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Old January 29th, 2007   RJ Squires is offline   #1
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Default Letter sent to Paul Levitz about TRIALS of SHAZAM

Paul Levitz, President and Publisher
DC Comics
1700 Broadway
NY, NY 10019


Dear Mr. Levitz,

When I think of Captain Marvel, I think of innocence and humbleness. When I think of Captain Marvel, I think of C.C. Beck, Kurt Shaffenberger, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, and Jerry Ordway. I think back to the time when I was 7 years old and I remember receiving the Giant-Sized SHAZAM! in my Christmas stocking and what brought me into this hobby in the first place. Every time that Captain Marvel and his family appeared in All-Star Squadron, I could not wait to get that particular issue. When I heard that he was going to appear in Justice League ( Giffen Era), I was ecstatic. When I saw that he finally was getting his own series in 1994, I was first in line when my local shop opened up to pick up 2 copies of each issue on the day it was released. When I heard that after Infinite Crisis there was going to be a major makeover of my favorite comic character and his supporting cast, I promised myself that I would keep an open mind when it came to this major revamp of my most beloved character and his family in the DC Universe, however I now find myself not able to keep that promise that I made.

After 4 issues of Trials of Shazam, I have sadly decided that this is NOT the direction that I wish for my favorite hero and his supporting cast to go thus abandoned the title and any thing that may have to do with this revamp of these characters. Sometimes change is necessary, this I will agree to. I ask you though as an example, look at Green Lantern. The character of Kyle Rayner was introduced because of falling sales and lack of interest in Hal Jordan’s character. This was 1994. It is now 2007 and Hal Jordan is back and his sales on the book are stronger than ever with renewed interest in not only him but the entire Green Lantern Corps. You have to ask yourself what made this possible? Fans who speak out and who passionately love their favorite fictional character, and people who are willing to listen to them.

I strongly urge you over the next couple of days and months to come to review the sales of both Trials and Monster Society of Evil. Hopefully this analysis will prove me right that sales figures talk and it is a true litmus test of what the fans in this industry truly want for the direction of Captain Marvel. If anything I implore you to take my suggestion and make this story take part on an alternate earth in the newly re-vamped multiverse since no other characters except Zantanna has interacted with Billy.

Please bring back the characters we SHAZAM fans some who have been loyal to the characters for 30 plus years all know and love. Please remember how long it took before Justice Society finally made it big and remember what got them back on top. This can be done with Captain Marvel. Jerry Ordway proved so for 50 issues. Judd Winack’s rendition and vision is just not the right fit for this character.

Thank you for your time,

Rich Squires
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Old January 29th, 2007   Infernorhythm is offline   #2
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Great letter, well done, but I think they've invested money and creative thought into this, so the fans are S.O.L.

Personally, I could care less about Captain Marvel or Billy Batson. I'm a fan of Freddy Freeman and his current portrayal is really just...well...bad. He's been made into a rebellious teen stereotype. What happened to the Elvis loving cool character?

Also, Winick's decision that the Gods are magic, not connected to the other Gods (i.e. the ones in the Wonder Woman mythos) are just absure.
 
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Old January 29th, 2007   RJ Squires is offline   #3
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Old January 29th, 2007   clarkent1982 is offline   #4
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Good letter, even if I don't agree with you on anything you wrote.
 
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Old January 29th, 2007   Doug Zawisza is offline   #5
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ddf
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Well done!

The Bob Kelso quote that is…!

Seriously, I agree with the letter. Cap isn't all this…well at least not directly.

Captain Marvel needs to be the wide-eyed innocence of a child who realizes he can fly with a magic word! A magic word that has more than four letters.

I admit, I wanted to like this take. The concept of Captain Marvel differing from Superman by being the guardian between the world of mortals and the world of magic was inspired. The execution, well, not so much.

I gave the first issue a hearty review, but the second issue was so lackluster that I barely even flipped through the third.

