Introduction to Whiz Comics
Whiz Comics was a monthly comic book series published by Fawcett Publications, debut issue dated February 1940, and ran for 155 issues until the spring of 1953. The main character was Captain Marvel. He was the star of the first-ever superhero film, released by Republic Pictures in 1941. He was the most popular superhero of the 1940s, outselling even Superman. DC sued Fawcett for copyright infringement in 1941 and even though they won the lower court battle in 1948, DC appealed and the appellate court found flaws in the lower court ruling and in 1952 sent it back to be retried. By this time, sales hand slipped considerably and Fawcett agreed to cease publication of all Marvel Family material.
Besides the earliest issues, notable issues include #21 first appearance the Lt. Marvels, the first team in Fawcett comics; #25, with the first appearance and origin of Captain Marvel Jr.; #30, wherein Captain Marvel enters the Pacific Theater of World War II, a true sign of the times; and #47, in which Captain Marvel’s origin story is retold.
Brief History of Whiz Comics #2 (#1)
We could be talking about Captain Thunder in Flash Comics now if Fawcett had acted a little quicker. However, when they sent their ashcan copies to the copyright office, they were turned down as the names were already copyrighted. No reason has ever been given as to why when they made the name change, they also started with issue #2.
Bill Parker initially wrote a team story where six characters each had a different power based on a different mythological character. The editors nixed that idea and asked him to come back with one character with all six powers, thus was born Captain Thunder! When that name couldn’t be used, Pete Constanza, staff artist, suggested Captain Marvelous which the editors shortened to the now-familiar Captain Marvel. Charles Clarence “C.C.” Beck was assigned to do the art. It’s reputed that Bill Parker wrote all the features which included Ibis the Invincible, Spy Smasher, Golden Arrow, Lance O’Casey, Scoop Smith and Dan Dare.
How much is Whiz Comics #2 (#1) worth?
Whiz Comics #2 (#) is valued at $300,000 according to the 2019-20 Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide. This is enough to place it 13th on the Overstreet Top 100 Golden Age Comics list.
What is the most expensive Whiz Comics #2 (#1) sold at auction?
In 2012, a CGC 9.0 copy sold for $281,001.
Other expensive Whiz Comics
Whiz Comics #nn (#2)
The second issue has no number of the cover and the indicia indicated issue #3. A CGC 7.0 sold in 2015 for $7,767.50.
Whiz Comics #3
A CGC 7.0 issue sold for $11,000 in 2017. The cover now has the correct number but the indicia says #4.
Whiz Comics #4
Indicia reads number 5. In 2017, the Larson Pedigree CGC 8.5 copy sold for $7,200.
Whiz Comics #8
The Allentown Pedigree CGC 9.6 copy surprised everyone when it sold for $16,730 in 2015.
Whiz Comics #9
Another Allentown Pedigree, this one sold for $8962.50 in CGC 8.5 back in 2012.
Whiz Comics #16
From comics best-known pedigree, the Mile High issue in CGC 9.6 sold for $9,560 in 2014.
Whiz Comics #25
Captain Marvel Jr. stormed onto the scene when a CGC 8.0 sold for $7,935 in 2018.
Whiz Comics #2 (#1) Cover Art
Charles Clarence “C.C.” Beck provided the cover art for this classic comic. Pitching a car against a wall is similar in theme to the Action Comics #1 cover. Could be this is what alerted National to the Mightiest Mortal’s creation? The art has never surfaced.
Other Whiz Comics original art
Not much art has come to light. Heritage Auction’s top price for any art from the series is the cover by C.C. Beck and Pete Constanza to the cover of Whiz Comics #17. In 2004, it sold for $23,575. Someone really put their shoulder to the grindstone when they ponied up $4,080 for C.C Beck’s recreation of Whiz Comics #25. Another recreation by Beck of the cover to Whiz Comics #22 sold in 2013 for $3,883.75.
Characters from Whiz Comics #2 (#1)
Appearing from the cover story are Billy Batson, the wizard Shazam, the owner of radio station Mr. Sterling Morris, and the eternal Captain Marvel nemesis Sivana.
Other Whiz Comics characters include Ibis the Invincible, an Egyptian prince who is given a talisman that allows him to become a magician, Spy Smasher, who used his wit and his gadgets to ferret out foreign spies in pre-war America, Golden Arrow, an archer who brought justice to the Old West, Dan Dare, a skilled detective, Lance O’Casey, a sailor and adventurer, and Scoop Smith, a crime-fighting news reporter.
Plot Summary of Whiz Comics #2 (#1)
Billy Batson, in his capacity as a newspaper boy, is asked by a strange man to follow him into the subway (nothing suspicious there). They board a strange-looking subway train that stops before a Hall of the 7 Deadly Enemies of Man (still normal so far). At the end of the hall, the wizard Shazam addresses Billy by name. Stunned, Billy listens as the wizard explains how he has battled evil for 3,000 years. Now that he is old and grey he is looking for a replacement and had followed Billy’s life. He showed Billy through his historama getting kicked out by his cruel uncle to live on the street when Billy’s parents died so he could keep Billy’s inheritance. With powers now given to Billy, Shazam tells Captain Marvel to speak his name again to become young Batson again. In doing so, the large granite block suspended by a fraying thread drops on top of Shazam ending his life (don’t worry, he got better later on).
