Tag: shazam!

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

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.