Wednesday, November 6, 2019

The Infected: King Shazam! #1 Review

Biting The Hand That Feeds You

Written By: Sina Grace
Art By: Joe Bennett, Belardino Brabo, Matt Santorelli, Hi-Fi, Rob Leigh
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: November 6, 2019

From the pages of Batman/Superman...... or The Batman Who Laughs..... or maybe The Year of the Villain: Black Adam....... wherever it's coming from, we've got more Infected going on here with our pal Shazam.  We've got a lot more of these coming down the pipe with the different characters that have been infected by the Batman Who Laughs and I hate to say it but........ I'm already kind of over this whole situation because I have no idea how the rules of being "infected" work.  Some are working for the Batman Who Laughs and maybe, like we get in this issue we see what one does after they've been infected, but don't have to clock in anytime soon for that Dark Multiverse Batman.  Let's jump into this issue and see if King Shazam adds anything new to this story and if it picks up the pace of what's been going on.  Let's check it out.

If you've been reading Batman/Superman, you'll know that Billy Batson was infected by the Batman Who Laughs and with that...... he's just been a homicidal jerk, which for the most part continues with this issue is sort of interesting ways.  Now that our hero's been infected he wants to find people who can be his real family........ you know, people that can stand up to his beatings and while we do get an interesting take on this, with him going after Gods and Titans....... it feels weird because even though we know from DC continuity that Zeus and Hercules were killed in Wonder Woman, it seems odd for Shazam to go after people like Atlas, who he borrows his powers from or how he has powers if the beings he borrows them from are already dead.  Now, this aspect isn't Sina Grace's fault because I haven't seen anyone discussing this aspect, but I wish this story would have been more to do with that because for the most part, Shazam just goes from deity to deity, kicking their ass........ Which while some are cool like Aries....... others like Rao are ridiculous.  

I was still hoping for something really interesting to come from this one-shot though because with the delays, this is the only real Shazam book we'll be getting for awhile and it does feature Mary Marvel trying to get to the bottom of what's happened to Billy, it just doesn't really go all that far with her until it wants to give us a shocking cliffhanger...... which may or may not be Mary getting infected herself, I don't know because I still don't understand how any of this infection bit works or what the rules of it are.  

All in all, I really enjoyed the art in this issue, but wished some of the panel layouts weren't so cramped at times, but what I really wanted out of this was for something more than just a slug fest and that's what it ultimately is, while we get brief cuts of characters wondering what's wrong with Billy and decided that getting the Justice League involved is a bad idea......... dummies.  Like I've said throughout, I'm still struggling with what the rules of the infection are and would have liked something nailed down about that here.  There are some interesting aspects of this story that I would love to see explored in something Shazam related after this is all said and done, but even with that, at the end of the day this issue really is just a jerk off Shazam who wants to beat the shit out of people.

Bits and Pieces:

While I did enjoy the art in this issue I would have liked to see this one-shot do more than just show us Billy beating the shit out of deities, especially ones that shouldn't be here, but ultimately that's all we got, with the briefest idea of family thrown in the background.  If you're like me and want to understand what the "Infected" really means and what the rules are behind it...... Well, you're out of luck, but if you want to see evil Shazam punch gods in the face...... here you go.



  1. I see the last god got good reviews across the board.

  2. Is this dc main Billy Batson ? Or is the Billy Batson from BWL's earth ?

    1. DC Main, infected with the BWl's serum that turned Batman bad in the Batman Who Laughs Mini-Series. This is a one-shot coming out of the current Batman/Superman book