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Captain Marvel Jr.

Alias: Freddie Freeman, CM3

Titans Member
Joined:
Teen Titans (second series) #17 [1998]

Captain Marvel, Jr. Quick Bio: Crippled Freddy Freeman can harness a portion of the Shazam power by saying “Captain Marvel.” The powerful teen joined the Teen Titans and developed a crush on Argent. Since then, Captain Marvel Jr. has aided the Titans when called.

Teen Titans File Photo:


Archived File Photos (in chronological order):

Hero History


The Power Of Shazam

Freddy Freeman was on a routine fishing trip with his grandfather, when both were attacked by the evil Captain Nazi during a battle with Captain Marvel and Mary Marvel. Freddy’s grandfather was killed and Freddy was crippled by a blow from Captain Nazi.

Billy and Mary Batson (Captain Marvel and Mary Marvel) pleaded with the Wizard Shazam to restore Freddy. The Wizard said it was not within his power to do so. Billy and Mary deciphered what this meant: It was actually in their power to assist Freddy. So Billy and Mary gave a portion of the Shazam power to Freddy, enabling him to become Captain Marvel Jr. by saying “Captain Marvel.”

Captain Marvel Jr. continued adventuring in Fawcett City along with the other Marvels. Freddy need only utter the name of Captain Marvel to share the power of Shazam. Though formerly identifying himself as Captain Marvel Jr., Freddy recently adopted the appellation CM3, since uttering his own heroic moniker would trigger a reverse-transformation and leave him powerless.

Teen Titans

Soon another group of Teen Titans emerged. This group consisted of a teen-aged Atom (de-aged by events in Zero Hour) and new heroes Argent, Risk, Joto and Prysm. Captain Marvel Jr. assisted this group of Titans in freeing Supergirl and the half-alien Fringe from The Veil, a sinister organization determined to wipe out anyone on earth with alien blood.

After a battle with Haze (Jarrod Jupiter), fellow teammate Joto seemingly died, leaving the team devastated. Mr. Jupiter disbanded the team. Deciding to band together once more, Argent was instrumental in initiating a membership drive to keep the Teen Titans together. During the membership drive, various teen heroes showed up to pledge membership. Captain Marvel Jr. was among them. The Veil took the opportunity to launch an attack on the teen heroes. Captain Marvel Jr. impressed the team in the subsequent battle. The Titans accepted him as a new member on the team, along with the gentle, half-alien beast, Fringe.

 

Captain Marvel Jr. joins the team in
TEEN TITANS #17 [1998].


Captain Marvel Jr. developed a crush on Argent during his time on the team. Although they went on one date, it was disastrous, and their relationship never developed into anything more.

After another altercation with the H’San Natall and The Veil, The team discovered that Joto was indeed alive! They rescued him, and Prysm and Fringe elected to remain in space. The rest of the team decided to go their separate ways and disbanded.

Captain Marvel Jr. aided the Titans again during the Technis Imperative conflict, which involved the Justice League as well as all Titans, past and present. The two teams eventually worked together to save the earth and former Titans teammate, Victor Stone (Cyborg).

Titans L.A. Together! [from left to right]; Matt Logan, Bumblebee, Flamebird, Captain Marvel Jr.,
Beast Boy, Hero Cruz, Terra and Herald [Bushido not pictured].
From TITANS SECRET FILES #2 [2000]

Later, Gar Logan’s obnoxious cousin Matt took it upon himself to hold a membership drive party for an all-new Titans West. Gar reluctantly agreed to have the team re-form, and Titans West was re-dubbed Titans L.A. – with members that included Beast Boy, Flamebird, Herald, Bumblebee, Terra, Hero Cruz, Captain Marvel Jr. and Bushido. But Titans L.A. was over before it even began; No one had any real devotion to the team.

Later, Captain Marvel, Jr. joined the Outsiders at the request of Jade. But when the Outsiders were forced to go underground, Captain Marvel Jr. left the team.

After Superboy’s tragic death during the Infinite Crisis, the Teen Titans faced a year of heartache and turmoil. Captain Marvel Jr. joined the team for a short time, but later quit. The group remained in constant upheaval until Robin returned and reorganized the Titans into a team.

Powers & Abilities


Super strength and flight. Freddy transforms into Captain Marvel Jr. by saying “Captain Marvel”; Uttering the same words again will transform him back into Freddy Freeman.

