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Foundationed Deep – Captain Marvel Jr. and Kid Eternity

by  in Comic News Comment

This is the latest in a series (of indefinite length and regularity) of pieces looking at particular odd/strange/interesting instances of retroactively connecting different comic book characters (for instance, Uncanny X-Men #268 retroactively established that Wolverine knew both Captain America and the Black Widow from World War II). Here is an archive of all of the past pieces.

Today, based on a suggestion by reader Tom C., we discuss the absolutely astounding connection between Kid Eternity and Captain Marvel Jr.

Enjoy!

Okay, first off let’s examine Captain Marvel Jr’.s debut in the fall of 1941 in Fawcett Comics’ Whiz Comics #25 (by France Herron, CC Beck and Mac Raboy).

Young Freddy Freeman is on a boat with his grandfather at JUST the wrong time…


Captain Marvel is so distraught over inadvertently leading to the death of the old man and the seeming death of the young lad that he takes drastic measures…





Okay, so that’s Captain Marvel Jr. Note that he was seemingly SUPPOSED to die.

Now, exactly a year later, in Quality Comics’ Hit Comics #25 (by Otto Binder and Sheldon Moldoff), another grandfather is on a boat with HIS grandson ALSO at the wrong time…


That is, of course, a Nazi submarine. It sinks the boat. The grandfather is killed in the sinking of the boat but the Nazis aren’t done there…



However, when the young lad gets to Heaven…



Because of the mistake, he is instead sent back to Earth with brand-new powers…


Okay, so that’s Kid Eternity. Note that he was seemingly NOT supposed to die.

The SAME month that Kid Eternity made his debut, the second issue of Captain Marvel Jr.’s solo title came out. In one of the stories, Freddy Freeman is saved from Captain Nazi while in London by a familiar looking detective…


Later, the detective saves Freddy again, only now in his Captain Marvel Jr. identity (Captain Nazi poured molasses all over Freddy)…



In the end, Captain Nazi is defeated and the dumber readers are given one last big clue as to the identity of the mystery guest…


You might be saying to yourself, “What the hell, Brian? How is this possibly relevant?” I wish I could tell you that it wasn’t.

There are way too many images in this piece to keep it all on one page. So go to the next page to fast forward nearly forty years!

Okay, years later, DC bought Quality’s characters and licensed (and eventually purchased) Fawcett’s characters. In 1977, E. Nelson Bridwell brought Kid Eternity into the pages of Shazam! #27…



That’s not important in and of itself except it established that E. Nelson Bridwell was thinking about the character.

Five years later, the Marvel Family had their own back-up series in World’s Finest, written by Bridwell and drawn by Don Newton and Frank Chiaramonte (sadly enough, all three members of the creative team passed away within five years of this series of stories).

In #276, a mercenary shows up with his group of soldiers for hire to help Captain Marvel, but there sure seems to be a lot of them…


At the end, we learn why…


What a mystery!

In the next issue, Captain Marvel Jr. is aided by Jack (of Beanstalk fame)…


In the next issue, Mary Marvel is aided by a Norse servant of Thor (Thialfi or something like that)…


In the next issue, while on a case, Freddy begins pondering the recent mysterious help they have been having and made him think back to a case he went on in 1942 (the aforementioned Sherlock Holmes case)…



Later on in the issue, they are once again aided by the Greek god of healing…


but wait…


Yes, Captain Marvel Jr. and Kid Eternity are BROTHERS!

The next issue, we learn why Kid Eternity didn’t let Captain Marvel Jr. know that he was still alive (in some sort of fashion)…


Yes, the mistake in Heaven was that the Freeman boy who came in with his dead grandfather was supposed to be FREDDY, but his brother Christopher was taken by mistake because he ALSO died with a different grandfather. And that is how Sherlock Holmes was able to help Freddy out in 1942 – it was Kid Eternity helping him!

As far as I know, no one ever did anything with this newly established family of Freddy’s.

If you are amazed/mystified/bewildered that someone could be that meticulous so as to use coincidences and plot points in forty year old stories to come up with a new plot point then, well, you are obviously not familiar with E. Nelson Bridwell.

Thanks for the suggestion, Tom! If YOU have a suggestion for a future edition of Foundationed Deep, drop me a line at bcronin@comicbookresources.com.