Writer: Geoff Johns / Artist: Marco Santucci / DC Comics
Once again, Shazam impresses on all fronts as we continue to dive into the secrets of the Station and all it’s possibilities. The inaugural issue of Johns’ Shazam run featured heart and comedy at its core, so I enjoyed issue #2 pivot as he focuses on mystery and exploration. We’re introduced to infamous, albeit wacky, DC villains and get some details on the scheming they’re up to. Johns and Santucci waste no time venturing into this world but start off with palpable at-home drama.
Forgive Me Father, For I’m Having Fun
Issue #1 ended with Billy’s alleged father returning and requesting an audience with his “son” while throwing Victor and Rosa Vasquez through a heartbreaking loop! Hopefully, this isn’t a welfare checkup, because Mr. and Mrs. Vasquez quickly realize that won’t be possible. The Shazam family has stumbled across a magical subway station ala Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and aint’ thinkin about going home in the slightest. They’ve discovered a map that features 7 different Magic Lands and hilariously bicker about which one to visit.
The Earthlands seem to be exactly what you’d expect; the realm that their foster parents and home reside in. We don’t get too much info on the Gamelands, but Eugene utilizes the moment to flex his Fortnite and CoD prowess. Darla is enamored by the Wildlands because it has a picture of animals on it, but Mary shuts that down with the swiftness. The Darklands give off a wild creepy vibe with a trail of candy leading to a dark tunnel where the wheels of the train are supposed to be. The boarded up Monsterlands are clearly out of the question, so the Funlands become their obvious choice. The kids hop aboard the Funlands train and head down that wild rabbit hole, much to Mary’s disapproval, and eventually meet someone who could be friend or foe who will surely test the crew’s loyalty and strength.
There’s Evil Afoot!
The introductions of our villains were so well done I had to go back and re-read issue #1 to make sure I was remembering correctly, and I certainly was! In that unbelievably beautiful end of the issue manga style story, young Mary and Freddy spring a bunny from
the joint a pet store about to sell Hoppy to the evil Dr. Sivana. It was such a good seed to plant before ushering the megalomaniac into this issue. We’re shown a hint of him and his evil partner’s combined potential, while getting a detailed description of other’s history. Johns and Santucci get creative explaining the cretin’s backstory, and that’s something I appreciate.
This was a fun issue that displayed plenty of action in panels all throughout, and showcased more of those rich, kinetic colors we saw in issue #1. Johns moves the story along nicely, while peppering in bits of information necessary to understand this family, their magic, and the growing threats. With these mysterious new lands, the possibilities are endless, and the intrigue is helping to make Shazam one of 2019’s DC titles to remain excited about.
8.5 Telepathic Worms Out of 10
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