In this issue, Aaron, Ethan, and Shea take a step back and put the Marvel Family on the Casting Couch where they crowd the coach down with Captain Marvel, Billy Batson, Mary Marvel, Captain Marvel, Jr., Uncle Marvel, the Wizard Shazam, and the insidious Black Adam.
Then, in the Characterization segment, the topic of choice is the Marvel Comics’ Phoenix Force.
We wrap things up with a Confessions of a Television Snob of the new ABC television series No Ordinary Family, starring Michael Chiklis.
About The Marvel Family
The Marvel Family is a group of fictional characters, a team of superheroes in the Fawcett Comics and DC Comics universes. Created in 1942 by writer Otto Binder and Fawcett artists C. C. Beck, Mac Raboy, Ed Herron and Marc Swayze, the team is an extension of Fawcett’s Captain Marvel franchise, and includes Marvel’s sister Mary Marvel, their friend Captain Marvel Jr., and, at various times, a number of other characters as well.
Because Marvel Comics trademarked their own Captain Marvel comic book during the interim between the demise of the Fawcett Comics Captain Marvel comics in 1953 and DC’s revival in 1972, DC Comics is today unable to promote and market their Captain Marvel/Marvel Family properties under those names. Since 1972, DC has instead used the trademark Shazam! for their comic book titles with the Marvel Family characters, and the name under which they market and promote the characters. When referring to the Marvel Family on comic book covers or various merchandise, they are by this legal necessity called the “Shazam Family”.
About The Phoenix Force
The Phoenix Force is an entity in the Marvel Comics fictional universe which has bonded with other characters, who often used the alias Phoenix.
The Phoenix Force is famous for its central role in one of the most influential storylines in American superhero comics, The Dark Phoenix Saga, and is usually linked to Jean Grey. In 2009, Jean Grey as the Dark Phoenix was ranked as IGN’s 9th Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time. Wizard Magazine’s list of Top 100 villains ranked the Dark Phoenix as #38th.
Born of the void between states of being, the Phoenix Force is a child of the universe. In the dying moments of the previous universe, the Force saved all existence from eternal damnation, enabling Eternity to preserve the humanoid Galan, ensuring his re-creation as Galactus. The Force was subsequently reborn from the cosmic fires of the “Big Bang.” Later, it encountered the malevolent Le Bete Noir and trapped it in the center of a still-cooling planet Earth. The Force was drawn back to Earth when it was awakened to reality by Feron, a sorcerer from an alternate Earth who had traveled with his master Necrom to a tower on Earth-616 to witness an alignment of dimensional interfaces. The Force joined with Feron, allowing itself to be shaped by his dreams into the form of a giant fiery bird and experiencing a spectrum of new sensations. At the moment of the alignment, Feron bade the Force to project the essence of the tower throughout the multiverse, so that it existed on every plane of reality simultaneously, creating an energy matrix. Necrom sought to access the matrix to allow him to compress all alternate Earths into a singularity, the energy released from which would endow him with godlike power, and to that end he tore out the portion of the Force that had bonded to Feron. In agonized confusion over the violation of its essence, the Force fled. Necrom bound the stolen Force with a portion of his own essence, and left it to incubate in a corpse he dubbed the Anti-Phoenix.
About No Ordinary Family
The Powells are about to go from ordinary to extraordinary. After 16 years of marriage, Jim (Michael Chiklis, The Shield Fantastic Four) feels disconnected from his workaholic wife, Stephanie (Julie Benz, Dexter), and two teenage children, Daphne (Kay Panabaker, Summerland) and JJ (Jimmy Bennett, Star Trek). To encourage family bonding time, Jim decides the family will join Stephanie on her business trip to South America. When their plane crashes into the Amazon River, they barely enjoy a moment to celebrate their survival before returning to the grind of everyday life. But they will soon realize that their lives have been forever changed. Each member of the family starts to show signs of new, unique and distinct super powers. Will their newfound abilities finally bring them together or push them further apart?