Wednesday, March 21, 2012

On the latest in a long line of Marvels

OK, I read the first chapter of the new SHAZAM in Justice League #7.

And simply, I didn't learn enough to give it a yay or nay yet.

We learned three things -

  • The Old Wizard is actively searching for a new champion, and may not be finding him because he's Getting Too Old For This Shit.
  • Dr. Sivana is tall, buff and respected in the field of science, and not a ratlike little gnome.  Plus, his family is in some sort of crisis.
  • Billy Batson appears to be more of a hellraiser this time around, and not the paragon of virtue he usually is.

None of those things are dealbreakers for me.  Neither is the new costume.  And neither is the name.

That's right, according to interviews, Captain Marvel will be getting am official and permanent name change to Shazam.  They go on about how most people think that's his name anyway, but it all comes down to the fact that decades ago, marvel Comics snapped up the name, as the trademark on the original lapsed, and now nobody else can have a comic book with Captain Marvel as the title character.  So ever since the original relaunch in the seventies, they had to call the book some iteration of "Shazam".  They even tried sneaking the name on, by having "The ORIGINAL Captain Marvel" on the cover for a couple issues, but that got the kibosh but quick.

The art is by Gary Frank, so there's nothing bad can be said about it.  The choice to make Sivana attractive is an interesting one - in short, it makes him too similar to Luthor.  So much so that I wouldn't be surprised if there's some reader confusion in the future.  But then I thought about something...

He's only referred to as "Dr. Sivana".  And he talks about his family.  But who says he's the patriarch?

What if it's not Thaddeus?

What if it's Magnificus?

Mind...BLOWN.

So far, there's nothing that made me throw the book across the room and wash my hands.

And while we're on it, the setup for the next JLA arc sounds quite interresting.  It seems a bit contradictory with other contemporary events: Batman trash-talking the Justice League International goes against his actions in that book, but that's minor.  The overall positive mindset people have of the JLA seems (sadly) destined to go down in flames.  But seeing the Orb of Ra certainly has me thinking.

I'm hanging around.

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