Sep 5, 2012

Michael Gray and Captain Marvel

Michael Gray didn't get a big teen idol treatment, maybe because he didn't sing, so there was nothing for his fans to do but wait for Saturday morning, when his live-action tv show Shazam (1974-77) came on after Land of the Lost.  It was about a teenager named Billy Batson who traveled around with an older mentor (Lee Tremayne), looking for people in trouble.  When he found some, he would say "Shazam!" and turn into the muscular superhero Captain Marvel (so all bad guys had to do was gag him, and he'd be helpless).

Wait -- a middle-aged man and a teenage boy traveling and living together?  Sounds like a homodomestic pair to me.

It was a slight, wish-fulfillment plot, similar to The Powers of Matthew Star  a few years later.  My friends and I found it too childish to watch regularly.  But to make matters worse, after a season, Shazam got all mixed up with the adventures of a miniskirted female superhero, the Mighty Isis, so you could never be sure if you would see beefcake or cheesecake.

But at least Michael Gray was cute, in an androgynous teen idol way, and his alter ego, Captain Marvel, (Jackson Bostwick, John Davey) had muscles in all the right places.

Shazam marked the beginning and the end of Michael Gray's fame, but he's doing well in his second career as a florist.


  1. But feeling aroused by anyone from Earth-S is wrong.

    I'm surprised they forgot the rest of the Marvel Family. At least Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel Jr. (who is not related to Captain Marvel)

    After the Crisis, they're treated as any other DC characters. Just in time, as the Psycho-Pirate said, things are more uncertain now.


  2. 1974 would be a year after DC acquired Fawcett Comics. (1956 for Quality Comics, 1973 for Fawcett Comics, 1983 for Charlton Comics, and 1998 for WildStorm.)

    The whole thing is funny because of how innocent it is. The comic was created in the 40s, same time Robin and Speedy were created, and there wouldn't be any speculation of impropriety before the 50s.

    In recent years:

    Mister Mind has been a cosmic butterfly, instrumental in the new multiverse. But also a pawn of the Great Darkness. (Other than these finger puppets OF DOOM!, my empty!)

    Captain Marvel Jr. was a Titan for a while. So was Captain Marvel, and in the future, he'll unleash the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, apparently.

    Mary Marvel turned evil twice, due to Black Adam and Darkseid. She let him sit on her couch! And a meme was born.

    Doctor Sivana was working with 51 other selves to create a special day to defeat Captain Marvel. Sivanaday only had eight hours.

    I have no idea what they're doing with Black Adam and Dark Crisis.

  3. Michael Gray also dated Marcia Brady in an episode of the Brady Bunch, when Marcia got a job as shift manager at an ice cream parlor. Michael Gray went on to date someone else, Marcia got jealous and dumped ice cream on Michael Gray’s date.


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