DC Comics
Superman/Shazam: First Thunder # 4 (of 4)
By Koppy McFad
March 18, 2006 - 04:11

DC Comics
Writer(s): Judd Winnick
Penciller(s): Joshua Middleton
Inker(s): Joshua Middleton
Cover Artist(s): Joshua Middleton

This is the final issue in a miniseries about the first meeting between Superman and Captain Marvel, two of the biggest superheroes in history. So why is this story so dull? Basically, Sivana sends a band of killers to murder Billy Batson, causing an angry Captain Marvel to come looking for revenge. That is it: no action, no dramatic tension, no major conflict. Sure, there is the usual inner struggle within Cap between personal vengeance and respect for human life. But did anyone really think Sivana was going to get killed? If not for the decompressed storytelling, this issue could have been done in eight pages. Even the villain, Sivana comes off as just a minor crimelord, not the world's maddest scientist. There is an attempt to make Superman some sort of older brother to Captain Marvel but I thought the idea was to show them as equals. Sadly, Winick seems appointed to be the resident writer of all future Captain Marvel stories at DC even though his handling of the character is spotty at best. The art is a nice, colorful change of pace from the usual comic book fare. It just looks rather humdrum, not the history-making tale it was supposed to be. Frankly, I expect this entire miniseries to be retconned in about five years, when the next "hot" writer decides to do an updated "origin" of Captain Marvel.

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