A Double Double ‘n Dice Ep68: Female Characters in Dice Masters Series: Mary Shazam

Pour your favourite beverage, pull up a comfy chair, and join Kim and Jocelyn to chat about our favourite dice rolling game, Dice Masters, on a A Double Double ‘n Dice podcast.

We’ll be talking about a different topic each week and hope you’ll join us to sit back, chill out, and enjoy the conversation about anything ‘n everything Dice Masters.

In this week’s episode, we continue our series on Female Characters in Dice Masters with Mary Shazam! We dive into a light Dice Bag and go through all the upcoming events/tournaments including Worlds!.

Dice Masters Worlds is happening September 15th to 18th, schedule details here and prizing details here.

Jocelyn’s Out of the Shadows article, Investigative Journalism

Other Events/Tournaments:
– Dice Social will be happening Sat. Sept. 24th, details coming soon, check out #dice-social in the DM Discord or dmNorthTV Discord
– Weekly Dice Arena happens every Tuesday at 9pm Eastern, check out #weekly-dice-arena in the DM Discord or dmNorthTV Discord
– Dice Fight happens every Thursday at 4pm Eastern, check out #dice-fight in the DM Discord

Until next time, on a Double Double ‘n Dice!

We would love to hear from you! Email us at tripledpodcast@dm-north.com or leave a comment here.

Need a dice bag? Visit JoceStitch Etsy store

The following music was used for this media project:
Music: Lobby Time by Kevin MacLeod
Free download: https://filmmusic.io/song/3986-lobby-time
License (CC BY 4.0): https://filmmusic.io/standard-license
Artist website: https://incompetech.com
Music: The Big Bang by Alexander Nakarada
Free download: https://filmmusic.io/song/4906-the-big-bang
License (CC BY 4.0): https://filmmusic.io/standard-license
Artist website: https://www.serpentsoundstudios.com/

 

One Reply to “A Double Double ‘n Dice Ep68: Female Characters in Dice Masters Series: Mary Shazam”

  1. Hi. This is to answer some of the questions you brought up about Mary Marvel/Mary Shazam in the podcast.

    First, the character history you gave for Mary Bromfield in the podcast, where she’s one of many children fostered and/or adopted by the Vasquezes, is a 21st century retcon. Originally, she was Billy’s separated-at-birth twin sister.

    The character was created in the early 1940s, and was one of the three main members of what was known at the time as the Marvel Family, along with Captain Marvel (the original Billy Batson version and Captain Marvel Jr. (Freddy Freeman)).

    In Mary’s first appearance and origin story, an elderly woman summons Billy Batson to her bedside for a deathbed confession. She turns out to have been a nurse working in the hospital where Billy Batson was born. Billy’s mother hadn’t known she was carrying twins, and when the child of another pregnant woman in the hospital, a Mrs. Bromfield, turned out to be stillborn, the nurse switched out the female Batson twin for the stillborn Bromfield child. Except the nurse didn’t actually give Billy the Bromfield name.

    The nurse left one of a pair of distinct lockets with each child. Within a few days of the confession, boy newscaster Billy Batson is hosting an on-air quiz show where one of the contestants is Mary Bromfield, who is wearing a locket matching the one Billy owns.

    It turns out she is Billy’s lost sister, and like Billy, she has the ability to turn into a super-powered version of herself by saying the magic word Shazam (which is also the name of the wizard who gave Billy his powers). Apparently she gained the ability when Billy did, she just hadn’t known about it.

    As for the confusion about her name, it would seem to be the side effect about the confusion of the name of Billy Batson’s alter ego, and boy is that a mess.

    Back in the 1940s and early 1950s, Billy’s alter ego was known as Captain Marvel. And for much of that time period, he was the most popular comic book character in the world, regularly outselling Superman.

    I should note that Billy and the rest of the Marvel Family were not owned by DC comics at this point – they were published by a company called Fawcett comics.
    There was a protracted legal battle between Fawcett and DC, since the latter considered Billy Batson/Captain Marvel an illegal Superman knockoff. The legal fight ended in 1953, with Fawcett agreeing to pay a settlement and to never again publish Captain Marvel or related characters.

    In fact, Fawcett was getting out of the comic book business altogether. It seemed to make sense – superhero comics were at their nadir in 1953. They seemed to be a fad whose time had come and gone, and a lot of people didn’t expect them to survive.

    The Barry Allen version of the Flash appeared in 1957, signaling the dawn of the Silver Age. Then in the early 60s a newly rebranded company came out with something of a new take on superheroes, with characters like Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four. And superhero comics turned out not to be dead after all.
    Of course, the new name of that rebranded company I mentioned was Marvel Comics.

    And now I must go off on a brief tangent about trademark law. Apparently, you cannot maintain control of a trademark unless you are actively using it. For a comic book company, that means publishing books using that title. And Fawcett wasn’t.

    So Marvel comics decided to create a ‘Captain Marvel’ of their own and grab the trademark on the name. This one, created in the 1960s was not Carol Danvers, but an alien military officer named Mar-Vell who winds up on Earth. Humans who seem him in his gaudy military uniform and hear him referred to as Captain Mar-Vell think he’s a new superhero calling himself Captain Marvel. Eventually stuff happens and Mar-Vell decides to take up the role of Earth Superhero for reals.

    This version was killed off in 1982 or 1983 in one of the very first original graphic novels and has (astonishingly) stayed dead ever since. (There were apparently one or two very minor storyline based exceptions, but they were temporary).

    DC had bought the rights to the Fawcett characters from the remains of that company in the early 70s, but couldn’t publish any books using the title ‘Captain Marvel’ because they didn’t own the trademark. They could, and did, use the name Captain Marvel in the stories themselves, but they had to call the actual books about him by another title, and they settled on ‘Shazam!”.

    Now, Mar-Vell might have been dead in Marvel continuity, but there was no way Marvel comics was going to lose the trademark on the Captain Marvel name, and especially not to DC. So, for a considerable time, they kept introducing a parade of new Captain Marvels. Generally, each new one was less interesting and more forgettable than the previous one, but it did allow them to keep control of the trademark.

    In 2012, Marvel decided to have Carol Danvers switch her hero name from Ms. Marvel to Captain Marvel in Mar-Vell’s honor. (Mar-Vell had been a friend and inspiration to her in the comics.) That seems to have stuck, and Marvel comics finally seems to have a Captain Marvel with some staying power.

    Back to DC. After decades of only using his name inside the books DC caved, and decided to start calling the lightning bolt superhero guy (who wasn’t the Flash) by the name Shazam. There were tons of comic books fans who’d seem more covers than contents about him who already thought that was his name.

    There were some diehard fans who were still “the superhero’s name is Captain Marvel. Shazam is the wizard who gave Billy his powers!”, of course. You can’t please everyone.

    Back to Mary.

    There weren’t explicit trademark issues with the name ‘Mary Marvel’. So there was no huge rush to change her hero name.

    But I guess somebody at some point decided there’s no reason for her to be called Mary Marvel when the Big Red Cheese isn’t using the name Marvel. I’m not one hundred per cent sure there – I don’t buy or read all that many new comics. To be honest, the first time I saw her called Mary Shazam was when the SKC spoilers started coming out, and her cards were using that name.

    Sorry if I got a little rambly here, but it’s not easy to stay concise while trying to explain the legal issues around the Captain Marvel name. If you have further questions about anything mentioned here, let me know, and I’ll try to answer them.

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