June 22, 2024

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Noteworthy Issues: Shazam! #1 (May, 2023)

The creators of the current World's Finest come out with a new Shazam series.

Hey, Mark Waid and Dan Mora, the creative team behind the fun Batman/Superman: World’s Finest series, are also doing a Shazam! series?  Can Mora do the art chores for two series at the same time?

I guess I’ll find out.

Issue:  Shazam! #1, May 2023

Writer: Mark Waid

Artist:  Dan Mora

The Plot:  Billy Batson is a kid who turns into a superhero when he says a magic word.  Sounds like a good life.

Commentary:  Well, Billy Batson, currently using the superhero name “The Captain,” is a superhero, but only after he says the magic word “Shazam”.  Most fans of the Big Red Cheese know that.  The trick here is to make the series distinctive.  What makes The Captain a different sort of hero from, say, Superman?

Short answer:  his adventures are pretty wacky while he’s generally a goodhearted kid.

There’s a bit more to it.  Thanks to something that happened in the “Lazarus Planet” event, the other members of the Shazam Family can’t access their powers, but overall, this issue acts as a good introduction to the onetime Captain Marvel.  I mean, this issue opens with the Captain riding a bucking T-Rex through a jungle…only to reveal the T-Rex is a sentient alien who can talk.  Something happened, and the Captain had to go bring the kid back to his parents.  He then shared some tea and helped them get their broken ship back into space.  It’s a largely silly sort of adventure that, quite frankly, would only really work for this sort of character.

But there is a threat to the Captain in the form of some shadowy figures who don’t approve of how he’s using his powers, and they have the means to maybe ruin his life.

Anyway, good first issue, and I look forward to more.  This issue set a tone that works for this character, and it feels different enough from Waid and Mora’s other work to make it its own thing.

Now, maybe I should go finish that Lazarus Planet thing…

Grade:  A