lies: When Magnificus Sivana gets dragged out of his office by a stranger, his secretary asks if something is wrong. Magnificus' exaggerated smile and nervous assurance that absolutely nothing is wrong, make her secretary call the police.So he walked through the door as the little man opened it for him, and did indeed give the secretary a big smile, so big that she wondered if something was wrong. He assured her that nothing was, which, in five minutes' time, made her call the police.
But that was far too long a time.
- Blessed with Suck: The same magic which makes Billy, Mary and Freddy powerful enough to move mountains or fly into the sun causes them to be fifteen maybe forever.
- Bound and Gagged: After capturing Captain Marvel, Dr. Sivana gets him shackled.Their attention was drawn to the red-and-yellow-clad man whose body was held pent in metallic bands that encircled his chest, arms, legs, waist, ankles, and neck.
- Brain Bleach: Since Dr. Sivana's scheme to destroy the Marvels and conquer the world is apparently going to succeed, the Acrobat suggests the Monster Society to do something nice for Sivana... like getting him laid. Illyria retorts she did not need that mental image.The Acrobat: "All things considered, I think we should show our appreciation to the boss. Name a country after him. Maybe give him a federal treasuryyou know, not a big one, just maybe one from some little island somewhere. Get him laid. He'd appreciate that."
Illyria: (wrinkling her nose) "There are some things even too sickening for me to contemplate, and that, Acrobat, is one of them. No, thank you."
- Breaking the Bonds: Captain Marvel eventually manages to shatter his bindings with a flex of his powerful muscles.Before the spurt of evil magic could bridge the gap, Captain Marvel exerted his mighty muscles. The bonds of metal flew apart as shrapnel, and the Sivanas had to dodge the fragments. He leapt from the horizontal prison that had held him for so long, and landed in a certain part of the floor just long enough to stamp his gold-booted foot through its concrete surface.
- Brutal Honesty: Freddy and Mary are going to ask for their aging back, even if it means relinquishing their powers, in order to get married, and Freddy is willing to change jobs so Mary's mother doesn't cut her out of the family fortune. Billy frowns and bluntly states they are making it sound like they care more for being rich than for being heroes. Mary gets angry but Freddy admits that Billy has a point.Billy: "I'll do everything I can to see if I can get him to let you stay with the Family. But ultimately, it's his decision, not mine. He's the one who doles out the powers. What about your mother, Mary?"
Mary: "She'll just have to accept it, Billy. She'll also have to find a place for Freddy in one of the companies she's got voting power in."
Freddy: (glumly) "I like running the newsstand. But Mary's, well, used to a certain way of life."
Billy: (looking at the two of them) "So you can do without powers, but not without money?"
Mary: "Billy, that was uncalled for!"
Freddy: "No, honey. He's got a point."
- By the Hair: Black Beauty grabs Mary's hair during one battle and then she swings her around before throwing her into a mountainside.Black Beauty grabbed her from behind by the hair, and swung her around at hyperspeed. When she let go, the Shazam Girl volplanned straight into the side of a mountain. She left an imprint. Mary gasped, not hurt by the impact but by the manhandling. She peeled herself away from the granite rock face and turned to counterattack her foes.
- By the Power of Grayskull!:
- The lead trio gain Flying Brick powers when they shout "Shazam!":Yeah," said Freddy. "But this is business, not pleasure. You coming?"
For answer, Mary said, "Shazam," in a quiet, ladylike voice.
Jives's knock on the door came about the time that the boom of localized thunder was heard through the door.
- Similarly, Stanley "Stinky" Printwhistle and Timothy Karnes transform into humanoid monsters by shouting "Ibac!" and "Sabbac!", respectively.
- The lead trio gain Flying Brick powers when they shout "Shazam!":
- Cain and Abel: Thaddeus Sivana kidnaps his older brother Magnificus at gunpoint. Previously he kidnapped their sister Beautia, whom their other sister Georgia wants to kill off. Georgia even gets upset when her father tells her she cannot kill her sister."Have you heard from your brother?"
"Not yet," she said. "When they bring Beautia here, Dad, can I kill her? Please?"
"No. Don't you have any sense of family?"
"Oh." Georgia, who always looked like a Basil Wolverton cartoon from Life magazine, looked a bit crestfallen.
- Cat Fight: As soon as she sees Georgia, Beautia lunges at her sister and starts hair-pulling.It was Beautia who hurled herself forward first, claws out.
"You scum-sucking, bottom-feeding, buck-toothed little—!" she yelled at Georgia, just as she hit her. Sivana and Junior were agape as Beautia bore her half-sister to the floor and started pulling hair with her.
- Casual Interplanetary Travel: A rocket powered by Dr. Sivana's warpdrive can cover the distance from Earth to Venus in a matter of hours.
- Clothes Make the Superman: Dr. Sivana's discs give their non-powered bearers Flying Brick powers.
- Comic Books Are Real: In Earth-S, Superman is a comic book character. It would be twenty years before the Marvel Family found out he is a real person in other universes.
- Comic-Book Time: Deconstructed. Billy, Mary and Freddy did not grow older after 1941, but everybody else did. Their eternal youth creeps their friends and co-workers out, has negatively affected their social life (Billy lost his girlfriend because of it), and clued Edith Bromfield in on Mary's secret identity.
- The Commissioner Gordon: Police Commissioner Woolfolk's is Captain Marvel's liaison with Fawcett City's police department. He is the one who warns Billy that super-villains are being sprung from prison.
- Complexity Addiction: Dr. Sivana could have killed the Marvel Family as soon as their minions knocked them out; instead, he got them shackled to metal slabs and bathed by a paralysis beam because he wanted to make a show of it. He wanted to broadcast the execution, wait until the Marvels were awakened to gloat about his victory and the means through which it was achieved, and then killing them. And he needed to taste every minute of it. Ultimately, he took so long that Captain Marvel found a way out of his predicament. Then Marvel points out that Sivana could have won this time if he had not spent so long gloating.
- Conflicting Loyalty: Mary Marvel is torn between Freddy and her foster mother. On the one hand, she wants to get married to Freddy whether her mother approves of it or not. On the other hand, she loves her mother and does not want to go behind her back. Due to her mother's disapproval, though, Mary and Freddy can be forced to elope.
- Covered in Gunge: When the Squad of Justice makes it to Venus, Bulletman gets ambushed by a giant frog. Bulletman gets rid of the monstrous amphibian, but not before its tongue drips viscous slobber all over his face.
