In Superman #276, we were introduced to 'Captain Thunder', a
Captain Marvel counterpart created as a test run for the revival of the
original. I have used Captain Thunder's 'Earth T' as a convenient place to
put some other characters and events which contradict mainstream Fawcett
continuity. Designated Earth-276 by John Wells.
"Make Way For Captain Thunder!"
Story: Elliot S! Maggin
Art: Curt Swan & Bob Oksner
Editing: Julius Schwartz
Two alley cats bear witness to a bright flash of light appearing
nearby... From it, emerges a startled Willie Fawcett -- a young boy who
possesses some amazing powers... Before the youth can muster his
thoughts, he looks up into the sky, and sees the Man of Steel soaring
through the skies above. Superman, as well as the other citizens of
Metropolis will be in for a surprise when they... "Make Way For Captain
Willie has never seen Superman before, much less has been in this part of
town before. When he asks how to get to 51st Street and Governor's
Plaza, the youth is directed to use the uptown bus... and a transit
token. The confusion continues when Willie Fawcett gets off at his
uptown stop... The bus driver gave him a dirty look when he tried to pay
five cents for the ride. He is unaware of when they raised it to
thirty-five cents. Instead of the WHAM-TV Building where Willie works...
he finds Galaxy Communications in its place. Two longhaired youths see
his crewcut and figure that the boy is not up on current hair trends.
For a moment, Willie Fawcett wonders if he's gone into the future.
Before he can enter the building and learn what happened to WHAM-TV --
Willie and the other pedestrians look up towards the sky. "It's a
bird... it's a plane... it's Superman!" While the spectators are awed by
the Man of Steel in flight, one hardened citizen has had his fill of the
tourists. The youth watches as Superman chases after a giant flying
reptile, which has begun causing panic in the streets. The Action Ace
knows that this is only a decoy illusion, designed to distract him from a
crime taking place elsewhere...
As the Man of Steel follows the flying reptile, Willie sees a helicopter
descending towards an armored car. Since this looks like a crime about
to take place, he rubs his magic belt buckle and says... "...THUNDER!"
SHA-BOOM! The magical burst of starlight causes Willie Fawcett to
disappear... and for Captain Thunder to appear in his place. Seized by a
strange compulsion, the Captain decides to aid the armored crooks robbing
the armored car. Their illusion has led Superman on a wild goose chase,
but they see a flying figure heading their way.
They regard the newcomer as a cheap imitation of their local hero, but
know that they're about to be in serious trouble. BRAT-A-TAT To their
amazement, the colorfully-clad figure tells them that he's now in charge
of the caper, and for them to follow him in their helicopter for a swift
getaway. The bullets from the machine gun bounce off of the caped figure
before them. On the other side of town... the Action Ace uses
super-suction to pull up some river water... creating a waterspout to
trap the flying reptile. When the spout heads for the upper atmosphere,
both it and the "reptile" will be turned to vapor. Superman is now ready
to head for where the action is.
His telescopic-vision leads him to the helicopter and the costumed
muscleman flying off with an armored car. When Superman asks for his
surrender, the Captain gives him a kick in the chops. Not impressed by
so flabby a blow, the Man of Steel delivers a punch to Captain Thunder's
solar plexus. Realizing that this Superman must be more powerful than he
appears to be, the Captain hurls the armored car at him --
As the Action Ace catches the armored car, he does not see Captain
Thunder rubbing his magic belt buckle, and saying... "THUNDER!" SHA-BOOM
Willie Fawcett reappears on the sidewalk, with no memory of his
alter-ego's criminal deeds. With the armored car back on the ground,
Superman knows that he'll soon have a rematch with "Big Red", but first
he must catch up with the getaway helicopter. After rounding up the
armored crooks -- mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent is back at his desk,
where he receives a visitor. The lad introduces himself as Willie
Fawcett... and he has learned that the reporter is a friend of
Superman's. He has something very important to tell the Man of Steel.
As Willie shows the autographed picture of Captain Thunder in his wallet,
Clark realizes that this is the same character he had met earlier.
