Review: Shazam #5
By Philip Schweier
May 8, 2019 - 7:28
Writer(s): Geoff Johns
Artist(s): Dale Eaglesham, Marco Santucci, Scott Kolins, Max Raynor
Colourist(s): Mike Atiyeh
Letterer(s): Rob Leigh
Cover Artist(s): Dale Eaglesham, Mike Atiyeh; Jim Lee, Alex Sinclair
In this type of serialized storytelling (comic books, television, etc.), I believe it helps to have a hub around which the storytelling revolves. In this case that would be Billy Batson/Shazam. But, in the space of five issues, we have met Billy’s foster siblings and their magic-powered counterparts, as well as an assortment of magical realms heretofore unknown within the greater DC Universe.
By presenting the audience with the full monty of the Shazam mythology, it doesn’t permit much growth for future story-telling. And this is where the Green Lantern film (co-produced by Geoff Johns) stumbled. Rather than tell an engaging story about Hal Jordan becoming Green Lantern, and then saving the larger scope of the Green Lantern Corps for the sequel, it squeezed so much of the GL lore into a single film, there was little elbow room for drawing the audience in. It was like going to a buffet and having more food piled on your plate faster than you could eat and enjoy it.
I much prefer the slow boil (but not too slow) of introducing the character, then the supporting characters, and allowing the audience to know them, then bringing in other secondary concepts. Perhaps this particular storyline should have been told next year, after we’ve grown comfortable with this version of the original Captain Marvel.
But Shazam has the benefit of the recent movie, a much better production and also co-produced by Geoff Johns. One might almost consider this series from DC Comics the unofficial sequel to the film. But I hope there is a sequel.
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