- Crazy-Prepared: After being defeated, Dr. Sivana reveals he has a backup plan. Then he goes on about the importance of being always prepared.Dr. Sivana: "A Sivana is always prepared. Remember that. [...] The secret of success, the secret of survival, is always to have a contingency plan. I have always planned for escape, always planned for a second strike."
- Cry into Chest: As telling her mother how frightened she is of possibly remaining fifteen forever, Mary buries her face into her chest and cries."I don't know. I hope not. I pray not." Mary sat down, smoothing her skirt first. "I mean, Mom.... you'd think being 15 forever would be a great thing, wouldn't you, unless you really had to do it?"
"I know," said Mrs. Bromfield. "There's an old saying that youth is wasted on the young. But that's not really true. Youth is there to be wasted, as is age. It's your own decision as to how you waste both."
"I, I wish I had some to waste," said Mary, sniffing. "Oh, God, Mama, I just wish I didn't have to be like this forever..."
Within seconds, Mary was in her foster mother's arms, pressing her face to Edith's chest and crying her eyes out.
- Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Justified. Dr. Sivana tried to make money off his inventions, but his ideas were turned down by crooked politicians and greedy businessmen until he was left penniless and turned to villainy.
- Daddy's Little Villain: Georgia Sivana is a bigger psychopath than her father, to the point that Dr. Sivana has to restrain her from killing the Marvel Family with her bare hands.
- Darkest Hour: By the end of the ninth chapter, the Marvels and the Squadron of Justice have been defeated an imprisoned, and two members of the Monster Society of Evil are carving a path of destruction through North America. The situation has gotten so critical the President is considering to drop a nuke on USA soil.Captain Marvel felt as though his muscles were cramped, as well they might be. The Marvelium bonds had held him prisoner for a good while, now. The knowledge that Junior and Mary were his fellow prisoners, and that the other heroes of Earth had tried and failed to rescue them, wasn't contributing to his peace of mind.
All of it, every last bit of it, at the hands of Sivana. His enemies given power beyond his own, and his homeworld threatened with conquest. Or destruction.
But was there a way to escape? Could there, possibly, be a way to manage a break from these bonds, a stilling of the ray above him?
- Dating What Daddy Hates: Edith Bromfield was okay with her daughter dating Freddy, but as soon as Mary talked about marriage, Edith tried to put her foot down. Mary wants to believe her rich mother is not a snob, but it is clear Edith is not happy with her daughter marrying a newsstand owner.
- Deal with the Devil: Unlike the Marvels, who are empowered by gods, Ibac and Sabbac's powers stem from a deal with Lucifer himself.Both his and Sabbac's powers stemmed from the same diabolical source. Both of them had done deals with a fearsome and evil entity, and had been enabled to change into a new, more powerful, and more evil sort of being with the speaking of a word.
- Death by Childbirth: Giving birth two genetically enhanced children taxed Sivana's first wife's body. She never recovered from her second pregnancy, and she died within two months of her daughter's birth.How their father had managed to manufacture them, he had never been certain. He had reportedly given their mother a shot of something, with her concession, that would produce magnificent physical specimens in their offspring. Mom had agreed to it. After all, who doesn't want beautiful children? But Magnificus's birth had taxed her, and she never quite recovered from bearing Beautia. Within two months of the girl's birth, their mother was dead.
- Designated Girl Fight: When Dr. Sivana deploys his forces to deal with the two Marvels approaching his base, two female villains -called Black Beauty and Illyria- go after Mary Marvel for no particular reason whereas male villains Sabbac, Trug and Black Poet gang up on Captain Marvel, Jr.
- Do Not Adjust Your Set: Dr. Sivana takes over every tv screen in the world to claim credit for Mister Atom and Red Crusher's hyper-destructive rampage across America, and announce he is about to televise the execution of the Marvel Family and their allies. Following which, he will begin his conquer of Earth.The grinning visage of Dr. Sivana smiled out upon the television viewers of Earth, making those who were waiting for Uncle Miltie sit up in shock.
"Greetings to the populace of the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, and anyone else fortunate enough to have a set," sneered the scientist. "This message is pretaped and was broadcast from the surface of Venus some hours ago, by your reckoning. My name is Sivana. Dr. Thaddeus Bodog Sivana. Soon to be known to all as the Rightful Ruler of the Universe, and by one other name as well. But we'll get to that later."
The image of Sivana dissolved in snow, and was replaced by that of Milton Berle in a dress and makeup. Not too many paid that much attention to the latter.
- Dope Slap: Dr. Sivana slaps the back of his son's head when Thaddeus Jr. whines that they will be done if Sivana's contingency plan fails.
- Dual Age Modes: Fifteen-year-old Billy becomes an adult when he says the magic word. Inverted with Mary and Freddy, who are in their twenties, but they look like teenagers when they transform.
- Eating the Eye Candy: Taia likes watching wrestling, among other reasons, because she likes the sight of sweaty, half-naked, brawny men.As he vanished through a doorway, Taia debated herself a moment, then took his place in front of the TV, and turned it up a bit.
She had to admit, that Gorgeous George wasn't as good as the wrestlers in her time, but he was just about the sexiest thing on this television device so far.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Weird as it may be, Dr. Sivana is reluctant to let his kids murder someone directly. Likewise, he will not allow Thaddeus or Georgina to kill their older siblings because they are family.
- Evil Counterpart: Whereas the Marvels are empowered by benevolent gods, turn into classical models of beauty, and use their powers for good, Ibac and Sabbac struck a bargain with a diabolical entity, transform into hideous monsters and love causing death and destruction.Both his and Sabbac's powers stemmed from the same diabolical source. Both of them had done deals with a fearsome and evil entity, and had been enabled to change into a new, more powerful, and more evil sort of being with the speaking of a word.
In a sense, they were evil Captain Marvels.
- Evil Gloating: Dr. Sivana's master plan fails because he wastes too much time gloating.Captain Marvel: "I almost didn't escape. But all I had to do, in the end, was use my flight power to its fullest extent. For about an hour, to be precise. If you hadn't been so intent on making a long speech, you could probably have gotten me."
- Evil Is Hammy: Parodied. The Acrobat is not good at making overdramatic speeches and he lacks the power to back his threats, so nobody takes him seriously.The Acrobat: "I'll kill you. I'm man enough, madman enough, to kill you all! Disc or no disc, I've got the power of ten men when the moon is out, and I ought to have enough strength here to do you all in!"[...] I'll destroy you all! One by one, I'll tear your heads off and make lamps out of them! I'll use your bodies for baseball equipment! I'll"
Midnight Maid: "You've been reading too many comic books."
