Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Dale Eaglesham
Colorist: Mike Atiyeh
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Publisher: DC Comics
A review by Greg Brothers
The truth is I can not remember the last time that I picked up a Shazam comic. I was not reading the Justice League comic from the New 52 run, so I never saw the back-up stories that were taking place there. So before I read the new series, I went on a bit of a fact-finding mission to see what I might have missed.
Shazam #1 picks up somewhere after the end of the New 52 run. Billy Batson is on a field trip with his class including one of his brothers from the foster home. Just as they are getting in trouble for not paying attention a group of criminals shows up to rob the museum. Just as the criminals think it will be an easy job the familiar words SHAZAM! are uttered and Captain Marv..errr. Well Billy Batson’s superhero persona shows up to save the day. As it turns out Billy is not the only hero that will show up that day, although he claims he really did not need the help.
The first thing to know about Shazam #1 is that if you are coming into the series unaware of the recent events that is not a concern at all. Johns and his team do an excellent job quickly bringing the reader up to speed on the history of the mythos behind Shazam. The other thing to know is that Johns is keeping his promise of making magic fun in Shazam #1. Several times throughout reading the issue I found myself smiling. The children are written as if they are actually children which is refreshing. The childhood teasing is done in a way that shows that they love and respect each other. In a comic book world where it is more popular to create friction between parent and child to show the love and caring sets the right tone for the book.
With of the concerns with so many characters being part of a series is if they will trip over each other as they are introduced. Somehow John’s is able to avoid any of the characters being overshadowed or left out. Instead each of the characters personalities begins to shine through and you have a good idea of who each of them is at their core.
The art is detailed but not at all overwhelming. The style of the characters and the coloring throughout Shazam #1 helps to set the bright and cheerful mood John’s created with the dialogue. In particular the cheap plastic Justice League masks the criminals wear adds to the humor of the book.
Shazam #1 is a beautifully written heart felt book. This first issue is all about family and is a reminder that not all family is related by blood. If you do not get all the feels in the main story stick around for the Mary Marvel backup story. If you do not get at least a little misty-eyed then you might want to check to make sure you have a heart.