The Last Captain Marvel Story

The final appearance of the stories Marvel Family during the golden age was in MARVEL FAMILY #89, the final issue of that title. That story’s been reprinted at least once over the years. But it got me thinking: what was the last solo Captain Marvel story to see print? And so, here is the result of my research for your enjoyment.

The answer is this second story in CAPTAIN MARVEL ADVENTURES #150, the final issue of that series. The GCD lists the artwork as being by C. C. Beck but assigns no credit to the writing. I would imagine, though, that the likely scribe was Otto Binder, who wrote a staggering 57% of all of the Marvel-related stories published during the Golden Age. This might not have been one of them–but the odds are in its favor.

It has to be said that the depiction of the natives whom Sivana turns into slaves is pretty uncomfortable stuff–and the only place where we see people with brown skin in the very-white world of Captain Marvel in this issue. Some of that is down to the time in which this story was produced–1953–but not all of it.

As was typical of Captain Marvel’s adventures, a reason need to be found for the Captain to resume the persona of the more vulnerable (and therefore more heroic) Billy Batson.

Ugh. This is another irritatingly racist sequence.

On the other hand, this is a genuinely disturbing close to this chapter.

Aw, Sivana, you old softie.

That first panel reaction shot of Captain Marvel is priceless.

All right, who didn’t see this coming?

This is a pretty clever solution to his dilemma on the part of old Sivana.

And this feels like cheating at best, and like a literal Deus Ex Machina at worst.

After this, apparently Sivana retired to raise geraniums, and there wasn’t any further need for Captain Marvel–at least until 1973.

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