The Joy Riders

Shazam!Young Billy Batson has been given a special power by the immortals: by speaking the word “Shazam!”, he can transform into Captain Marvel. But this is a last resort, as Billy himself is meant to be learning from both the immortals and Mentor as they travel across the country.

Billy and Mentor take note of a group of boys who are starting down a dangerous path, “harmlessly” borrowing cars for joyrides. One of the boys, Chuck, is less enthusiastic about joining his friends; he knows they’re doing something wrong. But when the peer pressure mounts, Chuck gives in and joins them, finding himself in enough trouble that it may take Captain Marvel to save them.

written by Len Janson & Chuck Menville
directed by Hollingsworth Morse
music by Horta-Mahana

Shazam!Cast: Michael Gray (Billy Batson), Les Tremayne (Mentor), Jackson Bostwick (Captain Marvel), Kerry MacLane (Chuck Wagner), Barry Miller (Mike), Ty Henderson (Kyle), Lee Joe Casey (Rich)

Notes: Ty Henderson would be cast as a series regular on a later Filmation live-action series, Space Academy. This is not the first filmed adaptation of Captain Marvel; the first was a 1941 theatrical serial released during the character’s WWII heyday, at a time when Fawcett Publications’ Captain Marvel comic book was routinely outselling Superman, published by rival National Comics (later to change names to Shazam!DC Comics). But that was also the year that National Comics sued Fawcett for copyright infrignement, a suit that was initially decided in Fawcett’s favor, but a 1951 appeal gave National Comics the upper hand. The two companies settled out of court, with Fawcett backing out of the comics business altogether. DC Comics licensed and revived Captain Marvel – quite probably for the sheer perversity of keeping a character named Captain Marvel out of the hands of its new rival, Marvel Comics – in 1972, keeping the character alive through what is now widely regarded as the Silver Age of comics. In 1980, DC put enough money on the table for Fawcett to hand over all rights to Captain Marvel and its other comics to DC in perpetuity.

LogBook entry by Earl Green