Writer: Geoff Johns / Artist: Scott Kolins / DC Comics
This issue took us to a place that I don’t think we needed to go. I’ve been enjoying many aspects of this book, but this issue really turned me off for a number of different reasons. With all the push backs of Geoff Johns’ books, it feels like both Doomsday Clock and Shazam are declining in the quality and continuity department that comic books strive to achieve. On top of that, the recent artistic trajectory is not at all my cup of tea, and the removal of color in many panels is doing us no favors. I wish the inside of the book matched the vigor of its cover, but it doesn’t.
This issue is confusing on a number of levels. In Shazam #7, the individuals who wind up helping our team appear to be driven by ulterior motives, yet those benevolent urges seemingly disappear this time around. I’m not sure if this is a long game payoff or something that had to quickly be corrected, but I’m at the point where my investment in these characters are being compromised. I loved the different Magiclands that everyone was jettisoned into but it didn’t feel like they earned their way out of those situations, and that’s a letdown.
Billy is on his Toby Maguire in Pleasantville game with the ashy black and white setting of the Darklands. While I didn’t like the color scheme, it was something else that had me writing these scenes off. Billy is so gullible at times and so savvy at other points that I’m not sure who to expect each time he’s in a situation. I’m looking for some consistency in this reestablishment of his character. The Shazam movie really did wonders for this character, and if people are looking for more Batson in their life, Johns needs to make sure this is the perfect vehicle for increasing his profile. Some may like the dichotomy of his wits but based on the other members of the Shazam family, he seems to be the most inconsistent, usually adhering to the needs of the book.
My least favorite issue of this new Shazam run was saved by the final page’s big reveal, but I’m honestly just hoping that the Black Adam storyline pans out or we’re in trouble. The villain game has been weak so we could use something menacing to keep things spicy. With all that said, Billy, Mary, Darla, and most of the crew make it where they need to go for the Shazam family to finally come full circle. But who will this mysterious 7th champion be to combat these evil new forces?
6 Trickster Ghosts Out of 10
Reading Shazam? Check out BNP’s other reviews here.