Can anyone compare Thor to Shazam (aka Captain Marvel)?

Discussion in 'Comic Books and Graphic Novels' started by HordakFan, Aug 20, 2012.

  1. HordakFan

    HordakFan Banned

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    I mean they did fought in DC vs. Marvel back in 1996 and who else thinks they share similarities?

    Can anyone compare their strengths and weaknesses and their powers.
    Can anyone compare their mentors.
    Compare Loki to BlackAdam.
    Compare their IDs.
     
  2. smkspy

    smkspy is one nice fucking kitty

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  3. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

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    See previous thread. Similar only on a superficial level, and only if one ignores the core concepts and "spirit" of both characters. Are you actually reading my posts? Please respond, otherwise I'm just going to assume you're not and I'll stop putting any effort into this sort of thing


    But going through the motions, both characters have thunder as a central aspect of their aesthetics, both are based on mythological origins, as opposed to scientific, extraterrestrial, or otherwise "supernatural" explanations.

    Both have superhuman strength and durability. Marvel can fly, move at superhuman speed, has access to wisdom of the ages and advice from mythologically wise figures, etc. Thor cannot fly, but can throw himself from place to place using his hammer (or hovering with it), and mjolnir is also an element that allows Thor control over storms, thunder, and lightning. By comparison, Marvel lacks the offensive use of lightning that Thor has (though he has jerry-rigged solutions from the magical lightning bolt that transforms him on occassions, it is a very different concept with its own implications), and carries no weapons other than his bare hands.

    Captain Marvel is, at his core, about children being powerless and being given power in an adult's world. Billy Batson is an orphan, weak and alone, unable to even survive properly in the world until he finds the wizard. Through the magic of Shazam, Billy gains power, not only literally to protect himself and uphold his ideals as Captain Marvel, but as through the magic, he gains friends, a family (both metaphorically and literally, as the Marvel family grows), confidence in himself, a job, a calling and a purpose. Thor, by comparison, is based on an idea of tempering power with wisdom and humility. Thor begins his story as a god/ultraevolved celestial being (marvel treats the Aesir in a strange way to fit them into their cosmos) who, despite his power, upbringing and destiny, success and friends, is brash, merciless, quick to anger, and in many ways, dull-witted. After one too many offenses, he is stripped of his birthright and his powers are throttled, and he is cast down to earth to learn humility in the form of Donald Blake, renowned but crippled doctor. Blake is the medium through which a "perfect" being must learn not only about being imperfect, but about service to other creatures that would otherwise be below his consideration, and the inherent value of said creatures that justifies their guardianship by the Aesir. Over time, Thor becomes a more noble, wise, and mature character, and eventually reascends to Asgard. Today, he rules the Aesir (more or less), and his story revolves around the careful balance between Earth and Asgard, power and mercy, responsibility and his own tempestuous nature, and the wisdom that necessitates guarding that balance.

    In discussing Black Adam and Loki, it's important to remember that Loki is a character that is literally a thousand years old (as is Thor, at his core), whereas Black Adam is one steeped in mythology and archetype, but created in the modern era as a foil for Captain Marvel, who is the same. Loki is cunning, deceit, trickery, intellect, sorcery, and venemous ambition embodied, ideals that the Norse thought necessary, but detestable. That's why Loki is the villain in his stories as often as he holds the solution to the Aesir (and often fills both roles). He is brain to Thor's brawn, calculating and patient revenge to his tumultuous anger, and a tainted, spurned "outsider" to Thor and Balder's shining, accepted lineage. This dichotomy is what allows the antagonism between them to flourish, even while the fraternal bond they hold prevents them from outright murdering eachother. Black Adam, on the other hand, is a more mirrored opposite. He is literally evil Captain Marvel, and while the explanation of his powers has changed radically and often, they usually come from either an identical, or similar source to Marvel's. Even his uniform and appearance are a more ominous form of Captain Marvel's. So Black Adam represents the evil that can arise from the temptation inherent in the magic of Shazam, a living warning to children of the reasons for responsibility in the powers they gain. He is brutal, greedy, and cold where the Big Red Cheese is compassionate and courageous. It's also worth noting that, until recently, Black Adam was a fairly unused character (by comparison with Dr. Sivanna, who had more of a Lex Luthor / Superman relationship with Captain Marvel), though he has been much more developed in recent years, being used as foil to explore themes of redemption and atonement (as has Loki, in recent years).

    So again, long story short, STOP USING THE CROSSOVERS AS A MEANS OF COMPARING THESE CHARACTERS.
     
  4. Star Saber

    Star Saber Cybertron 5th Commander

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    I think the guy stops checking when he starts getting berated for being so stubborn. He's quickly becoming the new GENOZAUR here.
     