- Evil Laugh:
- Dr. Sivana is prone to cackle madly, despite his laughter irritating everyone.Dr. Sivana looked up, through the cloudy sky of Venus, at the bright spot that was the sun.
And he laughed: "Heh! Heh! Heh!"
Somehow, it wasn't very funny at all to hear.
- Sivana guffaws unceasingly when his master plan has apparently come to fruition. It is so annoying of a noise everyone wants to punch him just to shut him up.Dr. Sivana was so pleased with himself he hadn't stopped "heh-heh-heh"ing in the last thirty minutes. If he hadn't been so important to the Monster Society, his associates probably would have squashed him just to shut him up.
- Dr. Sivana is prone to cackle madly, despite his laughter irritating everyone.
- Experienced Protagonist: Billy, Mary and Freddy have been heroes for a decade and a half and they have fought all kind of villains.
- Eye Scream: During one battle, Illyria rakes her claws across Mary's eyes. It is not enough to gouge Mary's eyes out, but it hurts all the same.
- Faster-Than-Light Travel: Thanks to the Speed of Mercury, the Marvel Family can fly faster than light and reach Venus in under three hours.Earth had shrunken to a bluish dot behind them. There was only the star-dotted blackness, the sun blazing before them, and another world growing nearer by the second. Their speed exceeded that of light. Only their great power could move the mass their bodies had accumulated now. They did it without seeming effort.
- Flashy Teleportation: Ibis using his teleportation magic is accompanied by a flash of light.Ibis raised his wand. "Nor will that be necessary, Bulletgirl. After all, the Ibistick has the power of magic supreme. All I need do is say, 'Ibistick! Transport myself and all those in this room with me, save Radar, to the surface of Venus, near Dr. Sivana's old hideout—'"
With a flash of light, like an old-time photographer's powder igniting, the nine of them were gone.
- Forgot About His Powers: Captain Marvel admits he could have broken free from Sivana's trap earlier if he had just remembered using the Wisdom of Solomon, which in turn reminded him about his flight power not being a physical power which could be affected by Sivana's paralysis ray.
- Friction Burn: The air around Captain Marvel, Jr. flares up briefly when he rushes towards Mister Atom and Red Crusher at super-speed.Junior sighed in relief, then set his jaw and flew downward like a meteor. His pace was so rapid that the aura of air friction was visible about him, briefly. He lanced downward towards the Menace of Metal, fists outstretched for a double hammer-blow.
- Gendered Outfit: Joyce Albright designs two superhero costumes resembling her husband's, Captain Midnight, but hers is clearly modeled after a female outfit.Plus two new arrivals who had crashed the party and only gotten in by showing i.d.'s from the Secret Squadron.
They were wearing kind-of copies of Captain Midnight's uniform. Except the guy's was blue, with an eye-mask to round it out, and the girl's was, well, a girl's costume. At least it was red, like the original Cap's. He called himself Mister Midnight and she called herself Midnight Maid.
- Giant Equals Invincible: The combined power of the Canadian and USA armies cannot slow down, let alone hurt, fifty-foot Red Crusher and ten-foot Mister Atom.One of their foemen was human, or appeared to be, if one could discount his fifty-foot height. [ ]
Beside him, much slighter in height but not in menace, stood a figure off of an old science fiction pulp cover, brought to life: Mr. Atom. A gleaming, metal, atomic-powered robot who had turned on its creator and sought to destroy the human race, with only Captain Marvel to stop him. [ ]
The two of them were advancing towards a mass of soldiers and tanks before them. They looked about as concerned as a football player stepping on a mass of roaches.
- God Couple: Freddy and Mary are two of the three most powerful beings in the world and have been dating for years.
- God in Human Form: When God Apollo shows up, he looks like a young blonde man.
- God's Hands Are Tied: The gods are bound by certain rules. One of those rules is they cannot intervene until or unless their champions request their aid directly.Shazam: "The villains draw upon your power, you know."
Apollo: "So they do. But I cannot intervene. Your trio has not asked for my aid directly."
Shazam: "They cannot, imprisoned as they are. And I, in my ghostly state, cannot offer them succor. Is there none upon this entire rock who can save my charges?"
Apollo: (sadly) "You know the rules, Old Man. Without their request, we cannot help."
- Godzilla Threshold: Two old, giant-sized enemies of Captain Marvel, Mister Atom and Red Crusher, are rampaging through America after crushing the combined power of Canadian and USA land forces. President Eisenhower sends the air force out, but he is painfully aware that if an aerial bombardment does not work, and the Marvel Family fails to appear, he might have to drop a nuke.
- Gondor Calls for Aid: Inverted. Radar suggests Captain Marvel he will need allies to confront a super-villain army, but Cap is sure the Marvel Family can handle it alone. Radar thinks otherwise, so he proceeds to call all retired heroes and puts a team together to help the Marvels out.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Georgina Sivana hates Mary Marvel because she is beautiful, powerful, has a decent mother... and always wins.Georgina Sivana: "You don't hate the Little Blue Cheese as much as I hate her. She's got looks and powers and a rich stepmother and a nice house and everything. And she wins, too. Every time, she wins."
- Held Gaze: In the fifth chapter, Mary and Freddy gaze at each other for several silent moments before kissing passionately.The World's Mightiest Girl turned to the World's Mightiest Boy. Both stared deeply at each other and tried to find something to say.
But there really wasn't much left to talk about.
So they fell into each other's arms and kissed, long and hard, while the Earth, the clouds, and over a thousand feet of sky turned beneath them.
- "Hey, You!" Haymaker: During one battle, Mary Marvel makes Black Beauty and Illyria almost collide with each other. As both villains are bickering, Mary sneaks behind them, tap on their shoulders, and punches both women when they turn.Mary took advantage of their argument to sneak behind them, tap both on the shoulder, and land punches to their faces when they turned.
- Holding Hands: Every so often, Mary and Freddy link hands while flying.They could not communicate verbally, but they could hand-sign to each other. The two of them flew very close, touching hands at times. They wanted intimacy, but they did not dare at the moment. Their comrade-in-arms was lost. Finding him was what mattered now.
- Human Hammer-Throw: When they clash, Black Beauty grabs Mary Marvel's hair, swings her around, and then she flings Mary into a mountainside.Black Beauty grabbed her from behind by the hair, and swung her around at hyperspeed. When she let go, the Shazam Girl volplanned straight into the side of a mountain. She left an imprint.
