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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars “Billy Batson, you are the most unpleasant boy I’ve ever had the unpleasure of knowing.”
The backup stories from Justice League issues #7-11, 0, 14-16 and 18-21, are collected as Shazam! Volume 1 HC (The New 52). These all add up to the latest origin story for the latest Captain Marvel. Not as good as Jerry Ordway’s The Power of Shazam, but then, nothing is likely to be. However, this has made a good showing, with excellent artwork and scripting. This...
Published 3 months ago by Mr. Mice Guy

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Kid superhero
Billy Batson is a bratty orphan who meets a wizard on the subway, “reasons” his way into superpowers and becomes Shazam, a kind of magical Superman analogue. Black Adam is released from his mystical prison by Dr Sivana and raises the Seven Deadly Sins to destroy Shazam once and for all.

Your reaction to this book depends on how you feel about the...
Published 4 months ago by Sam Quixote


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars “Billy Batson, you are the most unpleasant boy I’ve ever had the unpleasure of knowing.”, 17 April 2014
By 
Mr. Mice Guy (London, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Shazam! Volume 1 HC (The New 52) (Hardcover)
The backup stories from Justice League issues #7-11, 0, 14-16 and 18-21, are collected as Shazam! Volume 1 HC (The New 52). These all add up to the latest origin story for the latest Captain Marvel. Not as good as Jerry Ordway’s The Power of Shazam, but then, nothing is likely to be. However, this has made a good showing, with excellent artwork and scripting. This Captain Marvel is just Billy in a man’s body – there is no personality change – but the concept of a Marvel Family is the centrepiece of this story, and they even get the tiger in, though not the rabbit (though there is a Hoppy the rabbit featured in the story – we live in hope).

The story itself is pretty linear; cynical orphan Billy is settled in a new foster home; the Wizard Shazam is looking for a new champion; Doctor Sivana is looking for the tomb of Black Adam. It all works out in the end. It brought a tear to my eye. If it wasn’t for the memory of Jerry Ordway’s series, I’d have given it 5 stars.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Joyful Magic, 19 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Shazam! Volume 1 HC (The New 52) (Hardcover)
This is some of the most fun you will have reading a comic book. I'm a massive fan of Captain Marvel, and so I was a little worried about what would be done with the character in this modern re-imagining. Thankfully, the more things change, the more they stay the same. My only advice to readers is to stick with it. A lot of readers were put off by the characterisation of Billy Batson at the start of the series, but reading to the end, that effect seems intentional. Character arcs are wonderful things, don't you know?

A few extra notes:
-Some of the pages in the first issue have been reordered from their initial printing. This improves the reading experience immeasurably, and I can't imagine going back to reading it in the originally printed order.
-The back material is very good. I just wish they had used Gary Frank's design for Black Adam as it appears here!
-You do not need to know ANYTHING about the New 52 reboot to be able to enjoy this as a standalone story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly awesome!, 19 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Shazam! Vol. 1 (Kindle Edition)
I didn't know much about this character until I read this book and what a place to start! A fantastic superhero and now one of my favourites although I actually prefer the Black Adam character. Buy this it's awesome. SHAZAM!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Kid superhero, 11 Mar 2014
By 
Sam Quixote - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Shazam! Volume 1 HC (The New 52) (Hardcover)
Billy Batson is a bratty orphan who meets a wizard on the subway, “reasons” his way into superpowers and becomes Shazam, a kind of magical Superman analogue. Black Adam is released from his mystical prison by Dr Sivana and raises the Seven Deadly Sins to destroy Shazam once and for all.

Your reaction to this book depends on how you feel about the character. Did you like Billy Batson/Captain Marvel before the New 52? If so, you’ll probably hate this version where Billy’s gone from being a kind-hearted kid to a whiny twerp you want to clobber. If, like me, you didn’t care about pre-New 52 Billy Batson, this one won’t offend you outright but, because New 52 Billy Batson is so unlikeable, you’re not going to root for him either.

