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'Shazam!' #1 brings the magic in this stunning debut
DC Comics

Comic Books

‘Shazam!’ #1 brings the magic in this stunning debut

Mark Waid and Dan Mora set their sights on Fawcett City with a confidence that only superstars can pull off.

“Within these chambers, the boy celebrates only himself…utterly wasting his potential on the pursuit of trinkets and petty creature comforts. If he is to restore the reputation of the gods, we must take action.”

Billy Batson is back in the limelight alongside his foster brother Freddy Freeman. As the Shazamily finds their footing in the wake of Lazarus Planet, this premiere issue asks the question: in a world of gods, men, and magical anthropomorphic tigers, what does it truly mean to be the champion of the wizard Shazam?

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Mark Waid and Dan Mora – the fan favorite creative team behind the new World’s Finest run – set their sights on Fawcett City with a confidence that only superstars can pull off. This time around, Waid and Mora are simply co-credited as storytellers rather than as writer and artist respectively, inciting a creative synergy that hasn’t really been present in big-two comics in some time.

One thing World’s Finest has been noted for is its continuous lore rebuilding in DC’s new “everything is canon” continuity, doing so by revisiting and revamping the stories and charm of the Silver and Bronze Age eras. A similar approach is taken with Shazam, however with more focus on streamlining the character’s already reboot-littered history, and with a grace and intelligence that displays an excellent understanding of that history. All in one issue, too.

Shazam! #1
DC Comics

Unlike Geoff Johns’ darker New 52 reboot, which the character has pretty much followed for the past decade, Waid and Mora’s debut sets the tone by recapturing the whimsical storytelling and magical wonder that comes with watching a child wield the power of gods. This feeling seems almost directly out of the character’s time at Fawcett Comics and his early days at 1970s DC—even before he was fully integrated into their universe with Crisis on Infinite Earths.

It’s especially notable that Billy Batson’s superhero persona is once again being rebranded, this time with the familiar title of “The Captain”, which turns a fun nod into a new direction.

How nice it must be for him to have a name he can actually say without lightning striking him.

That being said, none of this means the creatives have ignored where the character has been since his heyday. In fact, they excel at celebrating his rich publication history while seamlessly reintegrating and modernizing it for a new age of fans. It invokes a joyful yet clever tone that Waid once accomplished himself when he wrote the adventures of Wally West in The Flash during the 90s, which is a comparison that can only promise we’re in for a wild ride once more.

With the effortless charm that Mark Waid has always brought to the table and a stylish flair that further proves Dan Mora worthy of industry stardom, Shazam! #1 is not only a perfect debut issue for the World’s Mightiest Mortal, but an excellent return to form for the Big Red Cheese himself.

'Shazam!' #1 brings the magic in this stunning debut
‘Shazam!’ #1 brings the magic in this stunning debut
Shazam! #1
Packed with fun without skimping out on stakes and everything else that makes the Earth’s Mightiest Mortal a joy to read, this premiere issue has all the qualities of a character-defining run in the making.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
Not a single page is wasted in setting up this new era.
Dan Mora and colorist Alejandro Sànchez put their all into the endlessly creative visuals, ranging from large scale super-heroics to appropriately cartoony homages.
Mark Waid's dialogue and narrative structuring is as strong as it ever was.
Tawky Tawny the talking tiger is back, and this time he's wearing an apron.
10
Fantastic
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