- Humongous Mecha: Captain Marvel's old enemy Mister Atom is an atomic-powered, rocket-shaped, ten-foot robot.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every chapter has the word "Monster(s)" in the title.
- Imagine Spot: During his first scene, Freddy feels his crippled leg aching again. Freddy closes his eyes and spends several minutes reminiscing Captain Nazi killing his grandfather and breaking his leg until one costumer's voice snaps Freddy out of his reverie.The temperature made his bum leg ache a bit. He massaged it with one hand and closed his eyes.
...The big German in the green suit and the blonde crewcut and the duelling scar is standing up in the boat and he doesn't care that he might swamp it he's holding that oar he's holding it and you can see in his eyes what he's going to do with it he's bringing it down on Grandfather Troop's...
"Freddy," said a voice.
"Um." Freddy snapped his eyes open. "Hi, Chief Bond."
The fireman was holding one of the Gazettes and had three cents in his other palm. He was a regular customer. Freddy took the coins. "Sorry, Chief, just a little woolgathering there."
- Immortality Begins at Twenty: Deconstructed. Billy, Mary and Freddy all but stopped aging after becoming the Marvel Family. Legally and mentally they are young adults who physically do not look one day older than fifteen. They are not happy about it, specially Mary and Freddy who want to get married.The old wizard had told them all that, after receiving the Shazam powers, their aging processes would be slowed to a crawl. The three of them would be nearly immortal, to ensure that the Universe would have three guardians of their caliber for as long as possible.
The big drawback was that they stayed kids.
Shazam had admitted once that, if they wanted, he could remove that factor from them and they would age normally. But he had no idea how it would affect their powers in their other bodies. None of them had opted to age, as a result.
Mary and Freddy had been wanting to get serious for years. But they still looked like kids. It drove Mrs. Bromfield, Mary's foster mother, up the wall that Mary was still a young girl in appearance.
- Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Ibac and the Acrobat gang up on Captain Marvel and manage to make him pass out. In the wake of his victory, the Acrobat is going to kick Marvel's head, but Ibac stops him. It looks like he is showing respect towards a downed adversary... until it's stated he simply doesn't want Acrobat to arouse Marvel by accident.
- Joker Immunity: Mary expresses frustration at the endless "Fighting super-villain > Turning them over to the cops > Fighting them again when they invariably break out of jail" cycle which has been going on and on during the last fourteen years. It is frustrating, tiresome, and something they cannot do anything about because they are not killers, and all in all their nemeses have not murdered anyone so far... as long as they know or are able to prove.Mary Marvel: Both of the guys think their Sivana is the worst, but I can tell you, Mom, Georgia has got to be the nastiest one of the pack. She's actually killed somebody, do you know that? Took a newspaper editor and shot him in cold blood. They couldn't pin the rap on her, but we know she did it."
Edith Bromfield: "Why don't you put her away?"
Mary Marvel: "We do, but they never stay in for very long. They know so much. They can always cook up a new way of getting out of jail. In the old days, Doc Sivana could even walk through walls. Can you believe that? Even I can't do that. It's more like, we go out there, we dance with them, and we bring them back home when the dance is over."
- Jumped at the Call: Captain Midnight firmly refuses to join the Squad of Justice when asked, but his wife Joyce and his apprentice Chuck are eager to don a pair of makeshift costumes and head for the Squad's rendezvous point.
- Latex Perfection: Discussed. It is stated there should not be plastic masks capable of deceiving the human eye... but Dr. Sivana has somehow succeeded into creating them.Ingram had reached beneath his chin and peeled something up for a few seconds.
There are no examples of the mask-maker's art which, as far as we know, can deceive the human eye. Such things as perfect likenesses of the human face which can be put on to fool another person into thinking he is really looking at flesh and bone features, rather than a plastic simulacrum, are beyond current capabilities.
Nonetheless, the mask Ingram had on was far beyond current capabilities.
- Legion of Doom: Dr. Sivana assembles a new Monster Society of Evil to kill the Marvels.Doctor Sivana: "We've got a big job for you, Ibac. I'm putting the Monster Society back together again. This time, we're going to take those three little costumed trolls that have caused us so much grief over the years, and kill them. That's just for starters."
Ibac: (grinning) "Count me in."
- Make My Monster Grow: Red Crusher was a normal-sized superhuman until Dr. Sivana doused him with a growth serum which turned him into a fifty-foot giant.One of their foemen was human, or appeared to be, if one could discount his fifty-foot height. He was dressed in the uniform of a North Korean Communist army officer, and he wielded a spiked mace on a chain many times the size of a wrecking ball. This was the Red Crusher, an old foe of Captain Marvel's. As a regular-sized villain, he had been trouble enough. But Sivana had found the formula that the Communists had used to expand one of their soldiers, Mong, to titanic size some months ago, dosed the Crusher with it, and endowed him with a ball-weapon in proportion to his new height.
- Mass "Oh, Crap!": The Monster Society of Evil freak out when Captain Marvel manages to break free from his restrains."Oh, dear," said the Weeper, pulling out his handkerchief and wringing it. "Oh, my."
"Oh, hell," offered the Rat.
- MayflyDecember Friendship: Apollo thinks the problem with gods befriending mortals is the latter are gone in a blink. Since he is quite fond of Shazam, he hopes the old wizard avoids acting hastily.There was nothing more to say, so Apollo let himself out and took up the reins of his chariot outside. The horses pulled him into the starry void.
By the time he returned, it would be finished, one way or another. He hoped Shazam wouldn't do anything too rash. He'd grown to like the old codger, over the millenia.
But that was the problem with mortals.
Just as soon as you started liking them, they up and died on you.
- The Masquerade Will Kill Your Dating Life: Being Captain Marvel killed Billy's relationship with his erstwhile girlfriend Cissie Summerly. Billy could not commit himself totally to their relationship because he would not reveal his hero identity; and it did not help that Cissie grew older whereas his powers ensured he never did.Cissie Summerly had been his girlfriend, some years ago. But things got in the way. One of them was Captain Marvel. Another thing was the fact that Cissie got taller, more mature, more beautiful, and Billy didn't.
She had also wanted Billy to get more serious about their relationship. And Billy didn't want to.
So it wasn't surprising that she told him that she wanted to date around, shortly after that. And, shortly after she told him, she had drifted out of his life altogether.
