Notable Mini-Series

Captain Marvel has also featured prominently in at least two post-Zero Hour mini-series.

In "Underworld Unleashed", the demonic Neron attempts to barter power in exchange for the souls of some of the DC universe's most powerful characters. His proclaimed aim is to acquire the "noblest soul of all". At the time, the heroes of the DC universe assume that he's referring to Superman, but it is later revealed that Neron has his sights set on Captain Marvel. Eventually, Captain Marvel agrees to sell his soul to Neron, in exchange for the well being of the rest of mankind. Neron attempts to take the soul but is overwhelmed by it because all the souls he takes must have some element of corruption, some aspect of self-interest or greed motivating the exchange. Captain Marvel's soul, however, was pure and therefore useless to Neron.

In the critically acclaimed mini-series, "Kingdom Come", Captain Marvel finds himself on the side of the villains. Lex Luthor corrupted and brainwashed our hero using technology stolen from Sivana and a host of mind-numbing worms that bear more than a passing resemblance to Mister Mind. The mini-series comes to a climax with a head-to-head battle between Captain Marvel and Superman. Both combatants are comparable in strength, but Captain Marvel batters Superman almost to defeat by calling down SHAZAM's lightning upon him. (Superman is vulnerable to magic and SHAZAM's lightning is most certainly magical). At the very end, however, with a nuclear bomb falling on most of the world's metahuman population (good and bad), Superman asks Billy to make a choice: to choose between letting the bomb fall to destroy "the metahuman threat" or to let Superman stop the bomb and save them all. Instead, Billy transforms into Captain Marvel one last time and uses his lightning to detonate the bomb in the upper atmosphere. The bomb still kills many (including Captain Marvel himself), but not as many as if it had exploded at ground level. Captain Marvel's sacrifice teaches Superman that, like Billy, the fates of mankind and the metahumans are not separate choices - they are inextricably linked.

Although Captain Marvel and Superman share the lime light of Kingdom Come, other members of the Marvel family, like most of the DC universe, also make an appearance. The wizard SHAZAM appears briefly in a scene as part of a cabal of otherworldly powers (including the Phantom Stranger, the Highfather fof New Genesis, Ganthet of Oa and Zeus), who observe the situation on Earth with growing concern. Freddy and Mary, now known as King Marvel and Lady Marvel, appear as background characters in several scenes as part of the forces of good, along with their child, the Whiz. King Marvel's costume is similar to his Captain Marvel Junior costume, except that its style pays homage to Elvis Presley who, in turn, was apparently a fan of Captain Marvel Junior. Lady Marvel's costume is similar to the white and yellow costume Mary wore after the Family Reunion storyline, but predates that story. Even Hoppy the Marvel Bunny makes a brief appearance as a child's toy in a Luthor-induced delusion of Billy's.

© Mark Wann 2012.  All characters owned by DC Comics.