Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Shazam! #1 Review

The Denials Of Shazam!

Written By: Tim Sheridan
Art By: Clayton Henry, Marcelo Maiolo, Rob Leigh
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: July 20, 2021

As we've seen, the Power of Shazam! has been a bit wonky in the pages of Teen Titans Academy, and in these four issues that make up this mini-series we'll hopefully not only find out what's been going on with Billy Batson and his ability to become the World's Mightiest Mortal but we'll get it sorted out as well and the Big Red Cheese will fly on and hopefully become a bigger part of the DC Omniverse.... since, I love this character and always want to see him in more and more things. Let's jump into this issue and see what's going on with the Marvel Family.

Like I said in my opener, We've seen Billy Batson have problems in using his powers where he couldn't get the magic word "Shazam!" to work but we find out that it's more than that as well, where once he is Captain Marvel, he'll sometimes lose some of his powers which not only put himself in danger, but as we saw in the pages of this issue, it can also put the Titans in danger too.... especially when they're fighting Chemo. So.... the problem with the powers... For our quest to get the powers back on track we discover that at some point in time the Rock of Eternity, the center of the Multiverse fell into Hell and now Billy Batson needs to get it back where it belongs so that he and the rest of his family can restore their powers. That's a fine enough story but.... it doesn't feel quite right.

In this issue it seems that the rest of the Marvel/Shazam Family outside of Mary and Freddy aren't around and I say that simply because they aren't mentioned at at all and while seeing Billy trying to overcome the odds without powers seems like a great way to have this young hero prove that he's powerful without the power, Billy Batson comes off a tad selfish in this issue and resembles more of the kid we first met at the beginning of the New 52 instead of the Billy Batson we all know and love and this feels like a odd choice, not to mention that Billy feels a bit dumb here since he just wants to go off and fix the Rock of Eternity without any power or backup at all and ultimately, while I will follow along because I want to see Billy Batson reestablish his powers, I don't think that this feels much like Shazam! and wasn't the best way to get to know this character if you're new to him and wasn't the best way to catch up with him if you've been missing your doses of the World's Mightiest Mortal.

All in all, I enjoyed the art in this issue but the story felt really strange to me and instead of giving us ample background about when Billy's powers disappeared or why he decided to join the Teen Titans Academy or anything along those lines that could be interesting, we just see Billy putting others in danger since his powers don't work properly and instead of visiting Freddy Freeman in the hospital, since it seems that he's dying for some reason, Billy just plans on staying away from everyone because he blames himself for not being able to give Freddy the power to overcome his ailment and while I can understand the psychology, it goes against everything "family" that we've lived with from these characters for the better part of a decade and just comes off feeling more odd than anything. I'm still interested in this though because I do love this character and want to see things made right by the end, but with everything harkening back to Future State, I don't know if that will be the case and I leave this issue feeling more worried than anything.

Bits and Pieces:

While I don't think this is the best beginning issue for somebody new to the character or for somebody that's been a fan of the character for the way that he's presented here, I will say that I am interested in the quest that Billy Batson is on and I just hope that the story allows us to know the status quo of the Marvel/Shazam Family because the omission of the newer members of the family felt weird throughout..... Not to mention that I wasn't the biggest fan of the way that our young hero was depicted either. Thankfully though, I did enjoy the art and hope that things start feeling a tad more familiar as we go on.



  1. Both this and Titans Academy is currently building up towards the events of Future State parts of the Flash, Titans Academy, Shazam and most importantly for this issue; the backup story in Suicide Squad.

    While I agree this is not the Billy of old, him making mistakes as Billy (not backed up divine wisdom), feels like the kind of thing you'd expect from a character like this who has an on and off switch when it comes to his powers.

    With that said, I quite like the current state the writers are treating world as interconnected. Both Shazam and the Titans (and others) I often saw as little islands of their own the rest of the DCU rarely bothered with. But here we have Billy in Titans Tower along with visits from Dr. Fate and Jon Kent... could do with the rest of the Marvel family though.

    1. I wish we weren't heading towards future state so quickly though. I do like the interconnected feel, except when it is interconnected with a book I am not really digging like TT Academy. But it makes 100% sense to do it!

    2. It's such a weird idea for this story since it doesn't seem like Black Adam is affected at all.

  2. You've referred to these characters as Captain Marvel and the Marvel family. Are they still officially known by that name because I haven't heard it in over a decade?

    1. No, I'm just trying to appeal to both sides of Billy Batson's fandom. I'll constantly switch back and forth between Marvel Family and Shazam Family. That being said though, with this only featuring Mary and Freddy, it feels more like the Marvel Family, while adding Eugene, Darla and Pedro to the mix feels like the Shazam Family to me.