- More Deadly Than the Male: Captain Marvel and Captain Marvel, Jr. think Dr. Sivana is the worst, but Mary argues his daughter Georgia is the nastiest Sivana around. Her arguments? Georgia is the only one who has actually killed somebody. And she got away with it.Mary Marvel: "Both of the guys think their Sivana is the worst, but I can tell you, Mom, Georgia has got to be the nastiest one of the pack. She's actually killed somebody, do you know that? Took a newspaper editor and shot him in cold blood. They couldn't pin the rap on her, but we know she did it."
- My Greatest Failure: Several millennia later, Shazam still considers giving Teth-Adam powers was his biggest mistake.Even so, he had seemed old when he bequeathed his powers in ancient times to Teth-Adam, which was a great mistake. Then, millenia later, he gave those powers to the three youths, which was anything but a mistake.
- Mythology Gag: Dr. Sivana's worldwide broadcast is an homage to his first appearance in Whiz Comics #2, where he took over all the world's radio stations to silence them forever.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The Squadron of Justice have just arrived in Venus when Bulletman is attacked by a frog-like monster. Bulletman flies skywards followed by his wife to get rid of the amphibian, with the unfortunate consequence of alerting the Monster Society of the Squadron's presence.
- Non-Action Big Bad: Dr. Sivana is a brilliant Mad Scientist and a good strategist, but he is not a fighter, which is because he runs away when the Marvel Family manage to break out of their shackles and begin trashing his allies.
- No-Sell: During a battle between the Squadron and the Monster Society, Bulletman and Bulletgirl hurl themselves towards their old enemy, Black Rat. To their shock, he stands calmly still as they bounce off his body.Bulletman and Bulletgirl hurtled themselves towards the Black Rat, their old enemy, who wore his familiar rat costume. Both were empowered by the gravity helmets they wore, and the sera that coursed through their bodies. The Black Rat only had his clawlike finger extensions to rely on.
At least, that was what the heroes thought before they bounced off his body like rubber balls.
- Nothing Personal: When Mary Marvel and Illyria clash for the second time, the Nazi villainess argues Mary Marvel should not have taken the beatdown she got personally because she would beat any American up. Mary retorts she is taking it personally because Black Beauty beat her.Mary Marvel: "I guess that just leaves us."
Illyria: "You shouldn't have taken it personally. I'd have done it to any good-for-nothing American."
Mary Marvel: "But you did it to me."
- Off with His Head!: Dr. Sivana intends to use his strength-augmenting disks to rip Captain Marvel's head from his shoulders.
- Oh, Crap!: Two punks making a getaway after robbing a liquor store freak out when suddenly their car starts floating vertically upwards, and they realize they have been caught by Captain Marvel.Looking through the back window of the car, Lennie caught a glimpse of what looked like two red arms. He swore, jerked a thumb in the arms' general direction, and yelled, "We been hijacked!"
"It's him," said his partner. "Oh my God, it's Cap..."
"Yeah," Lennie said, glumly.
- Older Than They Look: Due to the ancient magic slowing their aging processes to a crawl, Billy, Mary and Freddy look physically fifteen, but they are in their late twenties.Edith Bromfield: "Will you always be this young, do you think?"
Mary Bromfield: "I don't know. I hope not. I pray not. I mean, Mom.... you'd think being 15 forever would be a great thing, wouldn't you, unless you really had to do it?"
- One-Man Army: The Canadian Army cannot even slow Mister Atom and Red Crusher down as they march through Canadian soil.The announcer spoke of a large rocket from space which had landed in northern Canada, too quickly for interception, and broken apart to disgorge two huge figures. One of them was a giant robot. The other was a titanic man in a Communist army uniform.
The Canadian army had sent out a detachment to intercept them, and the twosome had gone through the tanks, weapons, and men faster than a combine through a wheatfield. They continued on their way, and towns were being evacuated before them.
- Parental Marriage Veto: Edith does not mind Mary dating Freddy, but Mary feels her mother is reluctant to let them get married. Mary wonders if her mother's balking out because Edith's snobby business associates would not think highly of someone who lets her daughter marry a newsboy. Compounding the issue, Freddy is perfectly willing to elope, but Mary wants it to be a proper ceremony... which they cannot afford.
- Parents Know Their Children: When Edith Bromfield lets on that she knows Marys secret, she points out her own daughter could not keep her fooled forever.
- Period Piece: This story is written in 1954. There are still comic-book burnings, it is believed Eisenhower will run for a second term, and people are worried about Communism spreading all over South-Eastern Asia.
- The Power of Hate: Even when she is being utterly wrecked by Mary Marvel, Georgia Sivana refuses to surrender or even fall unconscious because of how much she hates Mary. Her hatred is literally the only reason she is still standing up.Georgia struggled to free herself from the pain, struggled to bring her hands or foot or knee up against the Little Red Cheese, the girl whom she hated more than anyone else in the universe.
But she was not successful.
The Shazam girl clouted her again on the other side of the jaw, then followed it up with two more blows. Georgia was on the ropes now, or would have been if there had been a ring in space for them to fight in. Another blow, and then another. Only hate was keeping the bad girl awake now. She wouldn't give in, not even while her enemy was pummeling her like a heavyweight champ. She wouldn't...
- The Power of the Sun: Dr. Sivana built devices that collect sunlight and turn their bearers into super-beings with enormous strength, resilience and flight capabilities."My associates, who will appear with me in our next broadcast, were men of powerat least some of them were. But even those who had no power at all have gained power enough to challenge the Three Cheesy Marvels, and those who had power before have acquired the might to beat them. And they did. All of this was done by a power we tap every day, to warm our bones, to raise our crops, to keep the chlorophyll producing oxygen for all life to exist on Earth."
"The power of the sun."
"I devised a method of directly tapping the great energy of the sun, through a lattice of receiver-transmitters we installed at a point near enough to the sun to be efficient for our purposes. Don't worry, men of Earth, it's far beyond your capacities to reach. I don't feel insecure about revealing its existence. The receivers empower my associates. As a result, the Monster Society of Evil have become monsters beyond your greatest nightmares."
- Pressure Point: Mary Marvel pokes two pressure points on Georgia Sivana's body to knock her into unconsciousness.Mary looked at her opponent, saw her bruised face, saw her glassy eyes, and held back her upraised fist in consideration.
She, too, had the wisdom of Solomon. Part of that wisdom included the workings of the human body, and what pressure points could be relied upon to do when touched in a certain way.
With a movement, she placed herself behind Georgia Sivana, and pressed down hard on two of those points, wrapping her legs about Georgia's midsection to keep her in place. The bad girl struggled for a few moments, but for no more than that. Mary kept the hold on long enough to ensure that Georgia couldn't be bluffing. The girl hung limp in her grasp.
