Tag: shazam!

The Top 5 Most Dastardly ‘Shazam!’ Villains

Shazam! arrives in just two days, and we couldn’t be more excited based on the positive buzz its getting. But although Shazam! is known to the comic book fandom, he’s more obscure to general audiences. So who are some of the villains of Billy Batson’s rogues gallery, and, more importantly, who are the best? Let’s take a look at the top 5 best Shazam villains, with the hope these guys get their due onscreen!

 

The monstrous caveman King Kill rampages through a city

Image Via Shazam! wiki

5. King Kull

King Kull was a brutish caveman who ruled the race known as the Submen, a race that lorded over humanity until they were overthrown in a revolt, back in prehistoric times. King Kull survives in suspended animation, awakening in modern times to attempt to become ruler once more. He fights with Shazam multiple times, always a massive threat due to his immense strength, size, and strange technology that he brings with him into the modern era. Sometimes, he’s enough of the threat that even the Justice League of America must intervene to help bring Shazam down. He’s also usually a member of the Monster Society of Evil, Shazam’s united rogues gallery.

 

The demon Sabbac, surrounded by flames, candles, and swords with a pentagram carved into his chest

Image Via Wikipedia

4. Sabbac

Real name Timothy Karnes, Karnes was granted power by the demonic forces of Hell in order to challenge Shazam and become his dark opposite. Drawing his power from Satan, Aym, Belial, Beelzebub, Asmodeus and Crateis, Karnes just needs to say the magic word ‘Sabbac’ and he transforms into a hulking demon with super speed, strength, fire breath, and pyrokinesis. Sabbac battles Shazam multiple times throughout his career, always on even footing with his rival riiiiight up until the point in which he’s defeated each time. Finally, the demons grow fed up with his failures and strip him of his powers one by one, letting Karnes be defeated for good. A new, more feral version has appeared in the modern age with the alter-ego of Ishmael Gregor.

 

The worm Mr. Mind hides inside a space capsule, threatening a potential victim

Image Via Shazam! Wiki

3. Mr. Mind

One of Shazam’s arch enemies, Mr. Mind is a tiny alien worm from the planet Venus with extremely high intelligence. He is notably the first villain to bring together other villains who had been defeated previously, uniting them as the Monster Society of Evil. Mr. Mind’s strength lies in his intelligence, able to use the assembled super villains to run Shazam ragged and nearly defeat him on multiple occasions. Mr. Mind can use mind control to force others into working for him (along with other generally ominous assertions of psychic power). His most significant role in recent memory was the primary villain of 52, in which he was revealed to be behind all the events of the series in a dastardly bid to literally eat time itself.

 

Dr. Sivana basks in the glow of a flaming inferno, which is reflected in his glasses

Image Via Wikipedia

2. Dr. Sivana

Sivana is considered Shazam’s golden age nemesis and a primary arch foe for the hero. He deduces Shazam’s identity early on in his career, giving him a unique relationship to the hero as he can strike at him when he’s most vulnerable. A genius mad scientist, he operates from the planet Venus with own family of children. In his exile, he turned against the world and plots for world domination. Of course, he is frequently stopped by Shazam, cofounding him to no end. In the modern era, Sivana was reinvented as a scientist who became corrupted by dark magic, turning him into a madman with the body of a withered old man. He will make his big screen debut in the movie, played by Mark Strong.

 

Black Adam sits on a throne as a king

1. Black Adam

Black Adam is Shazam’s modern archenemy, standing head and shoulders above the rest of his rogues gallery for his sheer power. The first man to be given the powers of Shazam, Black Adam went mad with power and was stripped of his abilities, lying dormant until the modern day, during which his ancestor was granted his powers. Black Adam possesses powers drawn from the Egyptians gods (Shu, Heru, Amon, Zehuti, Aton, and Mehen). Black Adam eventually somewhat reforms, dismissing his prior evil as corruption and takes over a city state in Egypt, marrying a woman called Isis. But his new family is eventually killed, and Black Adam swears vengeance on the world… which leads to a battle with Shazam once again in a war that spans the globe before being stripped of his powers after Shazam forcibly changes the magic word that grants him his abilities.

Catch up on the Shazam family and more bad guys in the comics! See the movie in theaters in just two days! Its very much worth it!

Featured Image Via Wikipedia. 

4 Essential ‘Shazam!’ Comic Stories to Read Before the Movie

Shazam! comes out this Friday (April 5th) and its going to be great to see a favorite superhero of the comics, not to mention an icon who outsold Superman in his day, get his debut on the big screen. But before the movie comes out, it is probably best to get at least a little familiar with the character in his home series of comics. But where to start with Shazam? Well, have no fear, here are a few of the best and essential storylines of the so called Big Red Cheese.