The next day, Billy is selling newspapers screaming the headline about a maniac threatening radio stations when he overhears two unsavory looking men talking about reading a story in the paper about their ‘boss’. Maybe the ‘boss’ is the person doing the threatening Billy reasons and he follows the men but is unable to track them to their apartment when he can’t get past the doorman. Billy goes to the radio station head man to tell him what he knows. Sterling Morris believes that anyone living at the Skytower Apartments can’t possibly be responsible for the threats to the station and orders Batson to leave. But before he does, Billy extracts a promise from Mr. Morris, if he can prove he’s right, he gets a job as a radio announcer.
As Captain Marvel, he leaps from the top of a nearby building to the ledge of the apartment of the men he had seen earlier in the day. The men were just turning on a large television screen to see their boss, Sivana. Enraged, Sivana vows to destroy radio station’s broadcast since they had not paid the $50,000,000 ransom. Captain Marvel crashes through the window dispatching both men, one by throwing him into the radio-silencing equipment. Marvel boasts to Sivana his plot was over as Sivana vows he will see Marvel again. Changing into Billy Batson, he calls Mr. Morris to the scene. As we know, Sterling Morris made good on his word to make Billy Batson a radio reporter.
Ibis, from the 12th dynasty in Egypt, awakens after 4,000 years in an American museum. With his powerful Ibistick, he escapes his enclosure and goes about performing miracles in his efforts to find and revive his beloved Taia. Just after he revives Taia and is about release her from her glass enclosure, a thief runs past and grabs his Ibistick. Continued next issue.
Professor Paul Parsons, makes a terrific discovery of a non-flammable lightest ever gas just before World War I. To celebrate and show its value, he proposes to fly a balloon cross-country, east to west, to show the government how good his gas is. Off he goes with his wife and one-year-old son Roger. Over some unnamed western state, an unscrupulous rancher familiar with the nation-wide trip, spots the balloon and orders his men to shoot down the balloon, find the formula and destroy all evidence to the crime. Before the men can get to the fallen balloon, a mountain lion picks up the mewling but unhurt baby and carries him off from the site where his parents had died. Prospector Nugget Ned discovers the mountain lion with the child and shoots the beast dead before Roger is harmed. After securing the child at his home, Ned goes back to where he got the baby and back-tracked where the mountain lion had found the child. There he spies Brand Braddock’s hired killers burying all evidence of their crime with the formula in tow. Knowing how dangerous Braddock can be, Ned decides to raise Roger as his own and never mention what he saw. Roger grows up in the west and is an exceptional athlete. His best accomplishment is his archery, using the arrow made the gold that his ‘dad’ Nugget Ned has prospected. How did Roger get his revenge? You’ll have to read about it to find out.
Naval ships are being destroyed or disappearing and Navy Admiral Colby confines this information with his daughter Eve and her fiance’ Alan Armstrong, a wealthy sportsman. The Admiral is convinced there is a spy somewhere. Alan suggests the Filipino(sic) houseboy Zambo but the Admiral tells Alan he doesn’t speak a word of English. Alan excuses himself shortly after dinner. At the home of the Mask, the master spy, he directs his minions to steal the latest plans from Admiral Colby and ‘retire’ the Admiral as he is becoming too troublesome. Spy Smasher arrives in time to stop the murder of the Admiral but not before the burglars escape with the plans. Spy Smasher trails the spies, confronts the Mask, recovers the plans, and a stolen dirigible but the Mask gets away.
When $350,000 worth of radium is stolen from the hospital, police are stumped. They enlist the editor Bruce Lane of the News (newspaper) to help investigate. Lane puts his best reporter on the case, Scoop Scanlon. The only clue is a ‘Thank You’ note left by Doctor Death. Scoop looks through hospital files of employees who have left. He uncovers a doctor who resigned to start a private practice. Scoop takes cameraman Blimp Brand with him to investigate Dr. James Kirk by having Brand feign sickness. Kirk sees through the deception and captures Scoop and Blimp. Dr. Kirk explains why he needs the radium. He needs it to power to bring people back to life and Scoop is to be the first test. But Scoop escapes his bondage, overpowers two thugs, and gets out of the gas chamber before it fills up. Overpowering Dr. Kirk, Scoop allows Kirk to use his machine on the two thugs who are brought back to life. Scoop sees to it that everyone is arrested and the radium is returned to the hospital.
Lance O’Casey, sailor of fortune, along with his first mate, a chimp by the name of Mister Hogan, sail into a south seaport for some R&R. But it is not to be as a local trader Barracuda Brent has taken control of the native population. Lance and Mister Hogan save the day.
Dan Dare, private investigator and his assistant, Carol Clews, fly down to Florida to investigate a murder at the hotel owner’s request. The owner seems to have it all figured out and tries to steer Dan but Dan goes his own way and uncovers a drug-smuggling operation in “Seals of Doom”.
How rare is Whiz Comics #2 (#1)?
Remarkably, very few copies have ever been certified by CGC. Only 26 unrestored copies have been certified, the highest is one copy in 9.0 by May of 2020.
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