- Publicly Discussing the Secret: Mary and Freddy talk about the former's mother knowing her secret identity and discuss the troubles caused by their agelessness over burgers in a diner. To their credit, they speak as ambiguously as possible.
- Punch Catch: Ibac shows off his greatly enhanced strength by grabbing and holding Captain Marvel's fist during their first brawl.He rocketed his mighty fist forward and slammed it into Ibac's mouth.
The villain's mohawked head ratcheted back. For a moment, Cap was sure he had done some damage, and sent his other fist forward to follow up on it. But Ibac's larger hand caught Marvel's fist, and held it firmly. Cap was astonished.
- Punched Across the Room: During the final battle, Mary Marvel punches Black Beauty through three rooms and out of the villain compound. The villainess crashes into the jungle outside and passes out.She elbowed the villainess in the gut and knocked her away, then turned to face an oncoming Black Beauty. She let the brunette take three shots at her jaw, each of which she slapped away, then drew back and let her have it.
Black Beauty didn't stop travelling until she was through two rooms and the outer wall and skidded to a halt in the Venusian vegetation, as conscious as a stone statue.
- Put Their Heads Together: Magnificus bangs his father and brother's heads together during one brawl."What the heck," said Magnificus, and leaped into the fray. He took Junior in one hand, his father in the other, and banged their heads together with a most satisfying crack.
- Required Secondary Powers: The Marvel Family's magically enhanced strength and endurance allow them to move their impossibly increased mass when they surpass the speed of light.Their speed exceeded that of light. Only their great power could move the mass their bodies had accumulated now. They did it without seeming effort.
- Retired Badass: Most of members of the Squadron of Justice had not suited up in many years, but they return to help the Marvels out.Mister Scarlet: "The costumes are over. They had their time, but now the war, as far as we're concerned, is over. All we are now, is ourselves. Without the masks. So don't let me hear that you've put on the suit again and started trying to catch crooks. Fighting crime and studies don't mix."
- Screw Your Ultimatum!: On their way to USA, Red Crusher and Mister Atom are intercepted by Canadian and American troops whose "Stop or we'll stop you" warnings are laughed off.Gen. Wade raised a bullhorn to his lips. "Attention. You are approaching the border between Canada and the United States. Turn back and surrender, or face retaliation."
The Red Crusher laughed, swung his ball-mace in a circle, and said something in his native language. Both Battle and Wade understood him, and knew it was anything but an agreement to their terms. They had not expected it to be.
- Secret Identity Identity: Mary Marvel has trouble juggling between her different identities. Saying one word, she becomes the world's mightiest and most famous woman. But then she must change back and become her plain, normal and vulnerable self. And she must pretend Mary Bromfield and Mary Marvel have nothing to do with each other.Mary Marvel: "I can do something that only two other people can do. I can, I can, you know what I can do, and when I do it, it's like nothing you could ever imagine, if you haven't ever done it before. I can fly through space fast enough to reach the Sun and back inside a day, easy. I can lift just about anything, maybe including the Earth. I can punch through solid steel and laugh off bullets. The whole world knows the other me, Mom, and the other me has done so much good. So much. But then... But then I have to say the word again, and I'm just me. Plain little old Mary Batson again. And I've got to hide it, pretend, make believe I'm not the other me. Somebody might come and kill you and Jives for revenge, or kill me before I could say the word. Not that they haven't tried!"
- Secret Keeper: Joan Jameson, Billy's secretary at WHIZ Radio, knows Billy's secret identity.He punched his intercom button. "Joan. I'm going to be out for an hour. Please hold my calls till then."
"Right, Billy," said Joan. She knew who he was, in both selves. She'd known it since she caught him changing on her first day of work. Joan Jameson had been a big help to him since that day. And to his other self, as well.
- Secret Secret-Keeper: Edith Bromfield shocks her daughter Mary out of her wits when she suddenly lets on that she has known Mary's secret identity for a while.Mary whirled and faced Edith with a look of horror.
"Mom," she whispered. "Mom, don't tell me you..."
"I know," said Edith, with a sad expression on her face. "Mary, do you think you can live with a person as long as you've lived with me and keep a secret forever?"
- Shooting Superman: In the second chapter, a crook shoots at Captain Marvel. Not only is it moronic because he knew it was useless, but also because it gets him charged with attempted murder. His younger partner proves to be smarter by peacefully turning over his gun.Lennie scrambled for the window, stuck his gun out, and pumped four shots at the chest of the man who stood beside the car.
As he expected, the shots ricocheted off the man's red-clad chest, doing some damage to the vehicles in the lot, but, thankfully, hitting no human flesh. Lennie had figured what had happened would happen, but he had to make sure, dammit. At any rate, it made him feel a little better.
- The story is a tribute to The Monster Society of Evil.
- The title is a reference to the Here Be Dragons phrase.
- Freddy's newsstand sells several comic-books: Superman, Uncle Scrooge, Crime Does Not Pay (a book published by Lev Gleason from 1942 to 1955) and Frontline Combat (an EC Comics war book that was cancelled in 1954, only twelve months after the final issue of Marvel Family).
- Mister Atom and Red Crusher's rampage reminds some soldiers of The War of the Worlds, which, as the narration points out, premiered one year before.
- While mocking Captain Marvel, Dr. Sivana smugly cites Walt Whitman's famous poem:Dr. Sivana: This is the weapon that has brought you low, Oh Captain, My Captain.
- Show Within a Show: Freddy's newsstand sells comic-books like Superman (who doesn't exist in Earth-S) or Uncle Scrooge (given the year, probably issues of Carl Barks' run).Freddy Freeman: "Denny, if it's about the new comics, they don't come in today. You know that, right?"
Denny Smith: "Right, Mr. Freeman. I just want to make sure you know to put the right ones back for me."
Freddy Freeman: "Sure. Superman, Uncle Scrooge, Crime Does Not Pay, and Frontline Combat. They'll be here for you, Den, when they get here. If they get here."
- Sleeping Dummy: In order to break Mr. Atom out, Dr. Sivana caused a blackout. Before the facility's auxiliary generators started working, Sivana got in there and got Mr. Atom out, leaving a bogus robot body in its place. It took a week for the AEC to find out they were guarding a phony prisoner.
- Space Base: The New Monster Society of Evil's secret base is located on Venus. It looks like "a cross between two movie genres, the science fiction epic and the gangster film."The meeting had gone well. Before long, he'd be ready to load up the transport rockets and send his cronies and hirelings from the soil of their Venusian base here back to Earth, with his own two brats along to coordinate things.
