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Review: Shazam #1

Teenager turned super-hero Billy Batson struggles to balance school and superheroics! (Guess which one is more fun?) But when Shazam unlocks a shocking secret deep within the Rock of Eternity, it challenges everything he knows about the worlds of magic and his family’s future as its champions!

Potential. That’s the word that sticks out the most after reading Shazam #1 which as presented is a lot of setup and some humor and that’s about it. How this classic character fits in the Rebirth world is a bit of a mystery but the Marvel, I mean Shazam family is back. There’s so jokes, winks, and nods, as to the previous naming of the characters but this first issue is the set up the series is more than just Shazam, Mary, and the rest are along for the ride as well. How? Well, that’s not really explained but again, this is an issue that’s set up.

The potential is all in the character interactions. Writer Geoff Johns focuses on that dynamic and out of everything, how a group of kids with superpowers interacts has a lot of potential to be a lot of fun. When we see that in the comic, it absolutely is. But, beyond a robbery and some exploration of the Rock of Eternity, the comic is fairly thin on excitement or anything of interest.

Dale Eaglesham‘s art though is interesting to look at with a classic New 52/90s look to it that you’ll either like or hate. While something more stylish and unique would have been interesting, the art is crisp with color from Mike Atiyeh. There are some good small details like the robbers’ masks and some looks flashed here and there but overall, the style is one we’ve seen a lot of.

Where art does stand out is a backup story focused on Mary with art by Mayo “Sen” Naito. The story provides the origin of Mary as far as the family and the art has a manga influence with a young adult bent. It’s fantastic art and makes me want to see Naito’s style on some of DC’s Zoom and Ink imprint releases.

There’s nothing particularly bad about this first issue. There’s also nothing that’s all that exciting either. The series is going to rely on the interaction of the kids and how much Johns goes down the Harry Potter direction it feels like he’s heading. Again, there’s potential which has me interested in at least checking out more issues.

Story: Geoff Johns Art: Dale Eaglesham, Mayo “Sen” Naito
Color: Mike Atiyeh Letterer: Rob Leigh
Story: 5.0 Art: 7.75 Overall: 6.0 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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