Freddy Freeman is also third in line to having a portion of the power of SHAZAM. The wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the courage of Achilles, the power of Zeus, the stamina of Atlas, and the speed of Mercury. When Billy and Mary aren’t using their power, Freddy retains all of the power in SHAZAM. His vulnerability is if he gets hit with lightning while in CM3 form, he will revert back to his mortal form.

 

Essential Reading


Whiz Comics #25 [1941]: First appearance of Captain Marvel, Jr.
Power of Shazam #8 [1995]:
First appearance of Captain Marvel Jr., post-Crisis.
Teen Titans #4-5 [1997]: “Coming Out,” parts 1 & 2. It’s guest stars galore, when Nightwing enlists Robin to investigate the new team. Meanwhile, Supergirl and a strange creature are kidnapped by a mysterious organization known as the Veil; and Risk, Joto, Prysm, Argent, and the Atom blow up their headquarters during a training exercise, leaving Captain Marvel Jr. the task of saving Risk! Just getting used to their origins, powers and expense accounts, the Teen Titans are hardly ready to break into a well-armed fortress, but that’s what they have to do to rescue Supergirl and the bizarre creature that will become known as Fringe. First Appearance of Fringe in issue #4.
Teen Titans #17 [1998]: The Titans reunite in a guest-star filled issue. After their adventures with Superboy, Supergirl, Impulse, and Robin; the reunited Argent, Prysm and the Atom try to restart the Titans by having an open house for all the DC Universe’s youthful heroes, and get much more than they bargained for when they are attacked by the Veil. Captain Marvel Jr. and Fringe join the Teen Titans in this issue.
Teen Titans #20 [1998]: A night with the Titans! Captain Marvel, Jr. takes Argent on a dangerous first date that finds them running into Lex Luthor.
Power of Shazam #37 [1998]: Conquering his internal demons, Captain Marvel, Jr. begins calling himself CM3.
The Titans Secret Files #2 [2000]: It’s the debut of Titans LA in an astonishing all-new Special. Whether he wants it or not, Beast Boy finds himself saddled with a new West Coast branch of the Titans. But it may be the new team’s final appearance as well if Fear and Loathing and the madcap Harlequin have their say. Captain Marvel Jr. joins Titans L.A.
Teen Titans #17-19 [2004]: “Titans Tomorrow” – Face to face with themselves ten years from now, the Teen Titans make a pact that doesn’t bode well for the future. Now they must find a way home, before the Titans of Tomorrow catch up with them! Captain Marvel Jr. appear in Titans East as Captain Marvel.

Dan Jurgens’ Teen Titans


Less than a year after the cancellation of the New Titans with #130 [1996], DC Comics decided to re-launch the Teen Titans concept. Dan Jurgens spear-headed the new concept and characters, with George Pérez providing inks. Jurgens’ Titans team was a group of teenagers united by a common origin: the sinister H’San Natall alien race produced alien/human half-breeds. The Teen Titans group included H’San Natall seedlings Argent, Risk, Joto and Prysm. The team was led by Atom, who had been de-aged to a teenager during the Zero Hour event.

Writer/Artist Dan Jurgens set out to create a diverse cast: “I tend to approach a group title differently from a solo character. What I think of first are the personalities and their family and social backgrounds. I knew I wanted an interesting blend of personalities. I start by pulling various elements together, adding characterizations, then powers and talents. First, I create an individual personality, then fit that into the concept of a team comic book for an interesting mix. There are a thousand comics out there right now that have young people with powers. You can pick them up by the dozen each week. I want us to be a little different by having more character-oriented stories; I want to create characters here that the readers are really going to become interested in.”

Although an all-new concept with all-new characters, Jurgens still provided ties to past Titans teams. The Teen Titans were funded by Loren Jupiter, who had funded the original Teen Titans for a time; allies included Omen (who was revealed to be former Titan, Lilith) and Neil Richards (former Teen Titans villain, the Mad Mod); a storyline in issues #12-15 featured a reunion of the original team.

The team seemingly broke up following events of #16. Following that issue, a number of one shots provided a spotlight for individual members. These double shots (February 1998) featured: Argent/Robin, Supergirl/Prysm, Atom/Impulse and Risk/Superboy. Issue #17 featured a membership drive, and new members Fringe and Captain Marvel Jr. joined the team. Former Titan Arsenal also joined the supporting cast.

These changes failed to invigorate the title. It seemed readers didn’t accept these new characters as “Titans” and the book, while not a failure, failed to reinvent the franchise. The title was canceled with issue #24.

