House ad for Shazam! (1973 series) #7 (November 1973); printed in Secrets of Sinister House #15 (November 1973)
Comic cover art: pencils and inks by C. C. Beck
Ad designed and lettered by Gaspar Saladino
This comic book is asking why Mr. Tawky Tawny has entered into a vow of silence? Surely that's not a matter of life or death!
Panel from "The Troubles of the Talking Tiger" in Shazam! (1973 series) #7 (November 1973); script by Denny O'Neil; pencils, inks, and letters by C. C. Beck
Oh. I stand corrected.
Yes, it's not many comic books that begin with one of the supporting cast observing a passer-by wearing the skin of a relative*.
I'm puzzled by the teaser for this story, because not only do we see Mr. Tawky Tawny speaking English in this story, we see him speaking Tigerese. Or, as he likes to be called, Tiger-American. Man, check out that visage of grim determination in the second panel! His desire to discover the truth is grrrrrrrrrrreat!
So of course, Tawky Tawny does as all heroes do when faced with dangerous and hazardous missions: he strips buck naked. Hey, DC! This here's a family comics!
Which doesn't explain why he has lost the ability to speak on the cover of the comic book! Hmmm, maybe, like Mister Mind, he has a tiny voicebox around his neck and when he took off his clothes he lost it and...oh, wait, or maybe this.
You know all those modern-day oh-so-serious comics where Captain Marvel uses the power of the Shazam lighting to bring down a Earth-S of hurt on his opponents? (Because, say, just punching them with the power of Hercules won't do anything.) But here is quite possibly the finest example of saying "Shazam!" just in time ever recorded in the history of all comic books and I'm not exaggerating one tiny bit!
So, mystery solved. Mr. Tawky Tawny lost his voice because he was lynched by rabid anti-tiger insurrectionists. And then he attempted to bite off Captain Marvel's head. Huh! What's the reason for that? Well, I can make an educated guess. It's because Mr. Tawky Tawny just can't resist the delicious, savory taste of...Big Red Cheese.
*Aside from some issues of Richie Rich.