Since he's a friend of the Man of Steel, Willie decides to share the
important information with Clark. Willie Fawcett and Captain Thunder are
one and the same. As an orphan, the youth went to summer camp... and one
evening as the others slept... Willie Fawcett found himself unable to
fall asleep. HOOT HOO-OOT! HOOO-OOOOOOT A wise old owl rouses him...
HOO-HOOT... and wants him to follow. The lad left summer camp behind...
to follow after the horned owl... and soon found himself at a hillside...
Willie gestures to the owl not to fly into the solid rock wall ahead.
The owl is in no danger, for the side of the hill has opened up. Not
afraid of what's happened so far, Willie enters... and finds himself in
the presence of Merokee, last of the great medicine men of the Mohegan
tribe. The medicine man bids the boy to step forward, and learns that
the tribal legends had foretold of his arrival. A noble youth would
receive the great powers from the last of the great Mohegan shamans --
Willie Fawcett has been chosen. When he wears the magic belt buckle, he
will have seven spiritual powers bestowed unto him. Tornado...Power.
Hare...Speed. Uncas... Bravery. Nature...Wisdom. Diamond... Toughness.
Eagle...Flight. Ram... Tenacity.
Merokee tells Willie to rub the magic belt buckle and to say the magic
word made from the first letter of each name on the list. He sees that
they spell... "...THUNDER!" SHA-BOOM! A bright flash of starlight fills
the ancient chamber, transforming him into... Captain Thunder! With his
work completed, the servant of the Great Spirit is ready to pass on...
The Captain watches as Merokee passes through an opening in the ceiling,
where the shaman goes to a far better place... while he begins the battle
against evil in all of its forms. This was Captain Thunder's task...
fighting against criminals and mad scientists alike on his world... for
no other purpose than it was the right thing to do.
The last thing that Willie Fawcett can remember is the Captain fighting
against the Monster League of Evil across nineteen hundred and
fifty-three dimensions of space-and-time... After a long battle, Captain
Thunder decides to end it, but the Monster League has only his defeat in
mind. The League is defeated when the Captain uses one of their number
to batter them into submission. Now imprisoned in the strange dimension,
the Monster League of Evil will no longer be a threat to Earth. HEH HEH
HEH Unbeknownst to the Captain, the Monster League have taken secret
measures against him... and he will never be the same again. After
crossing through the barrier of space-and-time... Willie found himself in
an alley on a street he'd never been before. He had thought that he must
have arrived in the future. The mild-mannered reporter tells Willie that
there's no record of a Captain Thunder on Earth. There have been reports
of a super-crook who fits the Captain's description being involved in an
armored car robbery. The youth now realizes why he can't recall anything
as Captain Thunder.
The Monster League of Evil have turned the Captain into a super-villain.
This was the true nature of their veiled threat to the caped hero. Clark
doesn't believe that Willie is lying -- but he might think that he is
Captain Thunder. He suggests to the lad that they head for police
headquarters and see if there's a report on a missing Willie Fawcett. On
the streets of Metropolis, Lois Lane has joined Clark and Willie on their
walk. When she asks her fellow reporter if he wanted her as a babysitter,
the mild-mannered reporter assures her that Willie might prove to be fit
for a human interest story. As they arrive outside the police records
center... Lois is reassures the lad that they'll find out where he came
from, but Clark's super-hearing has picked up something coming from the
garage underneath the police station. His x-ray vision sees a prisoner
transfer gone awry.
Pausing only to ask Willie if he's hungry, the mild-mannered reporter
offers to buy him a hamburger, and races off in the other direction. The
youth is struck by Clark's sudden display of kindness, but Lois has seen
it before, and knows that the reporter has picked a fine time to
disappear. While they wait outside the police building... Lois hears the
commotion and they both learn about the breakout. Willie Fawcett excuses
himself from Miss Lane to rub his magic belt buckle... "THUNDER!"
SHA-BOOM! Captain Thunder has come for a fight to the finish against the
Man of Steel. When asked how he was able to reappear, the Captain
confesses that it was reflex action on his alter ego's part. As they
collide in midair, the escape vehicle continues on its way.
