Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Review: Shazam! #3

The 3rd issue picks up at the Funlands with a celebration for Billy and his family.  King Kid reveals his mission as appointed by the council of wizards to run this amusement park for troubled kids from the seven realms.  Everyone is having fun except for Mary, who is very suspicious of the whole situation.  King Kid claims to be the seventh champion (there needs to be one for each of the seven realms), and almost tricks Darla -whose Crank Yankers' "Special Ed" personality is in full force- into revealing the magic word. Luckily Mary stops her.  King Kid tells his origin story in an attempt to earn Mary's trust. In summery, he ran away from a cruel home, found a magic wishing stick, and created the Funlands.  King Kid continues to push to be accepted as part of the Shazam Family.  The three Flashpoint kids are willing to accept him, but Mary still isn't sold. King Kid becomes agitated when he finds out Mary is an adult, i.e. almost 18, and has his clown henchmen attack the kids, sending Mary, Freddy and Darla into an underground shaft. The other three turn into Captain Shazam, Asian Shazam and Latino Shazam, and King Kid seems very outraged that the champions are in adult form.  Captain Shazam is quickly overpowered and sent to the shaft.  Asian Shazam and Latino Shazam get sucked into the Gamelands.  Freddy and Darla, meanwhile, end up in the Wildlands... a land of talking humanoid felines.

Geoff Johns' script is, intentional or not, kind of on the childish side, where he's essentially put these characters into a Hasbro Candyland world. The whole grim and gritty thing didn't work out in Curse, so now he's trying to turn the series into a Nicktoons-inspired kids book, without realizing that an all-ages concept has already been done so much better in the Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam series.  The artwork is all over the place, with Dale Eaglesham and Marco Santucci in tandem handling most of the issue, with Mayo "Sen" Naito (who really should be the main artist on this series) handling the King Kid origin sequence.  Over all, this issue is par for the course earning a C.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Peter Tork, R.I.P

Very sad news, today.  Peter Tork has passed away at the age of 77.  He was battling adenoid cystic carcinoma, a rare cancer of the salivary glands, the past ten years, going thru two surgeries and chemo treatments early on.  He was in remission for several years.   Two years ago when he stepped away from the Monkees after the 50th Anniversary tour, and went into seclusion, there was speculation the cancer had returned. 

An official statement from his family states he succumbed to the disease, and he "died peacefully... at a family home in Connecticut".

Michael Nesmith issued this statement,
“Peter Tork died this a.m. I am told he slipped away peacefully. Yet, as I write this my tears are awash, and my heart is broken. Even though I am clinging to the idea that we all continue, the pain that attends these passings has no cure. It’s going to be a rough day. I share with all Monkees fans this change, this ‘loss,’ even so. PT will be a part of me forever. I have said this before — and now it seems even more apt: the reason we called it a band is because it was where we all went to play. A band no more, and yet the music plays on, an anthem to all who made the Monkees and the TV show our private — dare I say ‘secret’ — playground. As for Pete, I can only pray his songs reach the heights that can lift us and that our childhood lives forever — that special sparkle that was the Monkees. I will miss him — a brother in arms. Take flight my Brother.”

Micky Dolenz sums it up best,
"There are no words right now...heart broken over the loss of my Monkee brother, Peter Tork."

I can only offer up my prayers for Peter and his family.  You will be missed greatly, Peter.

Eternal Rest grant unto him O Lord,
Let perpetual light shine upon him,
May he rest in peace.