DC Comics Relaunch First Look – Shazam!

The New York Post had a first look at Shazam from his return in Justice League #7:

Shazam! With one lightning-infused magic word, DC Comics has relaunched one of its most iconic characters, reviving the superhero known since 1939 as Captain Marvel and renaming and supercharging him with a heavy double dose of mysticism and magic.

“We changed his name [to Shazam] for a lot of reasons,” said Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns. “One of them is that Shazam is the word most associated with the character, so we just felt it made sense — a lot of people already thought that was his name, anyway.”

With a new origin, a cowl, a lightning bolt on his chest, and a penchant for causing electrical appliances to explode, Shazam still bears similarities to the original hero, including the power to change from feisty teen Billy Batson into a superhero by uttering the magic word that is now his name.

The new Shazam debuts March 21 as a side story in Justice League No. 7.

“His place in the world will be far more rooted in fantasy and magic than it ever was before,” Johns said.

Skitch Commentary: I am pretty excited to see what DC will be doing with Shazam in these back up stories. DC has seemed to be trying to revitalize Captain Marvel for years, and just has never quite figured out the right formula to do it.

I think it is the right call to change his name officially to Shazam, though you end up with the problem Captain Marvel Jr had where he can’t say his own name without losing his powers. Most people already think “Shazam!” when they think of the character. I am slightly biased as Captain Mar-Vell is one of my favorite characters.

I am glad that they are going to focus on magic and mysticism with Shazam. I’ve always thought DC had a great handle on the supernatural, and every month I hope Shadowpact will pop back up. This might be as close as we get (sorry Justice League Dark, you just haven’t quite been doing it for me).

So…the elephant in the room. What do I think of the new look. Hmmm…hard to say. I thought Shazam’s old costume had a great classic ageless look to it. I can’t help but think he looks like a boxer heading down to the ring with the “cowl” over his head.

It’s not a bad look, just a little jarring to me. I think I need to see it in action before I really pass any kind of judgment on it.

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