Tuesday, August 2, 2022

The New Champion of Shazam! #1 Review


Written By: Josie Campbell
Art By: Evan "Doc" Shaner, Becca Carey
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: August 2, 2022

Here we go! It's time for another Marvel Family adventure. The only thing though, this is Mary Marvel's time to shine, where our sister to the Mightiest Mortal gets to go off to college to figure out who she is as an individual and not just another face in a "Shazam!" yelling crowd. Let's jump into this seriously pushed-back series and see what's new with Mary Bromfield and how this ties into what we saw previously with Billy, the Rock of Eternity, and the rest of the Shazam! Family as a whole. Let's check it out.

My first impression of this mini-series that I've been looking forward to for months now is that we really need a regular ongoing because even though we just get started here..... it's not enough because it already feels like it's almost over and that's disappointing. Another reason that we need an ongoing is that we've had this new status quo of the Shazam! Family for over a decade now and there's been barely anything written about them and what their role in the DC Universe is. Usually, about the time all of the Family get together they have themselves a big battle against evil and then the series is over and we never learn about who these kids really are beyond just tropes. Thankfully, Mary, even with her origins changed has remained pretty much who she's been for the better part of eighty years and we can at least count on knowing who our main character is for this story and the parts we need to learn about is done right out of the gate with Mary wanting to figure who she is away from everyone else who has been a part of defining her in the past.

So Mary's off to college to have a new kind of adventure, which is great but because of how poorly thought out the Shazam story was in the Teen Titans Academy series..... not to mention Billy's own mini-series, this story struggles in what the current climate is how the Shazam powers work. Billy's giving all the power to Mary here, but what about Billy in the Rock of Eternity with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse? What about Freddy previously dying? Why don't the rest of the siblings have power when the Rock of Eternity was recharged by Red X? There's a lot of stuff from that Teen Titans series that didn't make sense and I shouldn't blame this series for at least trying to play along but I have a ton of questions and all I have is Mary is the new Champion of Shazam! all by herself and solo and that means she's more powerful than she's ever been. This is great and I love the idea of trying to balance college and this new role but because it's only a four-issue mini, it doesn't feel like we'll have any time for that fun because of the story that is set up by the cliffhanger.

All in all, I love Doc Shaner's art here and love all the inner reflection of Mary Bromfield, even the cringy moments of her trying to figure out who she is in college, like trying to reinvent herself to a bunch of new kids, but I couldn't help but wonder what's been going on in her life behind the scenes and how everyone feels about losing their powers and how everyone is currently coping with it. We don't get any of that and we're rushed right into our story with a new origin for Hoppy, the Marvel Bunny, which is fine but there's never enough information given to really satisfy my hunger for this property, but thankfully there is enough to have some fun and we get to see Mary take on an updated Disaster Master, even if it is short-lived. There's some great stuff here and maybe I'm just greedy but I want more ultimately and know we won't get it in only four issues. Hopefully, this sells really well with the synergy of the new Shazam! and Black Adam movies, where people will get on the hype train and DC Comics will realize that we need our Mightiest Mortals more than ever right now and we'll get a proper ongoing. 

Bits and Pieces:

You don't need the wisdom of Solomon to realize that with this first issue DC Comics needs to give the fans out there a proper ongoing series because while I did want to know more about what's been going on with the powers of Shazam! and how this deals with what we saw in Teen Titans Academy, we did get a solid look at Mary Bromfield's newest adventure and gave us a compelling beginning to how Mary will deal with being the new champion, while also just wanting to live her life outside of the powers that have defined her in the past. We've got great art and a fun story that I can't wait to get back to next month.


1 comment:

  1. Great review. Had a lot of fun with this issue. Beautiful art. We seem to be setting up a nice Supporting Cast. Mary's conflict throughout the issue was compelling. Also good to see Hoppy back in main continuity.