Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Captain Marvel Works With Tigers

Billy Batson was traveling the country with his uncle, when they came to Detroit, to see Mr. Tawky Tawny trying out for the Detroit Tigers, leading to "Mr. Tawny's Big Game" in Shazam! #32 (November-December, 1977) by E. Nelson Bridwell, Tenny Henson and Bob Smith.

What the talking tiger didn't know, is that Mr. Mind (the world's wickedest worm) also had plans for the Tigers at this time, forcing Captain Marvel to join the baseball team, and face off against a team of alien and android ballplayers, including Six-Foot Strug, Motorman, Great Skate, Stretch, Windup, Kaleidoscope, Hopper, Fly Catcher and Handyman. 

Holy Moley!

Origins of Tawky Tawny

Mr. Tawky Tawny first appeared in Captain Marvel Adventures #79 (December, 1947, though he didn't make the cover) by Otto Binder and C.C. Beck,  Mr. Tawny came to America, fascinated by a hermit's story of the United States of America (but not blinded by the hermit's fear of our country), came to our country from India in search of a better life.....

.....but, first had to stop frightening people, so had to buy clothes, get a job and walk upright (all of which he learned to do in his desire to be American and join in society....and the talking tiger did all of the above, mixing his light humor and earnest desire, tempering his animal instincts to join the world of man). 

In his second appearance, "The Return Of Mr. Tawny" in Captain Marvel Adventures #82 (March, 1948, by Otto Binder and C.C. Beck), his origin of how he could talk and walk was explained...

...where Tawny's mom was killed when he was a cub, Tawny was taken in and named by a missionary's son, Tom Todd, and given the power of speech by the hermit (who also possessed scientific ability, tempered by his hatred of society) after the tiger was falsely accused of killing a man, and later, reunited with Tom who had moved to the big city, saving him from a crime the lad did not commit (and the serum must have allowed him to continue to mutate, resulting in his ability to walk upright).

Fawcett Comics

Mr. Tawny continued to make appearances in Captain Marvel Adventures, in #86, #88, #90 (where a contest was launched to give him a first name), #92, #96 (where Tawky was decided on, coming from Mary Garrisi and Pat McLaughlin from Detroit, MI), #98, #100, #102, #104, #108, #110, #113, #115, #117, #119, #121, #123, #126, #128, #131, #134, #137, #142....

....ending his classic appearances with Captain Marvel Adventures #149 (October, 1953, the second to last issue of Captain Marvel's solo title)...

...with Mr. Tawny becoming a hermit, in the story rightfully titled "Mr. Tawny, Hermit", which went against his usually, peaceful, pleasant demeanor, where the lovable talking tiger wanted to be around people, and tried so very hard to fit in...

...or maybe Tawky just needed a little vacation, after all, it's not easy being orange!

DC Comics

Mr. Tawky Tawny was among the people in the crowd Dr. Sivana (the world's wickedest scientist) that was picked up in Sivana's globe of Suspendium in 1954 (which included Captain Marvel and the whole Marvel Family) in Shazam! #1 (February, 1973, by Denny O'Neil and C.C. Beck), and Tawny joined the revival of the Marvel Family at DC, appearing in new stories in Shazam! #1, #2, #4, #7, #11, #15, #16, #18 and #26 (and having many of his earlier tales reprinted as well), before his professional baseball debut in #32, then appearing in World's Finest Comics #259 (October-November, 1979), then in Crisis On Infinite Earths #7 and #10 in the 1980s, before Captain Marvel's world was rebuilt.

Mr. Tawky Tawny returned with supernatural origins during Jerry Ordway's Power of Shazam! run of the 1990s, and even featured in Grant Morrison's Final Crisis, proving you can't keep an old tiger down!


  1. One of my favorite supporting characters! Witty, charming, full of life. Through Tawny, Binder poked gentle fun at human foibles. In the late 40's or early 50's, an attempt was made to do a Mr. Tawny newspaper strip (sans Captain Marvel), but nothing came of it.

  2. Undoubtedly the most significant Tawny story was in CMA 90 ! And it was for the content and not the naming contest.