Short List of Notable Appearances
Teen Titans #1-24
Teen Titans Annual #1
Titans Beat Promotional Flyer
Robin & Argent Double Shot
Superboy & Risk Double Shot
Supergirl & Prysm Double Shot
Impulse & Atom Double Shot
New Year’s Evil: Dark Nemesis #1

 

Later Members: Captain Marvel Jr. and Fringe


The stage was set as far back as Teen Titans #4-5. The two-part stories featured a variety of guest stars: Supergirl, Captain Marvel Jr,  Nightwing and Robin. It also introduced a tragic man-monster, whom Prysm named “Fringe.”

Writer/artist Dan Jurgens noted, “As I see it, Captain Marvel Jr., Impulse and Robin [...] will have a loose affiliation with the group and can be brought in at any time, if their appearance makes sense and isn’t used as a sales tool.”

Teen Titans #5 also launched a ‘vote-for-new member’ campaign. From the letter column: “Hoookay, as Cody would say, in this issue we featured a nice variety of guest stars for all of you who have been asking us why so-and-so isn’t part of the Teen Titans. But if we know you fans, you’re still not satisfied. Soooo, with this issue we open the polls for you – yes, YOU – to pick the next member to join the Teen Titans. The only requirement is that they be young. Characters like Flash and Green Lantern have graduated to JLA status, so we suggest characters who are in the Robin, Impulse and the Spoiler league instead. Hoookayy? Send the ballot below.”

The team seemingly broke up following events of #16. Following that issue, a number of one shots spotlighted individual members. Teen Titans #17 featured a membership drive, and new members Fringe and Captain Marvel Jr. joined the team. Former Titan Arsenal also joined the supporting cast.

The letters column of Teen Titans #17  revealed the winner to the contest: “Holy Moley! [We]hope you like the addition of Captain Marvel Jr. to the ranks. He was the winner by a landslide of the vote for a new Titan, It was pretty interesting that neither Robin nor Impulse (guys both Dan and the editor thought would be the favorites) got as many votes as Freddie. And some of the other candidates you voted for will also be making appearances here soon. So stick around!”

The Teen Titans #18 letter column revealed more of the outcome: “As for the winner of the new member vote, it should be obvious by now that it was Captain Marvel Jr. Our runners-up were Spoiler, Terra and Damage. Surprisingly, Robin and Impulse gave a very poor showing, which is strange because during the days when this book got started, all we heard was how you wanted those guys in the Titans. Oh, well.”

These new members didn’t generate much new excitement. Captain Marvel Jr. spent most of his panel time mooning over Argent. Meanwhile, Fringe went through various man-monster tropes. In short, the membership shake-up did little to invigorate the title. It seemed readers didn’t accept these new characters as “Titans,” and the title was canceled with issue #24.

Dan Jurgens on New Teen Titans Members
[courtesy of Titans Companion 2, from TwoMorrows Publishing – 2008]

TTC: Five issues in, you announced a contest whereby the readers could vote for a new member of the team. What was the rationale behind that?

DJ: I think we just wanted to have the readers feel a little more involved.

TTC: So if Superboy or Robin had won, would you have had the authority to add them to the team?

DJ: I wouldn’t have had the authority. What we certainly would have done had that happened is gone to DC and said, “Hey, this is what the readers of this title have voted for, therefore we’re gonna assume this is what they want to see, which is good for sales in the long run. Let’s try and work this out.”

TTC: That’s when Captain Marvel, Jr. became a Titan.

DJ: Yes. And I gotta tell you, it came out of nowhere and surprised the hell out of me. One of the things I’ve always felt happened – and I think I’m right about this – is somehow, in the formative years of how the Internet related with comic publishers, somebody mounted a helluva write-in campaign for Captain Marvel, Jr., [and] they got their way.

TTC: Who did you expect to win?

DJ: Quite honestly? I thought it was gonna be Robin or Nightwing.

TTC: Wouldn’t Nightwing have been too old?

DJ: Not in my book, no. I think one of the more successful aspects of the X-Men is that you see a great mix of ages within the groups.

TTC: So how did you approach incorporating Captain Marvel, Jr. into the team?

DJ: I think the toughest thing, whenever you have to try and take anyone from the Marvel family and work them into any kind of DC continuity, is how the hell do you make it really try and make sense? To me, that’s the toughest one of all, and I’m not sure that, in retrospect, I ever felt comfortable with Captain Marvel, Jr. occupying that slot for us. You can try all the explanations of talking worms and tigers and everything else that you want, but there’s just a barrier there. I have always felt this. There’s just a barrier there that makes it very difficult to make it work.

 


Sources for this entry: DC Who’s Who Series, supplemented by titanstower.com


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