The criminals will not be able to hide from Superman for long, and his
immediate concern is on Captain Thunder. Both fly away from Metropolis,
where the Action Ace ducks into a cloud. Not having any super-vision
powers, the Captain enters the thundercloud without fear. On the other
side of the cloud, the Man of Steel uses his super-cold breath leave
Captain Thunder inside the freezer. CRACKLE Flexing his tornado-powered
muscles, the Captain breaks free, and grabs onto Superman's leg with
The Action Ace is flung halfway through a mountain, but uses his
heat-vision to detach a large piece... lift it... and send it down on the
Captain. FFR-RUMMP No longer in the mood for games, Captain Thunder
wants to find out which of them is the World's Mightiest Mortal.
KA-POWW! An irresistible force meets an immovable object... as the two
come to grips -- in hand-to-hand... The Captain is angered... and the
time has come... THROOOOMM! For Superman to return him from whence he
came. Captain Thunder yells after the Big Blue Cheese -- wondering where
he's flying off to. It's a chance, but things will have to work
themselves out. The Captain is in no mood for any more storm cloud
The Man of Steel uses his super-wits on Captain Thunder, having studied
his speech and behavior patterns in order to predict his reactions. By
rubbing his hand together, the Action Ace has set up an electrical-field
beneath the storm cloud... which strikes the Captain with a bolt of
lightning. Unimpressed by a childish stunt that doesn't even tickle,
Captain Thunder decides that it's time for his turn to send Superman into
the storm cloud... and send his super-hearing ringing with the sound
of... "...THUNDER --!" His plan worked! As the magic word is spoken,
the Man of Steel makes the Captain rub his magic belt buckle.
SHA-BOOM! This time, the burst of starlight is interrupted by the sound
of super-laughter... Superman catches Willie Fawcett in midair, and
carries him to safety. He realized why there's no record of the
Captain... because both he and Willie are from a parallel world in
another dimension. The youth can only wonder which of the infinite
worlds is his own, but the Man of Steel has got a solution -- by having
Captain Thunder use his wisdom. The boy realizes if his alter ego should
return, they'll be in for another fight. Now in a super-tight grip,
Superman convinces Willie that he'll force the Captain to use his
wisdom... to force himself free from the evil grip of the Monster League.
Willie rubs his magic belt buckle and says... "THUNDER!" SHA-BOOM!
Captain Thunder is unable to move a muscle and the Action Ace will not
let go until he does what must be done. The Captain's mind is on
breaking free of his foe -- but the difference in strength may be beyond
measuring... and Superman will not give. After a painful time... a glow
of understanding begins to appear in the eyes of Captain Thunder. He now
knows how he became lost... by an acceleration of his torque on a radius
of 6N-8 Power along a 19-Dimensional Mobius Curve... The Captain tells
the Man of Steel to loosen his grip... so that he can rub his magic belt
buckle... and make the return trip... home -- "THUNDER!" SHA-BOOM! The
magical burst of starlight flares once more... and in a flash... Captain
Thunder has disappeared -- returned to one of many Earths that span
across the multiverse -- whichever world the Captain considers to be his
Clark tells Lois that both Willie and Captain Thunder have returned to
where they belong. He's sure that the Man of Steel will fill her on the
rest of the story when next they meet. In a mood for something to eat,
she remembers when a certain mild-mannered reporter went off to buy a
little boy a hamburger without asking if she was hungry. It will be the
selfsame reporter who will be treating her to dinner. Unfortunately for
Clark Kent, it is a place where he once came to have an estimate on a
donut. Lois's persistence pays off and both reporters are soon seated in
the restaurant. As they pore over the menu, Clark finds himself feeling
less... alone in the universe -- knowing that somewhere -- on another
Earth... Captain Thunder... like the Man of Tomorrow... fights for truth
and justice... because it's the right thing to do. Lois Lane watches in
horror as Clark pours some catsup on his prime sirloin. When she
suggests that he should have ordered a catsup sandwich, the mild-mannered
reporter considers this to be a good idea, and would love to order such a
On the cover by Nick Cardy, the title blurbs announce "The Story You
Thought We'd Never Dare Print!" and "The Fight To Decide The Super-Hero
Championship Of The World!"
