MARVEL SUPER-HEROES #12 featuring Captain Marvel December 1967
Gene Colan and Frank Giacoia original artists
Comics characters born out of the threat of litigation as opposed to the heat of inspiration are always gonna lack a little something. Case in point: Marvel's space born superhero, the euphonious Captain Marvel (or, as they prefer to spell it on the Kree home world, Mar-vell).
Hastily conjured up to stave off any other attempts to lay claim to the name now gracing their entire line, whether it be the ludicrous version briefly issued by the tiny M. F. Enterprises, or the more worrisome DC Comics, caretaker of the original, truly famous Captain Marvel, late of the Golden Age of Comics (a character, ironically, they themselves took control of in the courts when DC forced Fawcett Publications to permanently retire the World's Mightiest Mortal, claiming somewhat dubiously that he was just a cheap knock-off of their own Superman), Stan Lee--or more likely, publisher Martin Goodman- was so intent in getting their boy onto the stands--and off to the copyright offices, no doubt--that they quickly jammed his initial appearance into what had previously been an all reprint title! And despite the efforts of artist Gene Colan and scripter Lee, the proud new owner of that hallowed name hardly seemed deserving of it. A spy from another planet sent down to size up us earthlings for future enslavement--or was it destruction? Whatever, it scarcely seemed the province of a fella named Captain Marvel! Oh, our star soon rebelled against his mission, but it was a long and muddled affair, and it wasn't until several years down the road that the Kree (ex) military officer came anywhere close to living up to the proud history associated with that name (and rank). Reinvented by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane--and further refined by a young Jim Starlin--Mar-vell eventually became a worthy addition to the Marvel Universe. And then they killed him. Oops. Time to start all over. Say, isn't this where I came in?...