Freckles Marvel: The Lost Marvel Episode XI : By the Book

It's been a while since I've talked about Freckles Marvel. But not because of a lack of stuff to say. I've since discovered Freckles Marvel has made sporadic appearences besides the ones I mentioned in the pages of Mary Marvel's magazine. But I thought they were acceptable losses to not mention them. I mean, they wern't  even Freckles Marvel Stories, per se.

But then there was her cartoon appearance. Thanks to Youtube user Melare Delga we now have a bit more of Freckles' freckled history available. Thanks to you, I'm going back to Marvelton.

Yes, Freckles appears in the second episode of The Kid Super Power Hour with Shazam! , a Filmation Cartoon that aired during the years 1981-82. So, you know, I guess this was all for nothing.

I wanted to find something  rare and obscure. A cartoon episode means that duh, now everybody knows about Freckles Marvel. Let's face it, Freckles Marvel is ruined.

So the episode starts with The Marvels at the Marvel Mansion getting a visit from Freckles, who is described as Billy and Mary's Cousin. Which is true...from a certain point of view. If Uncle Marvel was their actual uncle(which he might be in this show I didn't watch) then  yeah, they're cousins. But he's not because that's his shtick, and unlike him Freckles never pretended to have superpowers, so I don't know what she is here or what her relationship is to anyone.

Anyway, suddenly Freckles.


I...don't know what is going on here. Freckles Marvel is now either an overdeveloped 5 year old or a little person. I mean, I don't want to get on your case, Filmation, but  you're making this weird.
Why, yes, it does zoom in.

And oddly, the episode doesn't really give away if this is supposed to be like their baby cousin or just a short girl, either. The voice actress is the same as Mary Marvel, and the voice isn't going for something baby-esque or anything.
I take it back when I said "never to be brought back or grittied up or tarted up" again.

Anyway, Freckles comes in and gives a gift to Mary Marvel in the form of a book, which was given to her by some guy who approached her on the street.

Now, Freckles KNOWS Mary and Billy are superheroes. You'd think she'd be a little suspicious of strange men offering her stuff, especially when the stuff is, say...a book with pictures of Lizardmen in polos. So this version is at least as dumb as Freckles Prime, except instead of being like an outgoing, brazen kind of girl, she's just kind of blandly happy, providing no conflict or contrast to the proceedings.
Seriously, bro, you fucked up.

So, to recap, Freckles Marvel went from being a lanky, ugly girl who fought zoo animals and started a city wide riot, to some kind of sappy crapola ChibiUsa bullshit. And she went from being Mary Marvel's biggest fan and and trying and failing to become a hero to being a Mary and Billy's cousin from another town. I guess this was the 80's, and such ideas were considered outdated.
I'll wait for the movie.

But let's move on, from Freckles, which is what the show does anyway. During that night, the lizards jump out of the book and capture, Freddy, Billy and Mary. You see, this is already raising questions.

The lizards(who are blatantly wearing LaCoste Polos, and I don't know if that's brilliant or idiotic) and their prey shrink using their Tennis Rackets to a small size to go into the book. I hope they run into Jesus in there.
This is what happens if golf clubs embrace variety.

No, this takes them to Millions of years in the past, were, in which Ibac, The acursed, Ibac(he tells you twice, I assume it's important) a demonic amalgam creature with a mohawk, lays down his plan.  He's got a machine called "The People Processor", and while that sounds as threatening as "The Car Wash", it's actually a machine that mutates normal humans into mutant lizards. He does this to our heroes. He plans to do this to all the cavemen, shoot them through a tube into the future that is our present, and rule the world.

Now turned into "Hiss-Men", they can't transform into their heroic alter egos. However, they do have super strenght and agility, which only doesn't immediately get them out of the jam because their main idea is to run away into the dinosaur infested forest.

Marvel quickly registered Captain Lizardman as a trademark.

Now, take a deep breath, there, Ibac. Your plan is to kidnap a bunch of pissed off cavemen, and put them in a machine that will make them into super strong lizard people. Then, you somehow grab a hold of them, force them out of their time, and then assume they will not only understand what it is you want, but also obey you and be succesfull at it. A few notes.
  • These angry lizard-cave-men will immediately attack you.

  • You can't rule humanity if you turn all their ancestors into lizard men. In fact, doing that only ensures that you will rule a relatively small society of cave men with lizard bodies.

  • You can shrink humans, but you don't use this to shrink lizard Mary, Billy and Freddy.

  • Even if you sidestep the obvious time travel paradox of trying to enslave a people who's ancestors you nixed out, Hiss Men are no match for tanks and bombs. Or other Super Heroes that aren't Captain Marvel.

  • Speaking of, involving your worst enemy into a time travel scheme is a great way to get caught.

  • With that said, there is no reason not to have also captured the people left at the mansion.  I mean, there is no rush, and you obviously know they exist, and that they are there. Failing to capture those guys is the undoing of this whole plan.

  • You have access to time travel and direct access to the present(?) and the past and the future. Can't you come up with something better than this stupid brute force approach? Hell, why not turn everyone on the past into Hiss Men and RULE THERE?

Still, while The Shadowy Space Lizard Cabal that secretly rules the world taunts us by letting us know what they did through cartoons all THAT is going on, Chibi Marvel, Uncle Marvel and Talky Tawny, a sentient talking tiger in a suit I know about but have zero interest in researching, are wondering where everyone is. So, naturally, they walk out of the house and find THE TIME TRAVEL PIPE.

You've seen time travel Hot Tubs, Time Travel Cars, Time Travel Books, but never a time travel sewer pipe.

In great coincidence, Billy is on his second escape now, (Ibac, you goddamn moron!) and comes out of the tubes. And they are just ready to beat whatever comes out of that pipe to death.

I don't know what Freckles is holding here, and I don't think I wanna know.

He explains. Maybe. I think they forgot the fade out to the explaining, so it looks like Freckles just knew about it all. Shazaming does work for present day Lizard Billy Batson, so he becomes Captain Marvel. But he can't go through the time stream as Captain Marvel, so he becomes Billy, goes through, and gets himself captured a 3rd time.

Eventually, Freckles, Dudely and Tawny worry and go through. Freckles runs past a lizard guy and removes the gag from Captain Marvel. Without batting an eyelash Captain Turns the lizard men into regular men, turns Freddy and Mary back into humans, leaves Ibac stranded in the past by throwing his time travel devices around, and a the day is saved.
But it's hard to bat an eyelash for him, anyway...

So, what to say. Freckles Marvel was Freckles Marvel in name only, and not even like they were trying to do something unique with her. She's just there, and probably not even in any other episodes. This is like if you had Scrappy Doo, except now he's just a smaller Scoopy Doo with the same personality and voice actor.

"No Father! I Love HIIIM!"

Out of that, it's just a silly cartoon, that you can only get online because the rights are entangled. It's got the Filmation standard animation goofs, ludicrous plots and  stilted voice acting. So it's bad in a quaint way.

Let me know if there's other Freckles Marvel appearances out there that I missed! Or else!


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