A clever surname by Elliot S! Maggin for Willie Fawcett.
With his crewcut, red shirt, and blue pants, Willie looks like he just
stepped out from 1953.
The WHAM-TV Building where the youth works is a homage to Billy Batson's
WHIZ radio station.
Instead of the lightning bolt insignia of Captain Marvel, we have the
yellow starburst of Captain Thunder.
The youth tells Clark that both he and the Captain are sort of the same
I don't know if Captain Thunder looks like what Willie will be when he
becomes an adult or not.
On the Earth of Willie Fawcett and Captain Thunder, the Mohicans are
known as "Mohegans."
I wonder if Merokee would be known as Mercury on Earth-One?
An editor's note informs the reader that Uncas was an outstanding warrior
chief of the Mohegan tribe.
On Earth-Prime, the character of Uncas appeared in "The Last of The
There is a counterpart to Doctor Sivana on Captain Thunder's Earth
[named Dr. Art Lanta per Back Issue #30].
While the Monster Society of Evil perplexed Captain Marvel, the Monster
League of Evil were the group menacing Captain Thunder.
The Frankenstein Monster, the Mummy, Count Dracula, and the Werewolf
comprised the membership of the Monster League.
The nineteen hundred and fifty-three dimensions of time-and-space
correspond with the disappearance of Captain Marvel, the Marvel Family,
Captain Thunder uses his power of flight, along with his tornado-based
powers to travel through the various dimensions of space-and-time.
c. 2,000 BC
During the 12th dynasty, an evil Pharoah, misled by the false priest Mesu,
abandons the worship of Osiris and the benevolent gods and makes league with
Set. When Prince Amentep speaks out, he is thrown in jail, there receiving
from his uncle the Ibistick and becoming Ibis the Invincible. In rebellion
against the tyrannical Mesu (now known as the Black Pharoah), Taia is struck
by an arrow. Ibis places her and himself into suspended animation.
A generation later, an evil magician named Serpenotep conquers the Land of
the Nile by imprisoning the benevolent wizard that had protected the people.
Serpenotep rules tyrannically until the original Isis, posing as a servant,
sneaks past the guards and into the wizard's prison. The wizard explains that
she would be unable to free him until Serpenotep was defeated, but that he is
able to transfer some of his power into those who are worthy. Using his magic,
he causes an amulet necklace to appear around her neck, and an amulet tiara on
her head. He tells her that she now possesses the powers of the pyramid -- she
can soar as the falcon soars, run with the speed of gazelles, and command the
elements of earth and sky. The new heroine then confronts the wicked tyrant.
Serpenotep commands his snakes to entwine the young goddess, but she recites an
incantation which frees both her and the old wizard. Isis and the wizard combine
their power and encase Serpenotep in stone. For years afterwards, Isis guards
those in need, until the day finally came that she passes on. She predicts that
she would come again, in another form, to battle evil. [Isis #7]
c. 15th Century BC
Queen Hapshuset (Hatshepsut) rules as Egypt's first and only female pharaoh.
Thanks to his powerful magic, the old wizard still lives, and serves as her
royal sorcerer. Sensing greatness in her, the wizard presents the Queen with
the mystical amulet. He tells Hapshuset that she and her descendants would be
endowed by the goddess Isis with great powers. Upon donning the amulet and
invoking the name of the goddess, Hapshuset is transformed into an avatar of
Isis. After her death, the wizard takes the amulet and hides it, along with a
scroll which explains the secrets of Isis. He casts a spell, designed to lure
one of the Queen's worthy descendants to the site, so that the power of Isis
could be rediscovered in some future era. [Isis #7]
Three carefully selected Earthlings (Hercules, Astraea, and Mercury) are
transported to a faraway world by Sentinel One and given eternal youth.
They are then returned to Earth in 1977 to defend it from evil as The Space
Sentinels. Hercules also operates as a member of the Freedom Force, possibly
from the same volcanic headquarters. The relationship between the two teams
and Hercules' chronology between them is unknown.
mid 14th century BC
Under the reign of Amenhotep IV, the worship of the gods of Egypt wanes.
