Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Fawcett Comics was one of several successful comics publishers during the Golden Age of Comic Books in the 1940s. Their most popular character was Captain Marvel (not to be confused with Marvel Comics' character of the same name), the alter ego of boy radio reporter Billy Batson, who transformed into the hero whenever he spoke the magic word "SHAZAM!". Other characters published by Fawcett included Ibis the Invincible , Bulletman and Bulletgirl, Spy Smasher , Captain Midnight , Phantom Eagle , Mister Scarlet and Pinky , Minute Man, Commando Yank , and Golden Arrow .
Fawcett was a modestly successful magazine publisher (e.g. Captain Billy's Whizbang), which joined in the explosion of comic book publications in the United States in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Their initial entry, developed by Bill Parker and C.C. Beck, was Thrill Comics, a single issue of which was published only as an ashcan. The content was then reworked (for example, the lead character of Captain Thunder was renamed to Marvel), and published as Whiz Comics #2.
The whimsical adventures of Captain Marvel and the Marvel Family (which included Captain Marvel Jr., Mary Marvel, the Lieutenants Marvel, etc.) eventually out-sold those of Superman, and National Comics (as DC Comics was then known) sued Fawcett, claiming that the Captain infringed on the copyright of their original costumed superhero. Facing a declining comics market in the 1950s, Fawcett ceased publication and settled the case. Many of the publisher's characters were sold to Charlton Comics. In the 1970s DC licensed, and in the 1980s they purchased, Captain Marvel and his related characters.
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