- Start of Darkness: Dr. Sivana's eldest son figures out his father's descent into villainy was a combination of his wife's death and being turned down by everyone when he tried to make money legitimately.How their father had managed to manufacture them, he had never been certain. He had reportedly given their mother a shot of something, with her concession, that would produce magnificent physical specimens in their offspring. Mom had agreed to it. After all, who doesn't want beautiful children? But Magnificus's birth had taxed her, and she never quite recovered from bearing Beautia. Within two months of the girl's birth, their mother was dead.
He figured that had something to do with how his father turned out in later years. That, and the perpetual wall of NO his father had run into, every time he tried to sell his new theories of industry to the barons of commerce and manufacturing.
- Stay in the Kitchen: When Ibis visits Jim and Susan Barr -formerly known as Bulletman and Bulletgirl- to recruit them, Jim makes clear he does not want to perform heroics again, let alone allow his wife to risk her life. Very angrily'', Susan reminds him it is not his decision. Jim tries to talk her out of it again, but he ends up relenting.Bulletman: "In case you've forgotten, Susan, you're a wife and mother now. My wife, Jimmy's mother. We stopped wearing the helmets and costumes six years ago. I won't have you gallivanting around—"
Bulletgirl: "You won't? Mr. Jim Barr, in case you've forgotten, I agreed to be your wife, not your bondservant. I'm also not employed full-time. If I want to put on the suit again, I'll damned well do it. If the guys we used to fight before are loose again, I think we have a responsibility to put them back."
- Storming the Castle: Billy figures out Dr. Sivana's HQ's location and tries to assault the place, but he is defeated and captured. Later Mary and Freddy try to sneak into the place, and they suffer the same fate.
- Supernormal Bindings: Dr. Sivana finds a way to forge Marvelium, an extra-tough metal, into shackles to bind Marvel with.Their attention was drawn to the red-and-yellow-clad man whose body was held pent in metallic bands that encircled his chest, arms, legs, waist, ankles, and neck. Two electrodes protruding from opposite walls held him in something like a stasis field. But how could even those hold Captain Marvel?
"What've you got him in?" asked Magnificus.
Sivana, Jr. answered. "Oh, it's really great. Ironic, too. You see, those metal bonds holding him are made of Marvelium. That's a metal Big Red himself discovered. Only he was able to work it, it was so hard."
"That was before," chortled Georgia. "Before Daddy powered up Ibac and all the rest. It took them a lot of effort, but they managed it."
"The stasis beam prevents him from using his flight power to simply fly off with the Marvelium around him," confided Sivana.
- Surrounded by Idiots: At the climax, Dr. Sivana grumbles that his subordinates are unable to think for themselves or do anything without his input.Dr. Sivana: "Illyria! Increase the power of the paralysis ray!"
Illyria: "How do I do that?"
Dr. Sivana: "How do I know? Get another rat to run in the generator! You all expect me to do your thinking for you!"
- Surveillance as the Plot Demands: The old wizard Shazam uses his magic to observe the Marvels from afar.In a room on the Rock of Eternity, the old wizard sat, and stared at a conjuring of Earth.
The image of the world on which he had been born hung in a flickering vision-screen before him, the stone wall of his cottage visible beyond it. [ ]
Old Shazam's forefinger flickered out, bringing various parts of the globe into closer focus. The viewpoint zoomed in, as if held by a cameraman with a powerful lens. He homed in on the presences of the three he knew and loved best.
- Superpower Lottery: Power-wise, the Marvel Family are their world's mightiest heroes by far. No hero from Earth-S has so many high-level powers, and the Marvels can only be matched by some other guys from Earth-One and Earth-Two.Mary Marvel: "I can do something that only two other people can do. I can, I can, you know what I can do, and when I do it, it's like nothing you could ever imagine, if you haven't ever done it before. I can fly through space fast enough to reach the Sun and back inside a day, easy. I can lift just about anything, maybe including the Earth. I can punch through solid steel and laugh off bullets."
- Take That!: The sixth chapter has conservative super-hero Chase Yale -a.k.a. Commando Yank- dissing Joseph McCarthy:Chase Yale had been trying to catch up with Senator McCarthy for an interview. It was tough enough to do so. The man was being blown out of the water by people like Ed Murrow and some of the Senate members who were finding the courage to stand up to him. Now that he was on the slide, of course. Chase wanted to make sure he kept sliding.
A small part of Chase felt a twinge of guilt. He didn't like Communists any better than McCarthy did... well, it was hard to gauge just how deeply Joe and his cronies hated them, that was for sure; it couldn't all be a put-up job... but the more he'd gotten to see the man in action, the less he liked him. Chase did love the new spirit of conservatism in the U.S. But he didn't want to see it fall into fascism.
He'd spent enough time fighting it in Europe, as a reporter and in costume.
- Take Over the World: Dr. Sivana intends to take over the world to take revenge on those who did ignored him and mocked him.Dr. Sivana: "Look at this legacy your dear old dad is handing you. Not many people can say that their father's conquered the Earth, eh? Or killed the Marvel Family? No matter where we go after this, no matter what we do, nobody will be on the same level as us after this. Of course, they never were. But this time, this time, they'll all know it."
- Tempting Fate: At the very end, Sivana declares he has a contingency plan to get rid of his enemies for good. When his son Thaddeus asks, "What if it doesn't work?", Sivana is not amused.Sivana shot them a look of contempt. "I've called it Suspendium. And I assure you, it will even work on the Marvel Family. Let them have their medals, for all the good it'll do them. Once they're in Suspendium, that will be the end of the Marvel Family!"
"Unless something messes up again," said Thad, "and it'll be the end of the Sivana family."
No one outside the confines of the rocket could hear the sound of the slap that followed.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: Marvels do not kill their enemies. Cap acknowledges their philosophy has its drawbacks, but they are not going to change it.Marvel worked his tongue in his cheek. The Red Crusher, an Asian Communist mutant-being the size of a building, had crossed swords with the Marvel Family on several occasions. They thought they'd put him away during the last go-around, but the Marvels didn't kill their enemies. Sometimes that put them at a disadvantage, but they weren't about to change. They were heroes, not executioners.
- Time Abyss:
- Amentep and his wife Taia were born in Ancient Egypt over four millennia ago.When he stepped through the doorway into the living room again, he looked like a new man. His head was wrapped in a red turban with a yellow jewel at the forehead, and his body was clothed in a formal, black suit with a red opera-style cape hanging from his shoulders. In his hand was the golden wand with the oblong head that was centuries older than himself.
