Review – Shazam! #1 (DC Comics)
Publisher: DC Comics
Writers: Geoff Johns
Artwork: Dale Eaglesham
Colours: Mike Atiyeh
Letters: Rob Leigh
Release Date: 5th December 2018
Way back in March of 2012 during DC’s New 52, Shazam! was reintroduced in a series of short stories at the end of the monthly Justice League comics. This new imagining of the character sparked high hopes for me of a new Shazam! solo series. However, this didn’t happen. In fact, nothing happened. The origin was told and it was a solid retelling, and then the character fell off the map.
I for one had no idea what to think. Why bother (re)telling such a compelling origin story for a character and then just let it drop? So, when I heard that DC was going to give Shazam! his own series here in 2018, I had renewed hope, and my levels of excitement and anticipation were both extremely high. And while I won’t say my expectations were dashed here necessarily, I will say that I didn’t quite get what I expected.
Going into this one I was expecting a solo Shazam! Series. As it turns out, that’s not what this is, but that fact alone doesn’t make it a bad thing. We get a brief retelling of the origin at the beginning and then we are introduced to the Shazam! Family. So, it’s not just a Shazam! story but a Shazam family story. As I said, this isn’t what I was expecting but I do think it’s a story that needs to be told right now. It’s not about how one person alone can achieve the impossible but how a mismatched group of people who don’t seemingly have anything in common can join together and accomplish anything. I think this is a lesson we all could stand to take to heart right now with all the turmoil and hate in our faces every day. It’s a story of family, love and hope.
I feel that Geoff Johns, perhaps more than any other writer, has the ability to humanize characters. I fell in love all over again with so many characters when he was penning their stories, and I strongly feel this will be no exception. I was reminded constantly during this issue of when Johns first took over Aquaman for the New 52 and how he made the character poke fun at themselves with all the jokes and slights people have slung at the character and his abilities over the years. It is the same within these pages. It makes the characters more relatable and brings a certain level of humor that isn’t always there.
The story that is put out here in this opening issue is a good, quick introduction to the origin, to the supporting cast (The Shazam Family) and some hints to where the plot is heading, without giving too much away. Add to that a little back story at the end for Mary and another possible Shazam Family member and you have a solid reintroduction to a seemingly forgotten character. Add to that the beautiful artwork of Dale Eaglesham which captures the human emotion very well on the character’s faces and the beautiful environment of the Rock of Eternity and it’s a solid pickup for your Wednesday haul.
I for one am on board to see where the story goes and what will happen with the Shazam Family… including whether or not they can all agree on a name!
The writer of this piece was: Indiana “Indy” Marlow
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