Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Review: Shazam! #4

This issue opens up in the Wildlands, with Mr Tawny starting his day. This first part of the sequence is almost Fawcett-like, until Tawny steps out his building door, and it becomes evident the Wildlands are more like a Loony Tunes-Merrie Melodies cartoon (You could almost hear The Merry Go Round Broke Down playing). Tawny appears to be arrested for not being a proper tiger, i.e., he's reading a book against nature, "How To Stop Eating Your Friends".

Cut to Freddy and Special Ed... er, Darla, also in the Wildlands as they are captured by animal cops.  A missed opportunity by the creative team... they didn't make them bulls.  Freddy says Shazam but nothing happens.  Back to the Funlands, where Captain Shazam is held by King Kid.  He explains the Funlands is a haven for abused kids, and no adults are allowed. All the adults, including Mary, are slave laborers underground, and Captain Shazam joins their ranks.

Back to The Wildlands, where Freddy and Darla are on trial.  Then it's to Earth, where the Vasquezes have the cops in to find their missing kids.  Billy's "father" mentions Billy has a habit of running away.  Then it's to the Gamelands, where Latino Shazam and Asian Shazam are trapped in a game.  They find out only be beating the game master can they escape.  Then it's to the Rock of Eternity, where Black Adam notices the doors to the other realms have been breached. The next issue blurb hints it will be Black Adam who saves the day.  Of course it will, this is a Geoff "the Snake" Johns production.  He loves the villains and is indifferent to the heroes.

Johns' script is average, and with all the cutting back and forth between realms, it seems like a lot is going on, but actually not much happens.  The art by Dale Eaglesham and Marco Santucci is the usual - good yet generic.  Again, Captain Shazam is drawn to look way too much like Superman complete with spit curl.  Mayo "Sen" Naito is sorely missed this issue, and again, should be the main artist on this series. This issue earns a C.

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