Comic Review: Shazam #1 (DC Comics)

Shazam returns to DC, with a new iteration. It looks like ‘back to school’ for good old ‘what’s his name’, according to the cover! Inside, there are two stories to […]

Shazam returns to DC, with a new iteration. It looks like ‘back to school’ for good old ‘what’s his name’, according to the cover!

Inside, there are two stories to get us started. Geoff Johns writes, Dale Eaglesham draws, and Mike Atiyeh colours the first one. It’s essentially a recap of the origin of Captain Marvel, or Shazam, as he might be called today. I say ‘might’, because the running joke through this story is that we don’t know WHAT to call this big guy in the red suit.

The first story is well told and illustrated with a high degree of realism. Eaglesham’s style is one of accurate anatomy, with close attention paid to light and shadow. The facial expressions are also very realistic. Colouring is full spectrum (rather than pale or sepia toned, for example). The combined result is a very modern interpretation of the Marvel Family, or whatever their names are.

It’s a bit jarring for me to see a highly realistic version of Shazam, as my last encounter with the title was the CC Beck series of the 1970’s, a decidedly cartoony comic title. To see the ‘every eyelash’ version of today is like watching Bugs Bunny cartoons redone in high 4K realism.

Having said all this, there IS still charm and fun in the story.

The backup tale, “Mary” is also by Geoff Johns, this time with Mayo Naito on art. This one ventures further into Manga style, and to my mind’s eye, is a better fit with such a traditionally youth-oriented series of characters. Your mileage may vary, your opinion may differ. In any event, this is a solid restart of the Shazam title!

DC Comics, Shazam #1, $4.99 for 29 pages of content, Teen rating

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!