It has been a while since I have did an Outsiders Bio so here is a refresher on what this is all about
Major Spoilers is a great blog and comics news site. I especially like their rundown on oh….every single member of the Legion of Super-Heroes ever! It is a lot of fun to read. So, I decided to do the same thing on my blog (I hope they don’t get mad). Instead of the Legionnaires, I want to focus on a superhero team that is even more under appreciated then those from the 31st Century….a team in the 21st Century; a team that that exists on the fringes of the Superhero Community….and yes I am talking about THE OUTSIDERS.
The Outsiders have always been a favorite team of mine. Maybe because I like the underdogs? Maybe because of the characters? Maybe I have no reason. I just know I like them. From Barr to Winick to Dixon, they have always captured my imagination. It seemed fitting to do this now since Tomasi’s run is about to begin and we are getting another overhaul of the team. I can’t promise it will be as witty and well-written as the Hero Histories over on Major Spoilers – in fact I can guarantee that it won’t be – but I will try my best.
Today, I want to focus on another short-lived member of the Outsiders. Sometimes called CM3, Currently going by the name Shazam, but for most of his superheroic career Freddy Freeman was known as Captain Marvel Jr.
Freddy’s involvement with the Outsiders began in 2004’s Outsiders (Volume 3) #9. In this issue, The Outsiders get into a confrontation with the Marvel Family villain, Sabbac. Under Judd Winick’s pen, the Outsiders seemed to always be fighting Marvel family villains for some reason. (In fact, the Marvel Family villains appear in most things Winick writes now that I think about it).
In the final page of that issue, Freddy arrives in style to help the Outsiders take down Sabbac.
Freddy takes on Sabbac by himself while the Outsiders fight the demons brought into this world by Sabbac’s follower. Freddy is a little upset because Sabbac apparently murdered his foster brother. He makes some mistakes in the fight before being saved by a badly burnt Grace. Afterward he has his first discussion with a member of the Outsiders.
I like how this shows how different Captain Marvel Jr is from Grace and from the other Outsiders. He still believes that people are basically good and holds on to that innocent ideal.
Freddie simply flies away and that is the last we see of him with the Outsiders for 18 issues! The World’s Mightiest Boy finally returns in Outsiders (Volume 3) #28 just before Infinite Crisis.
The team has just lost Indigo after she betrayed the team and blew herself up (More on that when I do Indigo’s bio) and Nightwing decided to quit afterwards….so morale was quite low. Team leader Jade decides to invite a new member to the team to replace the powerhouse they lost with Indigo gone.
She must have remembered the fight with Sabbac from way back in issue ten because…
Although it is not shown in this issue, Freddy apparently agreed to join the team because he is shown at the team meeting in the following issue among his now teammate, looking quite out of place might I add.
This incarnation of the team didn’t exactly get along so well and Freddy’s happy-go-lucky attitude and sweetness definitely made him an Outsider among Outsiders. I particularly loved his conversation with Starfire after the meeting. Especially considering that Starfire was once considered to the be the sweet and innocent member during her Teen Titans days.
It turns out that Freddy joined the team just in time as the Outsiders were about to take on classic Captain Marvel villain Sivana as well as Sabbac again (Remember what I said about Judd Winick and Captain Marvel villains.)
The Fearsome Five (now joined by Sabbac) decide to break Mammoth out of Alcatraz. Ironically, this was the exact same plot of this summer’s Teen Titans when Red Devil got killed. What the hell? I knew I had read that story before.
The Seven deadly sins escape the rock of eternity at this time and make Sabbac quite a bit more powerful.
In the next issue Sabbac releases the sin of lust upon Alcatraz and the place erupt into a massive orgy! Being a gay man I couldn’t help but appreciate this panel. Yay! Now if only DC had more of that in their comics!
The batltle again Sabbac is one when former member Katana shows up along with Donna Troy. Afterwards Donna asks the Outsiders to join her on her mission into space (that leads to Infinite Crisis) and Freddy gets a nice welcome to the team by a founding member.
In the end Donna includes Freddy in her recruitments to space. But he doesn’t stay for long as he senses that the Spectre is trying to destroy all of magic on earth (as he tries to during Infinite Crisis). I loved the interconnectedness of the DCU at the time (2005) and the build up to Infinite Crisis. It was a really exciting time to be reading DC Comics.
By the way, I really do not like how Matthew Clark draws faces and especially how he draws Freddy’s face on this page.
But anyways, in Outsiders (Volume 3) #32 Captain Marvel Jr returns to earth and to help the other Outsiders and figure out what is wrong with magic. Sabbac is now in Katana’s sword. Katana discovers Sabbac’s true mission.
Sabbac is trying to capture Freddy for the Society – who in turn plan on hooking up to a crazy machine and bring back the pre-crisis Earth-S through him. (Yes it’s complicated and not something we need to get into here).
The next issue the Outsiders rescue Mary Marvel from the Society’s clutches and Freddy and Mary have an interesting conversation as they fly away together.
I have to say that I agree with Mary here. At first, Freddy seemed to be a strange fit for the Outsiders but the few issues he were on the team showed amazing teamwork and a great personality to balance off his darker teammates. Everyone seems to like him so much that he even socializes with the rest of the team during happy hour in his final scene with the team. Katana is always the mother figure of the Outsiders – always looking out for the younger members. But what the heck is going on with Freddy’s hair in this scene? Haha
Sadly, as I said, Outsiders (Volume 3) #33 was the last issue of Freddy with the team as the next issue jumped forward one year later in time with an all new membership roster. Freddy’s leaving wasn’t explained until all the way to issue 44 where it is mentioned he left to deal with the fluxuations with magic.
To conclude, Captain Marvel Jr was a light-hearted character in the dark DC Universe, and a light-hearted character on a very dark team. He was an Outsider among Outsiders, and that made him perfect for the Outsiders! Will he return to the team some day? Only time will tell I guess.