Jeff Smith's take seems more on to what the legend of SHAZAM should be about.

Captain Marvel - above all other characters - should be marketed to kids because it is about kids. Perhaps that is the missing link here. Maybe a Johnny DC Cap comic is what DC needs to consider and just relegate the good Captain to guest appearances in the DCU proper.

It is just shameful that I cannot give an issue of SHAZAM to my kids or nephews. At lest not a modern issue.

(puts soapbox away)
 
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Old January 29th, 2007   curiouswanderer is offline   #6
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Well said.
 
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Old January 29th, 2007   Whealer is offline   #7
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Well said, indeed. DC can use any excuse they care to for this abomination. As a friend used to tell me: "I say it's spinach, and I'm having none of it."
 
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Old January 29th, 2007   BrianT is offline   #8
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I applaud you for making your feelings known directly to DC and doing it intelligently.
 
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Old January 29th, 2007   Wally West888 is offline   #9
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I have a question entirely off the subject of the letter but if I was going to send a letter to say a comic writer would I send it to the DC office or is there another address I send it too?
 
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Old January 29th, 2007   rex tyler is offline   #10
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A well-written letter. A bit whiney. But from the heart. I can appreciate that. Good luck, RJ.
 
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Old January 29th, 2007   Infernorhythm is offline   #11
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Well done!

The Bob Kelso quote that is…!

Seriously, I agree with the letter. Cap isn't all this…well at least not directly.

Captain Marvel needs to be the wide-eyed innocence of a child who realizes he can fly with a magic word! A magic word that has more than four letters.

I admit, I wanted to like this take. The concept of Captain Marvel differing from Superman by being the guardian between the world of mortals and the world of magic was inspired. The execution, well, not so much.

I gave the first issue a hearty review, but the second issue was so lackluster that I barely even flipped through the third.

Jeff Smith's take seems more on to what the legend of SHAZAM should be about.

Captain Marvel - above all other characters - should be marketed to kids because it is about kids. Perhaps that is the missing link here. Maybe a Johnny DC Cap comic is what DC needs to consider and just relegate the good Captain to guest appearances in the DCU proper.

It is just shameful that I cannot give an issue of SHAZAM to my kids or nephews. At lest not a modern issue.

(puts soapbox away)
ddf
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Yes, Billy Batson was an innocent youth, but he is a teenager now, around 18 years old now. Youthful innocence is gone, but it also does not mean that he has to totally change.
 
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Old January 29th, 2007   Arcademan/PixieP is offline   #12
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Great letter...too bad it's a shame they won't listen. DC simply does not know how to handle the character, save for the brilliance that were the Bridwell/Newton 'World's Finest Comics' era, which proved you can retain the simplicity and integrity of the characters yet have them portrayed artwise in a realistic world. I'll give Jerry Ordway his props on the Power of SHAZAM Graphic novel but the monthly series had a lot to be desired in many areas (power sharing, Mary before Junior, CM3, Tawky Tawny a pooka?!! Oy!!!)

I'm an 'old-school' fan when it comes to The Big Red Cheese and won't probably ever change and I'm hoping for big things with Jeff Smith and the MSOE series.
 
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Old January 29th, 2007   Jim Beard is offline   #13
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Dan DiDio said at WWCH that is this new version didn't stick, then they'd chuck it and bring back the status quo.

Jim
 
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Old January 29th, 2007   RonFarrell is offline   #14
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I've passed on TRIALS. but am looking forward to MONSTER SOCIETY OF EVIL next week.
 
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Old January 29th, 2007   Madison Lee is offline   #15
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Nice letter. I have never picked up the new series. Which is sad because I love the character so much.
 
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Old January 29th, 2007   TJLamb0518 is offline   #16
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Dan DiDio said at WWCH that is this new version didn't stick, then they'd chuck it and bring back the status quo.

Jim
ddf
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.....which hasn't sold well or consistently for decades. Talk about being darned if you do and darned if you don't...
 
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