Review: Comic Book Men 712 “The Mightiest of Mortals”

Walter Flanagan, Bryan Johnson, Michael Gray aka Shazam, Brian Nashel, Mibg Chen, Mike Zapcic,- Comic Book Men _ Season 7 – Photo Credit: Brett Satterlund/AMC

Comic Book Men 712 “The Mightiest of Mortals”

DC’s Captain Marvel is making a comeback on the big screen and the character is the subject of renewed interest. The Mightiest of Mortals features Michael Gray, Billy Batson from the 1970’s Shazam! TV show, who passes by much to Mike and Walt’s delight. The episode also features an issue of ALF with a hilariously controversial cover and a version of the Twister game based on an iconic 90’s TV show.

A customer comes into the store with two Jim Henson Animal and Fozzie Bear Muppet toys from the 1970’s. She addresses Bryan and Walt while in character catching them off guard. The popularity of The Muppets is a mystery to Walt and his lack of enthusiasm for the brand is clear. In spite of his apathy he’s interested in the items and a deal is quickly made.

While sorting some comic book bins, Ming asks Walt if he can get a day off to attend a comic book convention. Walt is hesitant at first until Ming reveals that he is going with his friend, Michael Gray, who played Billy Batson on the Shazam! TV show. Walt is a big fan but can’t wrap his head around the fact that Ming is a friend of TV’s Captain Marvel. Ming doesn’t quite get the way Walt and Mike are geeking out over the revelation but Shazam! was the only superhero show they had back in the day. Walt agrees to Ming’s time off if he can bring Michael by the store.

It’s a throwback to 90’s nostalgia when a customer brings in a Twister like Entangle Game based on the hit series 90210. The customer is a massive 90210 fan, further evidenced by her Dylan fanny pack featuring Luke Perry’s mug. Walt’s not really into buying it but a challenge from Ming to play it gets him interested. Before they play the game Walt agrees to purchase it and the resulting match is hilarious.

To welcome Michael Gray into the store, Bryan, Mike and Walt don iconic Billy Batson t-shirts. The look catches Michael off guard and embarrasses Ming. The popularity of the show and the lasting impression it had on the public is discussed and then the gang begins to wonder why Captain Marvel never achieved the heights of other superheroes like Superman. Walt reasons that the character never had a great rogues gallery and Kevin brings up the inchworm, Mr. Mind. Michael recounts what it was like to be a teen idol and the visit wraps up with a photograph featuring everyone in a red and yellow Billy Batson t-shirt.

A memorable issue of ALF makes its way into the Stash eliciting giggles from everyone. The issue in question, #48 features ALF in a controversial pose, which Marvel Comics later recalled. Walt isn’t interested but the customer gives it to Ming since he was such a huge fan of the show.

The Mightiest of Mortals features a lot of items that Walt either had no interest in or wasn’t a fan of. What didn’t fall into that category was Michael Gray’s visit and Walt and Mike’s love of Shazam helped make the episode one of the highlights of the season so far.