Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Review: Curse Of Shazam, part 1

The first chapter of  Curse Of Shazam in JUSTICE LEAGUE #7 is more of a teaser, setting the stage for things to come.  It begins with a man being abducted by the wizard Shazam (if indeed the wizard is still named Shazam).  Entering an elevator, he gets zapped to the Rock of Eternity, where he is tested to see if he is worthy.  We only get a glimpse of the wizard's hand and tooth-missing mouth.  The man fails, and is zapped back.  Apparently several people have been abducted and tested to see if they are worthy.

We are then introduced to Dr Sivana, who has been keeping track of all this. Sivana, in this new take, is not a short, scrawny elderly gent, but appears to be youngish, tall, and muscular.  For some reason he reminds me of the modern version of Professor Hugo Strange.  We get a recap of Black Adam from Sivana, who figures the current abductions are tied into this legend, and we learn Sivana has spent his life trying to save his family.  Well, at least he's not a millionaire businessman copy-cat of Luthor.

Cut to Philadelphia, seven months later (no more Fawcett City?).  We meet Billy, at an orphanage, who is being interviewed by prospective foster parents, the Vasquezes.  Billy seems very polite, and the Vasquezes mention they have other foster kids (Freddy Freeman, perhaps?).  But as soon as the Vasquezes agree to take Billy and leave, we see Billy's true colors.  He's a jerk. He's a trouble maker. 

Then there is a full page shot of Captain Mar... er, Shazam as a teaser for the next chapter.

My thoughts:  The script was well written, and kept my interest.  The art was also good, but some choices in the character design are questionable, such as Sivana now being a big burly guy, and I'm not too fond of the rather dorky hoody Captain Mar... er, Shazam now sports.  As for Billy being a jerk and only pretending to be a nice kid... well, we'll just have to see how that plays out.  It's too early to tell.  Overall, I would grade this first chapter a B-.


Anonymous said...

Effing awful. Skimmed it at the shop, but will not spend money on this junk. Screw DC.

Chris said...

I can dig this issue.
With only 12 pages to work with, I was quite impressed of how Johns was able to create a high level of intrigue. As for Billy being a jerk, well, as you wrote, it's too early to tell whether that's his behaviour toward Mrs. Glover (No more Minerva!), or his overall demeanor. They obviously have history.
As for the abrupt transformation into Captain Marvel (I don't care DC, He's always gonna be Captain Marvel to me!), it left me puzzled. The events of the beginning happen 7 months prior to Billy's transformation. Are we to assume that between those 7 months, Billy had already met the Wizard? Or that the electrical explosion in Philadelphia, is what prompted Shazam to immediately give Billy the power?

Shazamaholic said...

Chris, my guess is the last two pages are a preview of what's to come, not a linear continuation of the story. Ironically, Grant Morrison did this a lot in the "Batman & Robin" title.

Steely Dan said...

Despite never having liked anything that Geoff Johns has ever written, I didn't hate this. So I guess that's good. I'm willing to give it a chance.

Walt Grogan said...

My guess is that something will eventually happen to Sivana that will not only change his appearance but also drive him mad.

Shazamaholic said...

Walt, I have heard fan rumors that magic may turn Sivana's body troll-like. I guess we just have to wait to see how it plays out. Regarding Freddy's blond hair, I wonder if that is a nod to Elvis, who had light brown hair, and dyed it black once he became a movie star. If and when Freddy becomes Kid Shazam (or whatever he'll be called), will he have black hair in his superpowered state?