Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Gary Frank
It’s been teased in a few shorts included at the end of previous JL issues, and now it’s here. The origin story of Billy Batson as Shazam? The character formerly known as Captain Marvel has been rechristened simply Shazam by the New52. That sits well with me because growing up I would watch the Captain Marvel cartoon and as a kid I always assumed his name was Shazam anyway.
Black Adam is on the loose and the dying wizard Shazam is looking for a replacement to battle Adam. Enter 15 year old snot nosed punk Billy Batson. Man, does this kid have a mouth on him! Formerly Billy was a nice, mild mannered boy. As of the New52, Billy is a rough edged orphan. A kid with a chip on his shoulder. You can call him a jerk, but I think he’s a product of his circumstances.
So Billy gets new powers and becomes Shazam, and what does he do with it? What any 15 year old would do. Show off to his buddy. Get revenge on a mean neighbor, and then eventually save somebody from a mugging…for money…so he can buy beer. Way to go Billy! That’s pretty much what I would’ve done too. I’ll tell you what, I’m kind of digging this new Billy Batson.
Johns delivers a decent story with a new take on our hero and I’ll give him credit for that. Not a great story, but a good one. I was hoping to see more of Black Adam, whats he up to while the wizard Shazam is passing on his powers to Batson. Maybe even a quick cliffhanging showdown to end the issue. That would’ve made it a great story. Being that I’m more of a writer and have no visual artistic bones in my body, it’s always kind of hard for me to critique the art. To me it’s either cool or it’s not. So here I give it a cool.
Overall it was a good read with cool art so I’m going to give it a….
3 out of 5 nerds
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