It’s been ahile sense the New 52 retcon of Captain Marvel, and while Shazam has seen some moderate success in the intervening years, it never struck a cord with me quit like the old Billy Batson of old. When Rebirth came upon us, I was assuming we would go back to the mild mannered Brave and Bold Billy and the Marvel family… I was half right. And the half I was wrong about, I’m glad I was.
To be fair, I’m really not a comic purist. I’m all for updating comics and making them relevant to today’s readers. Sure, I like it if the new writers pay homage to those who came before, but I don’t think that it is a requirement. A new start doesn’t have to mean an ending after all, and this comic isn’t so much about the origin of Shazam, as it is about the origin of Hoppy the Bunny… and a family.
We get a brief intro into who Shazam is. Billy Batson absorbs the last waning power of a wizard in the Rock of Eternity. The wizard was the last of seven sorcerers, the previous six being killed by the “Dark Champion” after they released the “Seven Deadly Sins.” Billy learns to control his new power, and then ends up sharing it with his fellow foster children.The names are familiar, though the faces and backstories have changed. They are the newest superheroes in Philly… if only they could come up with a name.
Yet, these children really don’t know why Billy was given this power in the first place. They spend their free time stopping crime and exploring the Rock of Eternity… that is if they are all caught up on their homework. While inspecting one of the newly uncovered rooms, they stumble upon “The Station.” There is a giant map of the “Magiclands” and a giant switch which has been turned off. Of course Freddy has to pull it.
Back on earth, the children’s foster parents are finishing up the dishes that the children forgot to rinse before sticking in the dish washer (WHICH YOU ALWAYS NEED TO DO!). There is a knock at the door and they are greated by a tall, handsome man…
I didn’t know until I was done reading this comic, how much I needed this. We can all agree 2018 has been one @#$! of a year, and this comic hit just the right notes to lift the spirit. I didn’t honestly expect this from Geoff Johns. That sounds like a slight, but it is actually a compliment. I shows his breadth of a writer.
Dale Eaglesham does bring his gorgeous pencils for this family adventure too. His characters are full of life and joyous detail. Along with the charming comic done by Mayo "SEN" Naito, the styling of this series hits all the right notes.
I know it is early to judge the direction of this comic, but I’m having a little bit of Deja vu to when Geoff Johns started his stint on Green Lantern. At the time, I didn’t realize what a cosmic space opera it would all end up being… and one of the only things left untouched when The New 52 came along. So get in on the ground floor of what I’m confident will be a great series… Hoppy is waiting for you.