Shazam! 1.10 – The Brain

Yep, this is what teenagers looked like in 1974. My late uncle Ron graduated from high school in 1974. He lived with us then and owned three of those shirts. The green and white shirt’s worn by Biff Warren, who played Doomsday in NBC’s The Kids from C.A.P.E.R. a couple of seasons later. I’d like to see that show again, actually. (Checks YouTube. Oh. No, never mind, I wouldn’t.)

Oddly, I was just telling Daniel a couple of days ago how kids, when they become teenagers, start doing really stupid things. This one required us to pause it to explain what in the world is going on. Biff Warren’s character is the leader of that gang, and he makes the new kid that he doesn’t like undergo a dangerous initiation to hang out with them. Then he starts to lose face and needs rescuing.

The weirdest thing about this episode, another of the first batch that’s directed by Hollingsworth Morse, is that the new kid has one of Filmation’s publicity photos of Jackson Bostwick as Captain Marvel on his bedroom wall. What are we to make of this? In this universe, where Captain Marvel only seems to show up for two or three minutes at a time to stop a runaway horse or extinguish an underground coal fire, he nevertheless found time to stop by a studio somewhere and have some photos made. Did he need some head shots to send out for the Avengers’ or the Justice League’s next membership drive?

Also, it was written by Donald F. Glut, who wrote a Land of the Lost episode we looked at last month. It turns out this was Glut’s first professional job, but he’d been making superhero and dinosaur movies on Super-8 film with his friends for more than ten years at this point. He wrote dozens of episodes of Saturday morning and afternoon cartoons, along with comic books – usually horror titles – for all the major publishers in the 1970s and 1980s, and created most of the characters of Mattel’s Masters of the Universe toy line. He wrote the paperback novelization of The Empire Strikes Back, and wrapped up his career writing and directing a series of movies in which naked girls fight mummies and dinosaurs. Glut seems to be retired now, but that man can honestly be said to have lived every fan’s dream life.

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