Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Shazam! #12 Review

Looking For a Better Class of Bad Guy

Written By: Jeff Loveness
Art By: Brandon Peterson, Mike Atiyeh, Rob Leigh
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: June 2, 2020

I had to go and look it up and boy was I disappointed to find out that the first issue to this series came out in December of 2018 and we're only at issue twelve here.  Yeah, the delays have killed all momentum that this book once had going for it and I'm sure that the hold on all comics for that time didn't help things either, but the worst thing that I think we could have done was interrupt our previously scheduled Monster Society of Evil story to have a brief interlude be put in between our penultimate and finale issues, but that's what we're getting here.  Now, don't think that I'm a Negative Nancy right out of the gate because of simple circumstances....... No.  I'm just upset that this series hasn't had the time to shine that it should have with its first big story and here we are with a one-shot that takes place before Shazam! #1 and not only that but has Batman as a guest star.  Maybe this is the boost that the book needs, but let's quit complaining about what has happened to our beloved Billy Batson's series and see what the future writer of this series, Jeff Loveness has for us with this interlude.  Let's check it out.

So like I was saying at the beginning, I have no problems with this story besides for where it was placed in our series, the idea of Freddy Freeman giving Billy shit because his villains aren't as cool as the rest of the rogues galleries that our Justice League members have is a pretty funny concept because while I do love some Captain Marvel villains...... they can be a little lame at times.  That is the catalyst for our story here, where Billy decides to go off to Gotham and have himself a team-up with Batman.  Too bad that Billy underestimates a situation going on, where the Scarecrow has taken some hostages and Shazam believes that this nogoodnik is equivalent to the Wizard of Oz character.  

There's some fun to be had here, especially when it comes to putting the fear into Captain Marvel because what would the gas do to a magical being that is borrowing powers from gods and god-like figures?  Not to mention the fears of the boy who's in the body of a man.  Yeah, there's certainly some interesting aspects to this issue, not to mention the idea that Batman needs to come in and get a handle on not only the Scarecrow but with a fearful Billy, who's lost within his own mind.  Also, it's pretty awesome to see Shazam interacting with the rest of the DCU because while he was briefly on the Justice League in the New 52, he really doesn't get a lot of time to play with others outside of the Marvel Family.  

All in all, this was a decent interlude that shows that Billy should use the Wisdom of Solomon a little bit more before he gets himself into trouble, but gives us an interesting look at Shazam trying to deal with the threats of other heroes.  Yeah, I'm still mad that we got this instead of our big Geoff Johns finale to the story we've been reading for a year and a half now, but this does give me hope that Jeff Loveness will deliver some fun when he takes over the book going forward and I guess I can deal with that.  The art is great in this issue and I really enjoyed the contrast in colors that were presented here because while this is a dark looking issue, what with us dealing with Gotham, Billy really shines a beacon of light throughout it and it worked really well.  

Bits and Pieces:

While I'm sure this interlude is going to piss a bunch of people off, who were hoping for the finale to the story we've been dealing with, this interlude actually came off as a lot of fun and gives me hope for what kind of stories we'll get when Jeff Loveness takes over the book after Geoff Johns.  The art was great throughout and the idea of Billy taking on the Scarecrow while having a sort of team up with Batman is just something that rubs me the right way.  


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