The above Captain Marvel origin story was published in Fawcett Publication's Whiz Comics Volume 1, Number 2 in February 1940. Billy Batson, as depicted above, was met by a phantom-like stranger and of his own accord traveled via a mysterious subway to a deep underground cavern ornately carved with the Seven Deadly Enemies of Man: Pride, Envy, Greed, Hatred, Selfishness, Laziness, and Injustice. All seven Enemies are the antithesis to any number of general codes of conduct attributable toward the overall uplifting of man. For me specifically, as a young boy growing up, they were applicable to the Cowboy Code of the West --- that is to say, combating or eliminating one, any, or all by promoting their opposite as a way of life would formulate the basis encompassing the precepts of the variations found in the majority of the Codes. See:
THE COWBOY CODE OF THE WEST
Below are pictures of three gurus, who, in their own respective worlds would be or were/are considered to be major teachers of sort. The picture on the far left is what the writer Bill Parker and artist C. C. Beck that wrote and drew the Captain Marvel respectively thought Billy Batson's ancient, wise, and mysterious wizard Zhazam should look like. Older, white beard, white robe, aquiline-like nose. In the middle picture the person depicted on the left is the Hollywood version of what the venerated Indian holy man in the William Somerset Maugham novel The Razor's Edge was conceived to look like --- and how he was presented to the movie-going audience in the black and white 1946 movie based on the Maugham novel. Again, older, white beard, white robe, aquiline-like nose. The picture on the far right is what the in-real-life venerated Indian holy man the movie version is based on actually looked like, the Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi.
ZHAZAM-----THE RAZOR'S EDGE-----SRI RAMANA MAHARSHI
Fictional or real life, all three played major roles in my life. Now, in real life I was fairly young when the Captain Marvel Origin Story presented above first came out in 1940 and I have no strong remembrance of it specifically one way or the other. However, his origin was fairly clear all through and up to 1953 when Captain Marvel ceased publication. As for myself, if I hadn't actually seen his origin story specifically, as a fan growing up I was quite familiar with the story as it was often interjected or repeated in one version or the other over the years. Below are two semi-comprehensive cut-to-the-quick one-page origin stories that appeared at one time or the other since the original 1940 multi-page version above was first published and one very special one that was part of a much bigger story called A Twice Told Tale wherein Dr. Sivana invents a "time pill" and goes back in time before Billy Batson became Captain Marvel in an attempt to stop him from ever becoming Captain Marvel:
THE TIME PILL SCENARIO
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THE TIME PILL PARADOX
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I was a very young boy when my mother died. Prior to her death I was placed with a foster couple that took me to India. The early leg work for going to India was put into place long before I ever entered kindergarten, primarily because, even then, my mother's health began to deteriorate --- eventually reaching a point that she was unable to care for herself let alone my two brothers and me. Out of pure necessity my father began placing the three of us kids under the care of others. First as needed using day-by-day babysitters, then overnight with grandparents or neighbors, then for whole weekends. One day a couple who happened to be visiting neighbors suggested having one of us boys come live with them until things improved. My father agreed and for whatever reason they selected me. No sooner had I moved in and started a new school than the couple took me, without my father's consent, to India, not returning until sometime around the start of summer --- in the process missing the whole last half of the school year.
Over a roughly two-year period, with the end of their run just about the same time I returned from India, the Kellogg's cereal company, in a marketing campaign tied in with the war effort, began putting easy to assemble flyable balsa wood model war planes into boxes of their breakfast cereal PEP.
The inside-the-box free Kellogg's PEP premium-offer consisted of a small flat sheet of balsa wood with the parts of the plane printed on it inserted inside a paper envelope. Directions for constructing the planes were printed on the envelope along with a brief description of the aircraft itself. Kellogg's claimed thirty different models, although the number varied from eight to twenty-one to thirty. There may have been a thirty plane run over the span of the promotion. Of course the one I was interested in was the P-40 Tomahawk or Warhawk depending on where or who flew it, which meant if I didn't get one right off or trade for one, most likely I ended up having to buy 3,000 boxes.
The other model I built and flew in those days, rather than being a more-or-less flat balsa wood plane like the PEP offer, was a dimensional penny in the nose P-40 cut out of heavy card-stock paper adorned with a Flying Tigers motif and USAAF insignia. The model was a promotional offer through General Mills, their cereal Wheaties, and their hunkering down stud Jack Armstrong, All-American Boy.(see)
The above two offers involved the P-40 and similar war time aircraft. The fact that they flew was to be expected, because after all, they were airplanes. However, Captain Marvel was a man, yet he flew. The more I built and flew the Flying Captain Marvel glider-type toy --- with a penny in its nose just like the Jack Armstrong P-40 --- the more intrigued I became. Here was a man, not a plane flying, but a man. In my young mind I could see no reason for such a thing not to be able to happen.
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While I was in India I met and stayed at the ashram of the venerated Indian holy man, the Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, so mentioned above, it ended for me with some rather startling results. The man depicted with the holy man in the middle picture above is an actor by the name of Tyrone Power who played a man in the movie called Lawrence Darrell. Although not his real name, like the holy man, the Darrell character was based on a real life person. Several years after I was at the ashram, while in high school, I met the real life person in real life myself. In turn he became my Mentor in things spiritual and guided me through various stages of my life, the most important of which can be found in the following:
THE CODE MAKER, THE ZEN MAKER
SHANGRI-LA, SHAMBHALA, GYANGANJ, BUDDHISM AND ZEN
THE WANDERLING, BEGGARMAN, THIEF
THE GREEN LAMA
THE BLACK CONDOR: THE MAN WHO COULD FLY LIKE A BIRD
THE WANDERLING, GIRLS, FIREHAIR, AND A WHOLE
BUNCH OF OTHER EARLY INFATUATION EXPERIENCES!
CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT: THE CODE-O-GRAPHS
HIS HISTORY AND EVOLUTION
As to the subject of donations, for those of you who may be interested in doing so as it applies to the gratefulness of my works, I invariably suggest any funds be directed toward THE WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT and/or THE AMERICAN RED CROSS.
THE BEST OF THE MAUGHAM BIOGRAPHIES:
SPIRITUAL GUIDES, GURUS, AND TEACHERS INFLUENTIAL IN DARRELL'S LIFE OTHER THAN THE MAHARSHI: