In Thunder's Wake
Fawcett Comic’s’ Captain Marvel (also known, incorrectly, as “Shazam”) was the most popular superhero of the Golden Age, outselling Superman and Batman by a wide margin. But the glory didn’t last. By the early 1950s, superhero comic sales overall had dropped, and Fawcett found itself in a complex copyright-infringement lawsuit with National Comics (later called DC), who claimed that Captain Marvel was a knock-off of Superman. The case was decided in National’s favor, and Fawcett closed up shop as a result. National Comics gained the rights to Captain Marvel and most of the rest of Fawcett’s roster of characters, who then faded into second-tier status (at best) in the emerging DC Universe.
But, what if things had happened differently? What if Fawcett had stayed independent from, and more popular than, DC? What if its roster of heroes and villains had remained in continuous publication over the next 60+ years, and undergone multiple re-boots, re-interpretations, and modernizations like DC’s and Marvel’s have in the real world?
That’s the premise of the superhero setting, IN THUNDER’S WAKE. It presents a Shazam-verse that might have been, in which Captain Marvel and his supporting mythology became the foundations of a self-contained superhero universe (similar to the way Superman is in DC).
IN THUNDER’S WAKE represents Fawcett Comics’ latest re-boot of its classic characters and setting, which have thrilled comic book fans for decades. All the great Fawcett icons are here, but given a bold, fresh spin that updates them for modern sensibilities. In this new, 21st Century Shazam-verse, costumed heroes have only appeared within the past 5 years, and are still establishing their public identities. The common people and governments of the world remain uncertain what to make of them, and in some cases are outright terrified of what they represent.
First, and greatest, of these heroes is Captain Marvel, guardian and champion of all magic, who wields the power of the gods and is widely known as “Earth’s Mightiest Mortal.” Supporting him are the so-called Marvel Family — Mary Marvel, Kid Marvel (known in earlier Fawcett incarnations as “Captain Marvel Jr.”), and several brand-new characters introduced only with the re-boot. Other mystically-empowered super-beings have joined the Fawcett roster, as well; indeed, it seems that most true super-beings in this new Shazam-verse derive their power from the world’s re-awakened magic.
Familiar Fawcett heroes like Mister Scarlet, Bulletman, Ibis The Invincible, and Golden Arrow are here, too… each given an exciting new twist that both recalls their classic origins and updates them for modern audiences.
Players can assume the roles of one of these characters and design the modern twist for themselves; or create entirely new super-characters to join the ranks of these legends.
NOTE: This is not a “pre-Crisis,” “post-Crisis,” “New 52,” or ’Earth-S" campaign. Instead, it is an alternate-history-within-an-alternate history: a Shazam-verse that arose in a timeline where Fawcett Comics never became part of DC. As such, no one in this setting has ever heard of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, or any of the other iconic DC characters, and the Fawcett characters have been re-designed and re-interpreted, as much as possible, without reference to their DC-based mythologies (though some influences are inevitable).