Review: SHAZAM!


Collection: Justice League #7-11, 0, 14-16, 18-21 © 2012-2013

Publisher: DC Comics © 2013

Cover Art: Gary Frank and Brad Anderson

Writer: Geoff Johns

Artist: Gary Frank

Colors: Brad Anderson

Letters: Nick J. Napolitano and Dezi Sienty

The artwork of SHAZAM! by Gary Frank is really good. Frank utilizes thin, often understated lines in a masterful way, and his inking style blends perfectly with Frank’s pencils as the shadows too are understated. This is not to say that the panels are simplistic, they are not. Gary Frank mixes different panel types as well – in one panel we see multiple elements in the fore and background adding depth and dimension in a nice way. In another panel we see closeups that completely remove all other aspects and focus on a single item or person. This adds an additional layer of visual-dramatization to the storytelling. I really enjoyed Frank’s work. Brad Anderson’s colors were were great as well. I liked his often seamless shifts in color shades that add even more dimension to Frank’s work. In particular I enjoyed Anderson’s use of lighting in his coloring scheme. He really rounded out the images.

SHAZAM! is one of my favorite DC characters. He wields the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the endurance of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles and the speed of Mercury. And Geoff Johns wields SHAZAM! like a master swordsman. Johns focuses on Billy Batson and his relationships with the other foster kids. I really enjoyed this. While SHAZAM! is why I came, I stayed for Billy Batson. I also really liked Johns’ portrayal of Black Adam. His backstory was awesome and added a great deal of depth to Black Adam’s character.

The magic that once resided here in the days of ancient past is here no longer. Mysticism has fallen and been replaced by science and technology. But this ancient arcane power is not dead. In fact the powers of the gods have chosen a new bearer for their might – a 15 year old boy named, Billy Batson. A kid who has gone from foster home to foster home because he is a bit of a bad boy. This bad boy personality is coupled with a pretty big chip on his shoulder. But Billy does possess one essential element: a heart of gold. But Billy is not the only one with these powers. The last person granted these powers turned evil and was locked away only to be freed and unleashed on the world once again.

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