 

‘Shazam! And the Monster Society of evil’ by Jeff Smith and Alex Ross

 

The cover to the Monster Society of Evil, featuring Shazam amidst a storm
IMAGE VIA AMAZON

Shazam! And The Monster Society of Evil is an all-ages condensed adaptation of Shazam’s origin story. Capping out at 4 issues, the story tells of how young Billy Batson got his powers, his first battle against his rogues gallery, and the introductions of supporting characters like Mary Marvel and Freddie Freeman. This story serves as a great introduction to the Shazam universe, as well as being well written, full of dynamic action, and showcasing Billy Batson’s inner hero for a new generation of readers.

 

Shazam! The Power of Hope’ By Paul dini and Alex ross

 

Shazam stands tall with his broad chin against the sun on the cover to this comic
IMAGE VIA AMAZON

Famed Batman: The Animated Series creator and writer Paul Dini takes a swing at Shazam with this comic, with wonderful artwork provided by Alex Ross. It’s a very simple story that shows the inherent purity of the character, showing Shazam visiting a terminally ill children’s hospital and granting their birthday wishes. Few comics capture Shazam so well and this one is his character distilled to its basic form, showing him without fighting villains or around other heroes, just doing what he does best: bring hope. It’s a wonderful, sometimes tear jerking read that excels in showing its character with minimal dialogue.

 

‘The Power of Shazam!’ by Jerry Ordway

 

The Power of Shazam shows Shazam standing, hands on hips on bricks with lightening bolts on them
IMAGE VIA AMAZON

A title so popular it helped launch an ongoing comic, The Power of Shazam! is an original graphic novel that offers another take on Billy Batson’s origin. Lushly painted and an epic in its own right, this comic chronicles Billy Batson’s first adventures against a backdrop of an adventure that takes inspiration from horror movies and pulp serials. Black Adam becomes Billy’s first nemesis here and the reader roots for Billy as he rises above his traumatic circumstances to become a superhero. Highly recommended and a great take on the character’s origins, even if some of the writing is slightly dated.

 

‘Superman/Shazam: First Thunder’ by Judd Winick and Joshua Middleton

 

Cover featuring Shazam and Superman in lightening
IMAGE VIA AMAZON

Superman and Shazam have always been connected, this team-up showing their strengths as superheroes as they team up together. When Superman meets Shazam, they initially throw down but afterwards, just talk and learn about each other, becoming fast friends over a mutual bond. Then, several villains including Lex Luthor and Eclipso team up, the two heroes joining forces to take them down. It’s a great story, full of fun character interaction between the leads, great action, and a fun contrast between the different worlds of these two iconic superheroes.

Are you looking forward to Shazam! this Friday? Which comics featuring the character are your favorites?

 

Featured Image Via Radiotimes

Shazam!

Here’s Our Review & Sneak Peek of ‘SHAZAM!’

Okay, this movie is way better than it had any business being.

I was not expecting a lot, especially after the forever lingering sting of Joss Whedon’s Justice League (Yes, I do believe that Zack Snyder’s film was basically redone), and the seemingly beginner’s-luck-success of James Wan’s epic Aquaman (which I legitimately enjoyed). However, DC has done right with bringing us Director David F. Sandberg’s Shazam! 

(Some spoilers ahead)

 

Billy Batson spent his entire childhood searching for his biological mother, and has landed in countless foster homes along the way. His latest detour finds him in the care of a family that he actually grows to love. He will have to protect his new family, and the world, against a villain who wants to steal and abuse the abilities bestowed upon him amidst a centuries old crisis.

 

Asher Angel
IMAGE VIA DC COMICS MOVIE.COM

 

Asher Angel and Zachary Levi as Billy Batson/Shazam have an unusually good consistency in their joint performance. Angel nails the angsty yet kind-hearted teen act, while Levi effortlessly portrays an excited version of the same teen who can transform into an alpha-body-builder physique equipped with magical powers at will.

Shazam!’s emotional beats are the kind you’ve come to respect as the only redeemable qualities of DC’s movies. There are moments where the characters’ emotional honesty and vulnerability really stand out among the jokes and punches. For the sake of huge spoilers, I must keep silent, but you will find yourself surprised each time you arrive at the film’s more dramatic moments.

 

Shazam Gary Frank
IMAGE VIA GARY FRANK

 

The stakes are simultaneously low and high. It never feels as though the world is in any danger, but the intensity increases as the people that Billy has come to love become more and more at risk. The comedic moments are also so well placed that it never feels as though they stand out unnecessarily. The jokes in general are real good too, and never feel forced.

Now, the key to DC’s recent successes, including Shazam!, are likely due to adapting the comics written by super-star writer, Geoff Johns. Many of Johns’s Aquaman arcs were adapted for James Wan’s film, and the same is true of Shazam! Fortunately for DC, the writer’s comic book contributions are endless, and that means more successful adaptations should be on their way.

 

 

Featured Image Via Warner Bros.