Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Shazam! #11 Review

Written by: Josie Campbell
Art by: Emanuela Lupacchino
Colors by: Trish Mulvihill
Letters by: Trpy Peteri
Cover art by: Dan Mora
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: May 7, 2024

Shazam! #11 puts the Vasquez kids on notice when a social worker arrives to judge if the living conditions are suitable for everyone to be adopted. That's a nice house you've got there. It would be a shame if a bunch of giant bats attacked it while the social worker was around.

Is Shazam! #11 Good?

Well, it looks like the party's over. Mark Waid and Dan Mora have officially left the title to prepare for bigger, better things in the forthcoming Absolute Power event and whatever comes after. Do Josie Campbell and Emanuela Lupacchino maintain the high bar of Silver Age-inspired action and heart? Sadly, no. Shazam! #11 is a downgrade from every angle.

When last we left the Shazamily, Billy and his step-siblings managed to drive Zeus and his fellow gods out of the pocket dimensions they created in the house as their personal getaways. When everything seemed put back together to the status quo, Billy received the good news that the Vasquez couple was initiating the process to adopt everyone.

Now, a social worker arrives to assess the Vasquez home's safety and interview the children to measure their mental and emotional health. When the social worker's tour and interviews commence, the house is suddenly attacked by a swarm of giant Man-Bats. The creatures are humans who are the descendants of Jeepers who bred with humans long enough. Magic leaking from the Rock of Eternity somehow activated the recessive magic in people near the Vasquez home, bringing the Man-Bat Jeeper thingies to emerge from their human hosts, attacking the Vasquez home at a most inconvenient time.

After several changes back and forth between Mary Marvel and the Captain, the Man-Bat Jeeper thingies are defeated just in time for the social worker to declare the Vasquez family is in good hands. Unfortunately, Billy receives bad news that throws the adoption plans into a tailspin.

What's great about Shazam! #11? Well, it's colorful and bright. The Man-Bat Jeeper thingies look cool. If it seems like I'm struggling to find anything nice to say, that's because there isn't much.

What's not so great about Shazam! #11? Let's break this down into two parts - the writing and the art.

First, the writing. Josie Campbell's script is clunky, disjointed, and at points, nonsensical. How does a social worker complete an interview and not notice a climactic battle taking place 20 feet away? How does Billy disappear for an hour in the middle of an interview and not raise any questions with the social worker? Why does Mary start the battle to give Billy time to meet with the social worker and then suddenly disappear for the latter half of the battle? The more you think about the number of missteps and plot holes, the more this issue falls apart.

Second, the art. If you're not interested in the art quality, most of the issues aren't noticeable. However, Lupacchino seems to have completely forgotten how the line of sight and foreground/background placement work. You have entire medium shot panels where characters speaking with each other are looking past each other, and characters radically change their height from one panel to the next. Trish Mulvihill's coloring goes a long way toward making the art look good, but the composition is a visual disaster.

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

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Bits and Pieces:

Shazam! #11 transitions to a new creative team with a noticeable downgrade in the writing and art. Campbell's script has a few interesting beats, but the execution is sorely lacking. Lupacchino and Mulvihill's art is bright and colorful, but the technical execution of character placement and panel composition ranges from okay to bizarre.


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