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Tag Archives: Shazam

SHAZAM: ORIGINS | ‘New to Comics’ Review

New to Comics is a segment where I look at various comic books, explaining their background, reviewing them, and breaking them down for readers unfamiliar to the medium. The title is a reference to a former university project that I carried on as its own site for several years before laying it to rest.

After finally getting around to watching Shazam!, today’s post looks at the comic book it’s based on; the New 52 reintroduction of the character: Shazam: Origins, by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank. 

Published by: DC Comics
Written by: Geoff Johns
Art by: Gary Frank
Year: 2013
Pages: 192

SPOTLIGHT CHARACTER:

SHAZAM!

Real Name: William Batson
Affiliation: The Justice League
First Appearance: Whiz Comics #2 (February 1940)

After being orphaned at a young age, Billy Batson moved from foster home to foster home, becoming more and more standoffish with each transition. Growing into a combatant young teen with little in the way of family bar Tawny the Tiger at the local zoo who featured in his earliest memory, Billy found himself welcomed into the loving Vasquez family – home to five other foster children (Mary, Freddy, Eugene, Pedro and Darla). At first, Billy’s confrontational nature made it hard for him to fit in, but after a fateful encounter with the wizard ‘Shazam’, Billy was gifted the powers of the Champion of Magic; able to transform into a superpowered adult version of himself (possessing the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles and the speed of Mercury). Learning to control these powers alongside his new family, Billy found peace, purpose and a sense of belonging. Now, as a member of the Justice League and protector of magic, Billy operates as the ‘World’s Mightiest Mortal’, Shazam!

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Posted by on April 11, 2019 in Comic Books

 

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SHAZAM! | Film Review

“Say my name”

RELEASED: April 5th 2019
DIRECTED BY: David F. Sandberg
WRITTEN BY: Henry Gayden & Darren Lemke
PRODUCED BY: Peter Safran
MUSIC BY: Benjamin Wallfisch
STARRING: Zachary Levi, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, Mark Strong & Djimon Hounsou

Since its premiere, Shazam! has garnered critical acclaim, and is being touted as perhaps the best film in the ‘Worlds of DC’. It’s well directed, features a strong cast and has a well-written story that hits poignant beats and pulls off funny gags with ease. It’s a good film, without a doubt. But personally, I’m not sure it lives up to the hype that everyone else seems to think it does.

Shazam! is the story of Billy Batson, a foster kid who finds himself transported to the magical Rock of Eternity – the home of the ancient wizard Shazam. With a threat to the Earth on the loose in the form of Doctor Thaddeus Sivana and the personifications of the seven deadly sins, Shazam hopes to bestow his powers on a champion who is pure of heart and spirit. But having run out of options, he instead chooses Billy. Now gifted with a superpowered adult body, Billy is forced to become a superhero and stop Sivana from destroying the world.

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Super-Heroes: The Modern Mythology

This post was originally published on my now defunct site, New to Comics.

When it comes to comic-book fans, there are certain things that many seem to have a shared interest in. The most prominent, obviously, is serialised fiction and anything superhero themed.

On top of that, there is usually an interest in science-fiction as a whole. Stories that explore the uncanny, the unexplainable and the endless possibilities of the future.

Gods0.jpg

A third potential interest, in my opinion, is mythology. This is highlighted by the fact that many superheroes have ties to myth. Marvel Comics Thor is a God adapted from Norse Mythology, and many of his supporting characters are themselves Gods (some authentic, such as Odin and Loki, others original such as Fandral, Hogun and Volstagg, more commonly known as the Warriors Three). On the DC side is Wonder Woman, a character who originated as a member of the Amazons, who are adapted from Greek mythology. Similarly, the character of Captain Marvel/Shazam is transformed by a wizard into ‘Earth’s Mightiest Mortal’, invoking various attributes of Greek mythological figures (the strength of Hercules, the wisdom of Solomon, etc.).

More enduring religions, such as Christianity, also hold sway in modern comic-book story-telling, with concepts like Heaven and Hell frequently appearing in stories featuring characters like Ghost Rider, who, as a ‘Spirit of Vengeance’ is, depending on the continuity, either an agent of Heaven or Hell.

But even ignoring the superheroes who are actual Gods, comic books relate to mythology on another level.

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Posted by on March 24, 2018 in Comic Books, What's Going On?

 

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