Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Shazam #2 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: June 6, 2023

Shazam #2 finds Billy Batson struggling with the fallout of his outburst in front of a live audience as the Captain. When Psycho Pirate comes to town to steal priceless art, Billy may have found the cause of his uncharacteristic emotional outburst... or has he?

Is It Good?

I like Shazam #2. I like Shazam #2 because Mark Waid and Dan Mora do everything right with a character I like, and that's the best you can hope for out of DC Comics right now.

When last we left Billy Batson after reacquiring his SHAZAM powers, he raced off to save lives during a disaster, only to lose his cool and sound like Captain Jerk in front of a live-streaming audience. Now, Billy is racked with self-doubt, fearing his reacquired powers are affecting his mind, and his recent string of heroics are bearing unpleasant consequences (property damage, legal civil fallout, etc.). Plus, pressures at school and home are turning Billy's day into a lowdown, no good, pretty rotten day.

Suddenly, Psycho Pirate shows up at the local museum to nab the Mona Lisa on tour, giving Billy hope that a villain is behind his unexpected outburst. Unfortunately, Billy finds that answers never fall into your hands so easily.

Why do I like what Waid and Mora are doing in this issue? everything about this issue works. Billy embarks on the classic hero's journey as he seeks to overcome the greatest challenge anyone can face - the unknown. Billy struggles to keep his powers from doing wanton damage and his emotions from lowering his inhibitions so low that he does the unthinkable. Billy can't help but be a hero, but his biggest enemy right now is himself. That sort of internal conflict is ripe for dramatic storytelling and character growth.

As a bonus, Waid executes the fine art of teasing out a mystery beautifully. You know there's a problem, little hints are dropped to give the reader clues for speculation (don't skip the prologue), and Waid draws you along the path to discovery without spilling the beans too quickly or teasing not enough to create frustration. Comic writers should take note of how well this issue is structured to create the desired effects of intrigue, entertainment, satisfaction, and anticipation.

Is it all rainbows and sunshine? Almost entirely, yes. Sure, there are little nitpicks. For example, the visiting T-Rex alien legal officer is a bit silly, but it instills a flavor of Silver Age charm that's quite enjoyable. If you don't like Silver Age silliness, you may find the alien's visit corny.

How's the art? Forget it. Just forget it. There's nothing to critique. Dan Mora's art is glorious. It's bright and fun, serious when it needs to be, dramatic when necessary, and always exciting. Mora's art crackles with energy on every level.

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

Follow @ComicalOpinions on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Bits and Pieces:

Shazam #2 is a treat. Filled with fun action, powerful art, and a masterfully constructed mystery to keep you guessing without frustrating, Shazam #2 is a near-perfect blend of modern comic storytelling with a Silver Age twist you won't find anywhere else.


No comments:

Post a Comment