Posted Monday, August 16th, 2021 by Barry

Whiz Comics (1940) 2

If this cover looks familiar, it should. We’ve used it before for various non-holidays, but maybe none more important than the unofficial week we are commemorating:  Elvis Week.

Elvis pre-dated Captain Marvel by a few years; the King of Rock n’ Roll was born Jan. 8, 1935. Shazam was created in 1939 and first appeared in Whiz Comics issue two cover dated February 1940.

What do the two have in common?

Whiz Comics (1940) 2

Their blue-black hair. The mid-sized cape. Their popularity in pop culture.

Arguably Elvis Presley would outshine his superpowered hero in this day and age, but there was a time when the Big Red Cheese even out shown Superman.

So popular was Captain Marvel, even Elvis admired the two-dimensional C.C. Beck and Bill Parker creation.

An avid reader Shazam reader, Elvis would later take the hair color and recreate it for his own persona. The cape was another swipe.

Shazam’s popularity was originally such DC Comics filed suit against Fawcett Comics. The legal battle waged in the court system for over a decade. Fawcett finally ceased publication of all comic books in 1953 and paid DC $400,000 in damages.

Captain Marvel became Shazam in 1972 when DC Comics brought the character into their stable of heroes. Marvel Comics had already established another hero of the same name almost a decade earlier.

Never forgetting his childhood idol, Elvis chose to adopt the hair and cape styles as his star rose. For the hair he used Miss Clariol 51D, “Black Velvet.”

Nearly 10 years after his exile to Hollywood, the legendary performer began appearing live on stage in 1969. He would fulfill his movie contract and return to the stage full time, performing until his untimely death on Aug. 15, 1977.

This week has been set aside to allow fans to remember Elvis for his talent and Dixie-dipped baritone that still resonates in the annals of rock n’ roll.

Fans commemorate the week in Memphis with a reunion, dance party, 5K run, auctions, concerts, memorial services, tours of Graceland, a candlelight vigil and more.

The Elvis Presley Estate from Graceland Mansion in Memphis, TN, hosts Elvis Week annually.

Elvis released 72 albums under his RCA label including 18 movie soundtracks, four gospel LPs, three Christmas records, six live albums, six gold record compilations and 21 theme LPs.

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