Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Shazam! #1 Review



Written by: Mark Waid
Art by: Dan Mora
Colors by: Alejandro Sánchez
Letters by: Troy Peteri
Cover art by: Dan Mora
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: May 2, 2023

Shazam! #1 begins a new ear in the life of Billy Batson as the "Captain" when he wrestles with home life, school, and his new status quo as the bearer of the power of Shazam. Unfortunately, the Wizard is not pleased with Billy's attitude and makes moves to set things right.
Is It Good?

Shazam! #1 is great for a couple of reasons but slightly confusing for another reason that technically has nothing to do with the issue itself. Why can't DC Editorial get its act together?

With Lazar Planet: Woar of the Gods firmly behind us, Mark Waid and Dan Mora get down to the business of re-establishing a day in the life of Billy Batson as the "Captain." Readers are treated to a walkthru of nearly every facet of Billy's life - from school to home life with Tawky Tawny acting as the Batson house version of Uncle Charley from My Three Sons to Blilly's blossoming side hustle as a YouTube pundit on all things Shazam-related.

Suddenly, the issue takes a dark turn when the Wizard initiates a very public PR nightmare for the "Captain."

If you've been following the goings-on at DC Comics, you know Waid and Mora are the power team to beat. Shazam! #1 brings that reputation home in a big way with fun, exciting action, pitch-perfect dialog, a spirit and tone of adventure that fits within Billy's age range without coming off as immature or cartoonish, and a setup for big trouble that will pique your interest.

Check out our Shazam! #1 Video Review

Now for the confusing part. In the previously referenced Lazarus Planet: War of the Gods finale, Billy and the Wizard appeared to part on equal terms with the Wizard conceding he was less worthy than Billy over his behavior and participation in Hera's plot to invade Earth. Now, the Wizard appears to have jettisoned any "lessons learned" and has turned into a villain intent on reasserting the dominance of the gods over Earth. It's as if Lazarus Planet: War of the Gods either didn't happen or didn't matter.

It's bizarrely troubling that DC Editorial can't maintain some level of consistency for the same character within back-to-back issues, but here we are. Oy!

If you ignore Lazarus Planet: War of the Gods, this is a fantastic issue that makes for an excellent jumping-on point for new readers. As a bonus, Mora's art is pure gold in this issue. Mora's lines, facial expressions, and overall approach to storytelling are magnificent. There's a two-panel progression near the end where the Captain loses his cool, and it gives off early Disney animator vibes in the best way.

About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.

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Bits and Pieces:

Shazam! #1 serves as a near-perfect jumping-on point for new readers who want a superhero comic dripping with wholesome, classic fun and adventure. Waid's writing captures Billy's youthful optimism, and Mora's art is tremendous.



  1. Thanks for the kind words--Dan is, indeed, a force of nature--but I'm baffled by your complaint. The Wizard isn't the bad guy in this story, and I have no idea where you came up with that notion. Other forces are at work. Perhaps you mistook one of the mystery villains for the older, bearded version of the Wizard who's no longer in continuity?

    1. i think a lot of people are going to be confused by that at first - might make it more interesting development

    2. At first glance I also thought it was the Wizard but it doesn't look precisely like him. My theory is it's Solomon and the mythological figures Shazam gets his powers from, those are the bad guys.

    3. yea - it has to be Solomon! He is being wise... a wise ass that is!