This leads the gods to turn their attentions elsewhere, leaving the people
to follow their own paths. It is at this time that the spacecraft of an alien
named Aten is damaged and forced to land on Egypt's sands. All fear him save
for the brave king. Amenhotep shows Aten his civilization and evidence of his
gods. But Aten sees no sign of the gods themselves. He observes that they had
been there, then left, leaving the people to dry up and die. Aten believes he
was their salvation. Amenhotep changed his name to Akhenaten in the alien's
honor. He and his wife, Queen Nofretete, proclaim Aten their new god -- and his
fiery ship the Chariot of the Sun. The people still believe in the old gods,
but Akhenaten, Nofretete, and Aten maintain the new way. The alien tecahes them
much, and they teach him about the power of the ancient gods and their pyramids.
Aten remains in Egypt for nearly two decades, until Akhenaten dies. The alien
believes that the people will soon revolt in favor of the old gods. Aten knows
it is time to leave, but before he does, he plants a signal device to warn him
if the gods ever did return. He returns to his home planet, but is surprised
when the High Council banishes him for interfering with the development of a
primitive world. Remembering the pyramids, from which the Egyptian gods had
derived their power, Aten crosses the void back to Earth to seek revenge on
those in the Council. He remains in orbit around the planet, until such a time
as one of the gods again accesses the power of the pyramids. [Isis #5]
c. 10th Century BC
An evil magician named Scarab terrorizes Egypt until he is captured and imprisoned
in a pyramid, where it was believed he would remain forever. In October 1976 AD,
archeologists move the pyramid, enabling the magician to escape. The heroine known
as Isis is able to trick Scarab in becoming trapped in the pyramid once again. This
time his imprisonment would be permanent. [Isis #1]
early 6th century?
A young sorceror named Merlin is enlisted into the Freedom Force.
mid 6th century
The era of King Arthur and Camelot. Mister Invincible and Taia visit briefly from
February, 1952 and battle Sir Karnak. [Whiz #142]
The sailor known as Sinbad has many adventures across the seven seas, and is
enlisted into the Freedom Force.
Roger Parsons has adventures as Golden Arrow. [Note: included due to lack of
continuity in 40's Golden Arrow stories, some of which were presented as taking
place in the old west.]
Art Lanta born. [date from the birth of Thaddeus Bodug Sivana, Captain Marvel Adventures #138]
An entrenched Allied battalion is saved from surrender by one man, Jet Jackson,
whom the Allied generals nickname the Flying Commando. [Note: There are numerous
Captain Midnight counterparts, including 'Jet Jackson, Flying Commando', into whose
name many Captain Midnight radio serials were (crudely) dubbed on latter-day
syndicated reruns once Ovaltine had withdrawn its sponsorship. Whether the Earth-T
hero Jet Jackson's grandson is the star of the Disney television series The Famous
Jett Jackson has yet to be confirmed (although I like the idea that a Captain
Midnight counterpart may be African-American).]
Thaddeus Bodog Sivana, recently widowed and accompanied by his small son
Magnificus and his infant daughter Beautia, travels to Venus and befriends a
race of froglike beings. Beautia eventually grows to take the title Queen
Beautia, Empress of Venus [Whiz #3].
Willie Fawcett gains the identity and powers of Captain Thunder from Merokee,
last of the great medicine men of the Mohegan tribe. He eventually finds
employment at WHAM TV. [Elliott S! Maggin & Curt Swan] [Thrill Comics #1/Superman #276]
On another alternate Earth, Willie Watson gains the identity and powers of Colenol
Lightning from Tonka, last of the great medecine men of the Ogala tribe. When he
wears the magic belt buckle, he will have seven spiritual powers bestowed unto him.
Thunder...Power. Owl...Wisdom. Northwind... Flight. Colt...Energy. Antelope... Speed.
[Action #576, unpublished; summarised in Back Issue #30]
Alan Armstrong becomes the Spy Smasher in the state of Virginia. [Bill Parker &
C.C. Beck] [Whiz #2] [Note: included due to the Earth-S counterpart's apparently
not having changed his name to Crime Smasher in 1946.]
