Rock of Eternity

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Rock of Eternity
Notable charactersCaptain Marvel / Shazam
Marvel/Shazam Family
the Wizard Shazam
Black Adam
First appearanceThe Marvel Family (December 1945)
PublisherFawcett Comics (1945 - 1953)
DC Comics (1973 - present)

The Rock of Eternity is a fictional location appearing in comic books featuring Captain Marvel / Shazam and/or his associated characters, first in publications by Fawcett Comics and later by DC Comics. In most versions of the Captain Marvel / Shazam! franchise, the Rock of Eternity serves as the source of the character's power and the residence of his benefactor, the Wizard Shazam.

It first appears in The Marvel Family #1 (December 1945). Issue #7 (December 1947) further explores the Rock of Eternity in the story "The Marvel Family Reaches Eternity".

Fictional location history[edit]

In the context of the original Fawcett stories published from 1940 to 1953, the Rock of Eternity is the lair of the Wizard Shazam, the ancient Egyptian mage who grants Captain Marvel and his Marvel Family associates Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel, Jr. with their powers. Resembling a large, barren mountain and positioned at the center of space and time, the wizard's spirit remained at the Rock after his death during the initial creation of Captain Marvel, as depicted in Whiz Comics #2 (February 1940). He had previously lived in an underground lair on Earth, accessible by a magic subway car, which included his throne and imprisoned stone personifications of the Seven Deadly Enemies of Man. Following the wizard's death, lighting the brazier in the underground lair would summon Shazam's spirit from the Rock of Eternity; alternately, the Marvels could choose to journey to the Rock itself by flying faster than the speed of light. Surrounding the Rock were mists representing space and time; navigating through them could allow the Marvels to travel to specific locations in time and space.[1]

After a lawsuit from DC Comics forced Fawcett Comics to cease publication of all Captain Marvel-related material in 1953,[2] DC later elected to license the Captain Marvel properties from Fawcett. The Rock of Eternity is used as a locale in some of the 1970s-1980s DC Captain Marvel stories - published under the title Shazam! due to trademark issues with a "Captain Marvel" character that was published by Marvel Comics after Fawcett's Captain Marvel was out of publication. As it is located at the center of space and time in these stories, the Rock allowed the Marvels and other DC Characters to travel between the various dimensions of DC's Multiverse and travel to the company's various super-hero characters' alternate worlds.[1]

A 1994 reboot of Captain Marvel by Jerry Ordway under the title The Power of Shazam! featured prominent usage of The Rock of Eternity, merging it and Shazam's earthly underground lair so that the Seven Deadly Enemies of Man (later referred to by the more common Seven Deadly Sins) were now imprisoned at the Rock of Eternity along with many other demons captured by the Wizard Shazam. The Marvels now gained access to the Rock by using the subway car or by magic teleportation.[3] The Rock of Eternity now resembled a giant stone diamond suspended in the middle of the mists of space and time; in one Power of Shazam! story, it was relayed as having been formed by the Wizard Shazam under his original persona as The Champion, the civilized world's first superhero, by taking a piece of stone from heaven and a mating slab from hell.[4] A 2005 comic book miniseries, Day of Vengeance, features the Spectre destroying the spirit of the Wizard Shazam, causing the Rock to lose its tether outside of space and time and explode over Gotham City, freeing the Sins and other evils.[5] A follow-up Day of Vengeance Special features Captain Marvel and a number of other magic-based superheroes reforming the Rock.[6]

Geoff Johns & Gary Frank's 2012-13 Shazam! reboot, printed as backups in the Justice League (vol. 2) series, revamped the origin and purpose of The Rock of Eternity for DC's New 52 continuity.[7] In this revised setup, the Rock was a magical palace atop a mountain visible as a locale several millennia ago in the ancient North African kingdom of Kahndaq.[8] A council of seven Wizards ruled over all earthly magic from the Rock, dispatching champions to serve them on Earth by harnessing their powers.[8] Black Adam, the champion of COuncil of Eternity lead wizard Shazam, went rogue and killed the other Wizards, leading Shazam to imprison Adam and hide the Rock and all magic from the world.[8] With Adam's release by Doctor Sivana in the present day, a wizened and dying Shazam appointed teenager Billy Batson as the successor to his powers and his title as leader of the Council of Wizards.[8]

In the 2017-2018 series Dark Nights: Metal, Wonder Woman, Hawkgirl and Doctor Fate travel to the Rock of Eternity searching for the Nth metal that forms Hawkman's mace. There they face the Seven Deadly Sins and Black Adam, and the latter instantly kills Doctor Fate.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b DC Comics Presents Annual #3 (1984)
  2. ^ Lage, Matt (2001). "Visual Expression: Will Lieberson - Fawcett Comics Executive Editor". In Hamerlinck, P.C. Fawcett Companion: The Best of FCA (1st ed.). TwoMorrows Publishing. pp. 92–97.
  3. ^ The Power of Shazam! #5 (August 1995)
  4. ^ The Power of Shazam! #10 (January 1996).
  5. ^ Day of Vengeance #6 (November 2005)
  6. ^ Infinite Crisis: Day of Vengeance Special (March 2006)
  7. ^ Esposito, Joey (2012-03-05). "Goodbye Captain Marvel, Hello Shazam!". IGN. Retrieved 2018-09-22.
  8. ^ a b c d Justice League #0, 18-21 (2012-2013)