And Amentep, like Taia, was over 4,000 years old.
- Shazam was born eons ago. His power made the first super-hero and virtually immortal, until he asked for the gift of aging.Eons past, Shazam himself had wielded the power of the ancient gods, as a super-hero—the first such being on Earth. Then he had asked for the gift of aging, and been given it, though he aged at a much reduced rate compared to normal men.
- Amentep and his wife Taia were born in Ancient Egypt over four millennia ago.
- Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: Subverted. Although most of the action happens in Fawcett City and later in Venus, readers have to see people in Africa, China, Russia, USA... reacting to Dr. Sivana's worldwide broadcast.
- Took a Level in Badass: Normally, Ibac is already powerful enough to give Captain Marvel a run for his money, but Dr. Sivana's discs magnify his already considerable might.Captain Marvel reeled back from the punches delivered by Ibac and the Acrobat. They actually hurt. That was incredible.
Ibac, certainly, had the power to injure him. He was about as close to a Shazam-powered being as his evil patron could make him. But he seemed more powerful this time. At least Cap's equal, seemingly... possibly more. The Acrobat had been no more than a human criminal, one of Captain Marvel, Jr.'s foes, who turned into a crazed killer beneath the full moon. Now, here he was, surviving unaided in outer space and trading punches with the World's Mightiest Mortal himself.
- A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: Billy gets unusually angry at Mary and Freddy because they look more concerned with their relationship's issues than with investigating whatever Sivana is currently up, so he decides to fly to Venus and attack Sivana's base unaided. He gets beaten and captured.
- Trash Talk: Mary Marvel, Black Beauty and Illyria exchange insults and taunts at the beginning of their battle.Mary Marvel: "Two superwomen. Fine. I've hardly ever encountered girls I can duke it out with. What'll it be, honeys, two out of three falls?"
Black Beauty: "Don't be so smartmouthed before the fight, honey. Save it till after... if you're alive!"
Illyria: "And after the first fall, weakling girl, there will be no need for another."
- Underestimating Badassery: Several members of the Squad did not take seriously their former enemies of the Monster Society until they found out the hard way their physical abilities had been augmented.Bulletman and Bulletgirl hurtled themselves towards the Black Rat, their old enemy, who wore his familiar rat costume. Both were empowered by the gravity helmets they wore, and the sera that coursed through their bodies. The Black Rat only had his clawlike finger extensions to rely on.
At least, that was what the heroes thought before they bounced off his body like rubber balls.
- Up, Up and Away!: The Marvels often adopt an "arms stretched forward" stance while soaring across the space.The two heirs of Shazam pointed their arms above their heads and flew upwards, reaching the edge of the atmosphere, seeing day fade into the eternal night of Space, feeling the cold (which, for them, was bearable), sensing their lungs automatically shutting down as they entered vacuum. Their skins worked as pressure suits, preventing their superhuman blood from boiling into the void. Like Captain Marvel, they were the perfect astronauts.
- Use Your Head: During one battle, Mary flies right into Illyria's stomach.Angrily, Mary used her flight power and slammed her head into Illyria's stomach. The villainess groaned and doubled.
- Villain: Exit, Stage Left: When his master plan is blown to smithereens, Dr. Sivana hastily boards his rocket and takes off from Venus before the Squadron of Justice can apprehend him.
- Villain Team-Up: Dr. Sivana tracks down every villain fought by the Marvels to recruit them into his new super-villain team.Dr. Sivana: "We've got a big job for you, Ibac. I'm putting the Monster Society back together again. This time, we're going to take those three little costumed trolls that have caused us so much grief over the years, and kill them. That's just for starters."
Ibac: (grinning) "Count me in."
- Villain Teleportation: When Dr. Sivana decides to make his escape, he teleports their children into his rocket ship; a process during which their bodies are temporarily transformed into a gaseous mass.
- Villainous Breakdown: When Captain Marvel destroys his perfect death trap, Dr. Sivana goes quickly from disbelief to fear to despair to sheer rage.
- Waking Up Elsewhere: Part of Freddy's backstory, which he reminisces about at the first chapter. Captain Nazi knocked him into a river, and Freddy passed out. When he came around, he found himself in a hospital where he had been brought by Captain Marvel.He remembered the blonde man who had killed his grandfather and given him the lamed leg.
He remembered waking up in a strange place, with Captain Marvel in front of him.
- What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Mister Midnight and Midnight Maid are equipped with several blinding weapons. Ridiculous compared with the Marvels' incredible powers or Ibis' sorcery, but effective to disable a Flying Brick with no defense against them.Mister Midnight and Midnight Maid reached in their belt-pouches and came up with weapons. Chuck's was the blackout device, Joyce held the Torch. She activated hers a second before his and blasted the Poet's eyes with a ray of intense brightness. A second later, Chuck's gimmick projected a cone of blackness, engulfing their foe.
"Confound it!" griped the Poet, floundering about. "They didn't give me a power to deal with this!"
- White Sheep: Magnificus and his sister Beautia are the two only good, honest members of the Sivana family.
- The Worf Barrage: The combined firepower of two armies cannot even scratch Mister Atom and Red Crusher.The general used the bullhorn once again. "Commence firing!"
The Canadians and Americans didn't need a second prompting. Tank turrets unleashed explosive shells at the pair. Bazookamen fired rockets. Cannons blasted away at the twosome, and regular soldiers opened up with what appeared to be a solid wall of bullets. The only thing in their favor was the size of their targets; practically none of them missed.
The bullets rebounded. The shells exploded without much effect. The rockets' red glare fizzled into ineffectiveness.
A few of the soldiers had seen the movie, War of the Worlds, a year ago. Those who had flashed on some of the scenes in it, and grew cold, internally.
- Wrestler in All of Us: As fighting Mary Marvel, Black Beauty uses a headlock she learned watching female wrestling.Black Beauty was next, grappling Mary from behind and twisting her into a painful headlock that she'd learned watching women wrestlers on TV.
- Wronski Feint: During an aerial duel with Black Beauty and Illyria, Mary Marvel uses her superior flying technique to outmaneuver them and make them collide with each other.
- You Can't Thwart Stage One: By the story's mid-point, Captain Marvel has figured out where Dr. Sivana is hiding. So, Billy flies towards his base, but he is defeated, and he cannot stop Sivana from deploying Mister Atom and Red Crusher.