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Johnny Bullet
DC Comics
Trials of Shazam! # 12 (of 12)
By Koppy McFad

Apr 9, 2008 - 5:26

Publisher(s): DC Comics
Writer(s): Judd Winick
Penciller(s): Mauro Cascioli
Cover Artist(s): Mauro Cascioli


shazam_1.jpg
The final chapter in the battle for Freddy Freeman to prove himself worthy of the powers of Shazam.

Freddy, with the Justice League and Shadowpact supporting him, go up against the evil Sabina over who gets to succeed Captain Marvel. There is the usual slugfest with a bunch of demons but that is just the background music for the Freddy-Sabina fight.

This comic starts out very well with some very impressive art and a moving internal monologue by Freddy. Yet, it quickly begins moving downhill. The dialogue becomes very pretentious and wooden, further exposing the flaws in the plot. (And is "trepidatious" really a word?) The surprise-twist near the end is unconvincing and actually makes some of the characters seem like idiots (or at least, like heartless a**h*les.)  Perhaps the creative team wanted to make this issue seem like a turning point but this is lost in all the fighting.

The art actually looks rushed in the latter pages of the book. It is still adequate but the drop in quality from the first pages is obvious. The artist also makes Freddy look rather pudgey when he puts on the Captain Marvel suit.

What weighs this story down is all the talk about 'ages of magic' and 'magic repairing itself' that is suppose to make this miniseries feel like an epic tale but just leaves it looking like a Harry Potter-imitation. What was really lacking here is the kind of magic that made the original Captain Marvel stories so entertaining.

Sadly, it gets only two stars out of five.



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