Publisher: DC Comics
Released: October 1st 2013
Issues: Justice League 7-11, 0, 14-17
I received a copy of Shazam! Vol. 1 through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Shazam! Vol. 1 collects all the Shazam! plots that occurred during the Justice League series. It’s really nice having them compiled all in one place, not to mention very timely considering the impending Shazam! movie (which looks fantastic by the way).
This was a different Shazam origin than the one I’m used to (I’m thinking of the one from the animated series) but there were many similarities between the two. I think fans of both would enjoy this. As would any fan that just wants to get prepped for the movie (that’s what I was doing).
This series has a lot to cover with not that much time, all things considered. In less than one hundred and seventy pages we have the complete origin of Billy as Shazam, the history of Black Atom, the introduction of the Seven Deadly Sins, and even a conclusion. It’s a lot to take in, but the series makes it work.
Billy was an interesting character. At first I don’t think we’re meant to like him. I believe this was to help us see his progression. Going from being an unlikable character to a likable hero. At least, that is how I interpreted the story.
While we weren’t meant to like Billy from the beginning, we were given moments that showed that he really wasn’t the kid he presented himself as. That makes a lot of sense when you think about children with abandonment issues. It doesn’t take much to go from thinking about the logistics of his behavior to feeling sympathy for him.
Black Atom was another matter entirely. I’ll admit that I was surprised by how much of his backstory we were shown. Normally I’d say we didn’t need to know that much about his past, but it ended up being important in this case. He’s a character that’s easy to hate, and will do just about anything to justify that he’s right (even when being ‘right’ means he’s killing people).
We didn’t get to see much of the Seven Deadly Sins, at least not as separate beings. From what I did see I can say that I enjoyed the different interpretations on some of them. I actually would have liked to see more of them, on a more individual level, given the chance. I feel like they could be really interesting.
I’ll admit that there were points in the series that got a little chaotic. The final battle in particular was…interesting. I don’t know enough about Shazam’s powers to say if what he did there was canon or not. I’m assuming it is, but it seemed sort of odd. Up until that point I was really enjoying the series though.
I’m not sure if they’re planning on rebooting the series in response to the movie coming out. Part of me sort of hopes that they do. The other part of me is just so excited for the movie and really doesn’t want anything else to get in the way. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what they decide to do.