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When Underworld Unleashed and Power of Shazam Had the Same Ending!

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COMIC LEGEND:

Jerry Ordway had to change the ending to an issue of Power of Shazam because it was the same ending as the Underworld Unleashed crossover!

STATUS:

True

When Jerry Ordway rebooted the Marvel Family in the early 1990s with Power of Shazam, he was given a tough task. He not only had to update the Marvel Family...

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but he also had to firmly place them within the context of the DC Universe. Ordway kept them MOSTLY separate in the early issues, as he had to build up the cast of the series (like introducing new versions of all of the older characters).

However, in a big three-part storyline beginning in Power of Shazam #10, Ordway brought in the demon Blaze, who Ordway had worked on when he was writing and drawing one of the Superman titles...

As it turned out, though, Ordway ended up being TOO close to the DC Universe! You see, his original ending for his storyline with Blaze was currently the ending of DC's then-big crossover event!

Ordway explained it all in TwoMorrows' Modern Masters Volume 13: Jerry Ordway (in an interview by Eric Nolen-Weathington).

You see, the ending of Underworld Unleashed (by Mark Waid, Howard Porter and a bunch of inkers) involved Captain Marvel being a special target of the villainous demon, Neron...

However, after a little conversation between Marvel and the clever Trickster, Marvel offered up his soul to Neron, free and clear, just to save everyone else...

Yep, sure enough, a soul obtained for purely good reasons is no good to Neron!!

Clever stuff.

The problem is that that was what Ordway was going to do with his Blaze storyline! Obviously, though, the major crossover event took precedence, so Ordway came up with a different conclusion to his three-parter...

Ordway theorized that both he and Waid were likely thinking of a classic Stan Lee/Neal Adams/Joe Sinnott story from Thor #181, where Thor's soul was too much for Mephisto...

Great stuff.

Thanks, Eric and Jerry!

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