Prince Amentep awakens from a 4000-year sleep and becomes Mister Invincible.
[Bill Parker & Bob Kingett] [Whiz #2/Zatanna #1] [Note: included due to retcons
in Ibis' origin and power set dating back to the 40's.]
District Attorney Brian Butler gains the power of flight and becomes Mr. Scarlet.
[Ed Herron & Jack Kirby] [Wow #1] [Note: included due to the on-again-off-again
flying abilities the character possessed in the 40's; I am assuming they are only
in the early adventures and there is no justification for an Earth-T Pinky.]
The tomb of Queen Hapshuset is discovered.
Lt. Jack Weston becomes Minuteman in Fawcett City, Indiana. [Charles Sultan]
[Master #11] [Note: included due to an unexplained alternate uniform the character
wore in a minicomic.]
Kit Freeman dies before his time and becomes Kid Eternity with the ability to become
bodily displaced by heroes of legend (date from the 1976 Super DC Calendar). [Shelley
Moldoff] [Hit #25] [Note: included due to inconsistencies in the character's power
In England, Sara Smart rescues an old witch named Tombolo from a gang of boys. As a
reward, Tombola gives her the Whistle of the Wind Kings, which tunes Sara's whole body
to magical supersonic vibrations. She becomes Sally Sonic. [Bulleteer #4]
Alan Armstrong becomes Crime Smasher. [Whiz #76]
Dennis Garret acquires powers from Vitamin X and becomes Vitaman. [Bulleteer #4]
James Harrower becomes Bulletman.
Captain Thunder fights the Monster League of Evil across 1,953 dimensions of time and
space. He imprisons them in a limbo-like dimension, but is diverted to Earth-1 on his
return and encounters Superman. [Superman #276]
Professor Andrea Thomas, a descendent of Queen Hapshuset, with the aid of a magic
parchment, transforms herself into an avatar of the Egyptian goddess Isis. [Isis #1]
Bulletman joins the Super Adventure Team comprising Eagle-Eye G.I. Joe, Mike Power
the Atomic Man, and others.
In the Valley of Time, the Freedom Force (Hercules, Isis, Sinbad, Merlin, and Super
Samurai) have adventures. [Tarzan and the Super 7]
When the avatar of the goddess Isis accesses the power of the pyramids, Aten
attempts to wrest control of the mystical pyramid from her. She has no choice but
to destroy the pyramid, which Aten believes is the sole source of her power. So
moved is he that she would sacrifice her own power to stop him, that he repents
and vows to travel the stars doing penance for his sins. After Aten leaves Earth,
Isis used her magic to restore the pyramid to its original state. [Isis #7]
On another alternate Earth, Willie Watson, now 22 years old and weary of his body-exchanging
alter-ego, travels to an alternate version of Earth-1, surreptitiously accompanied by Dr.
Art Lanta, who develops a ploy to use Mr. Mxyzptlk against Superman and Colonel Lightning.
[Action #576, unpublished; summarised in Back Issue #30]
Obsessed with following in his father's footsteps and becoming a superhero, as
as well as preserving his beautiful wife's youth, Prof. Lance Harrower invents
Smartskin - a steal-hard living fiber which bonds with skin collagen. When his
experiments go awry, Harrower is suffocated under a coating of steel skin. His
wife Alix survives the horrific accident only to find herself encased in super-
hard, living metal that, while making her impenetrable to damage and harm, forces
her to live life as an outcast. [Bulleteer #1] [Grant Morrison, Yanick Paquette & Michael Bair]
While researching a transdimensional mystery alongside several mystics from Earth-1,
Mister Invincible is slain by the Sheeda. Her investigation of his death leads
Alix Harrower to emigrate to Earth-1 as a member of the Seven Soldiers of Victory. [Zatanna #1, Bulleteer #1]
I still need a plausible start date for Super Samurai of the Freedom Force. Thanks to Lawrence P. Guidry for his scans of Back Issue #30.
Review by Steve Chung