  5. geerave

    geerave Well-Known Member

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    maybe instead of making 3 different threads about the same thing you could just make one titled "ive never read comics but i enjoy the cover from a dc/marvel crossover from the 90"
     
  6. Star Saber

    Star Saber Cybertron 5th Commander

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  7. SouthtownKid

    SouthtownKid Headmaster

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    What I'm going to assume is that he makes these comparisons because he is a young kid. Maybe in the 8-12 range at most. To a kid that age, these comparisons would make more sense, because he wouldn't really be ready to look beyond the surface of things yet, nor should we be expecting him to.

    Think about it: his primary focus of comparison, both in the previous thread and here, is powers. That is exactly the point a kid would focus on to the exclusion of everything else. Superman and Hulk are similar because they are both strong. See? A kid. I'm sure of it.

    And that is not an attack on him. There's nothing wrong with being a kid. I just wanted to throw the idea out there before anyone spent too much energy arguing with him and expecting him to be able to take in what you're trying to relate to him.

    All that said, I do see one obvious comparison between the two characters. The early stories of each are extremely ambiguous as to whether the heroes and their alter egos are two distinct personalities or one, and how the split actually works. For example, Captain Marvel often acts as if Billy is a separate person in the early stories. And there are at least a few instances in the early stories of Thor speaking or thinking in Blake's "voice", suggesting Thor is Blake in another body, rather than Thor being the true identity as we now accept.
     
  8. Star Saber

    Star Saber Cybertron 5th Commander

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    I'll say this, I really reaaaally miss having their old incarnations around.

    I miss Don Blake being around regularly like he was before. Hell I even miss Jake Olsen. Those two secret IDs really grounded Thor as far as I'm concerned, even though the early Don Blake/Jane Foster issues read a lot like romance comics when the Thor action wasn't around.

    As for Billy, i miss the good kid, not this annoying jerk that has his name in the new JL
     
  9. Tekkaman Blade

    Tekkaman Blade Professor of Animation

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    They brought Blake back at the beginning of the recent series, but as soon as a certain writer left, and the movie came out, he was once again thrown out the window and seemingly dispersed till another writer gets Nostalgic.
    Because Marvel can't do secret ID's any more. With the exception of spider-man I can count on 1 hand how many characters with their own books have secret ID's.
    It's all superheroes all the time.
    And that's a point of contention I have with a lot of modern comics, we almost never see them when they aren't super heroes, it's like writers consider their personal lives unimportant and boring.
     
  10. Seeker

    Seeker Time Lord

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    I guess they use the superheroes 24/7 thing as a selling point. For what I've seen Marvel is progressively destroying their character's personal lives anyway. Spiderman is unmarried (retroed 30 years character wise too) now and Storm and Black Panther are not together anymore. I thnk its all a form of immature writing imo.
     
  11. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

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    That is another thing they have in common, along with different authors choosing to approach the concept from different angles, depending on their personal interpretations. It's a pretty big inconsistency for the characters, frankly, though one that's interesting.

    I personally prefer to have the entities separate in both cases, and then have them swap places or integrate into their super-powered forms as an "observer"/"advisor", but that's me, and that seems to be counter to what the current interpretations of the characters are.
     
  12. SouthtownKid

    SouthtownKid Headmaster

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    Even in the CC Beck stories (whoever was writing them...Parker, Binder etc), you couldn't tell from one issue to the next. Sometimes even from one page to the next. It was like they didn't even have it nailed down in their own minds. But I've really grown to appreciate the Golden Age Captain Marvel a lot anyway.

    I've become kind of a Golden Age fan in general over the past several years, and those early C.C. Beck stories have a charm that no future interpretations of the Marvel family have ever recaptured, imo. I mean, I guess Jeff Smith in his way, and I did enjoy a lot of the stuff Geoff Johns did with Billy and Adam in his JSA series. But those are really different characters.
     
  13. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

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    Captain Marvel, especially golden age Captain Marvel, doesn't get nearly his due for how flat-out different and interesting he was, even for a hero that seems a ripoff of Superman. And once Carmine Infantino started doing art, especially the stuff during WWII, imagine looking at the comic racks in the pharmacy and seeing THAT staring back at you, next to the other art of the time. Goddamn.
     
  14. LegendAntihero

    LegendAntihero Banned

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    I don't see Captain Marvel as DC's counterpart to Thor. I think he's more like Zeus, even though I hear Norse gods aren't very godlike. Captain Marvel only borrows power from gods. He is not a god.
     
  15. geerave

    geerave Well-Known Member

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  16. Star Saber

    Star Saber Cybertron 5th Commander

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    Fortunately though, they haven't totally destroyed Spidey's personal life. I think he probably has one of the strongest supporting casts in comics, especially with Dan Slott at the helm. It's also fortunate that Mark Waid has brought back the secret ID side of Daredevil, it just makes for a more interesting dynamic. I do agree that Marvel seems to be moving away from the secret ID, which is a shame, because I think the "down time" allows for some great character moments with the right writer.
     
  17. twiztidRodimus

    twiztidRodimus Shattered Glass Autobot

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    Pretty much this.
     

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