The story reads a lot like a pilot episode to a CW show. Billy’s foster family is cynically made up of kids from every demographic so it’s like a marketing team constructed the cast. You’ve got a hot white girl who may as well be wearing a badge saying “Billy’s love interest”, a Latino, a black, an Asian, and a disabled kid – together they are the Bizarrely Politically Correct Family! There are two bad guys – Black Adam and the angry rich white guy. The rich dude is, of course, the father of the spoilt kids who beat up Billy’s new brothers and sisters and rants and raves like a cartoon bad guy. “I’m rich, I’m better than everyone, do what I say police officer, blah blah terrible dialogue etc.”.

Black Adam is his usual charming self, smashing everything in sight while sneering at everyone. Though he does take a look at people protesting against the banks, fly into the top of a skyscraper, and throw a banking exec out the window, so he’s not all bad. He does seem to spend a lot of time waiting for Shazam to show up and little else, so his whole story arc is pretty contrived.

Gary Frank’s art is by far the best part of the book. Every page is really well drawn and I loved the stuff in the magic cave but Shazam’s shoes? I don’t know what he was thinking – are those magic glow-in-the-dark plasters? Anyways, this is still a great looking book.

Johns’ script isn’t terrible but it is very basically written as if this is aimed at pre-teens. You can easily follow the story and understand motivations but it still reads as a very dumbed down superhero story in the end. None of the characters are especially memorable or well written and Batson himself remains an obnoxious jerk. As for the wizard himself, he’s written as a complete imbecile. When Batson, a 15 year old rude-boy, can out-reason a millennia-old entity with teenage “wisdom”, you’re doing a disservice to the character and creating a laughably simplistic origin story.

I’ve never read a Shazam book before so I can’t compare it to anything but for what this was, it was fine. It was a decent origin for Shazam that I was never bored with while reading – I didn’t love the characters but Johns’ script keeps things moving quickly and Frank’s art make the book a delight to read. I’m getting a little tired of the notion that for 21st century audiences to “buy” a classic superhero character, you need to revamp them so that they’re “edgy” and “dark” – it’s just too cynical an approach at this point – but Johns has done this to lesser effect elsewhere (like Justice League/Aquaman) and I was expecting Shazam to be a lot worse than it turned out to be.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good art and story, but not enough action, 23 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Shazam! Vol. 1 (Kindle Edition)
I found this one good but a bit long winded with not enough action. The story was good and the new take on Billy Batson back story is.. ok, not really hero material but I think that's the good thing about it he isn't the typical save the world hero. I defiantly want to see more from Shazam and more action.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shazam!!!!!!, 8 Nov 2013
This review is from: Shazam! Volume 1 HC (The New 52) (Hardcover)
If your just getting into the comics with the new 52 by DC I definitely recommend this story it is awesome watch out for Shazam he is the next big thing for DC especially with Geoff Johns writing so buy this and just enjoy guys
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5.0 out of 5 stars Shazam is great, 27 May 2014
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This review is from: Shazam! Vol. 1 (Kindle Edition)
This is a good graphic novel great story. Well written, recreate Shazam with a darker background. Amazing I would recommend this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 23 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Shazam! Vol. 1 (Kindle Edition)
Best of the reboots by a country mile.
Captain marvel is back!!!
Artwork and story bring the character back up to date.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A very promising new start for one of my favorite superheroes., 19 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Shazam! Volume 1 HC (The New 52) (Hardcover)
I was listening to the podcast Fatman on Batman with Kevin Smith and his interview with Geoff Johns about some of his work.
Mostly Batman stuff, but when they start talking about his new Shazam book, the premise alone instantly got me hooked.
And I've figured if I'm gonna buy just one book from the new 52 line, it might as well be Captain Marvel. And sure enough it didn't disappoint. The story is great, the characters were solid and the art is gorgeous. My only problem...more like a nitpick really, they changed the heroes name from Captain Marvel to Shazam. To me Shazam is a phrase word, not a name. So I just simply pretended his name was still Captain Marvel. Pretty sad, I know.

Overall, if your looking to buy any book from the new 52, then this one is a definite winner. Looking forward to Vol. 2.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Starting with a Shazam!, 11 Oct 2013
By 
Ian Williams "ianw" (Sunderland, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Shazam! Vol. 1 (Kindle Edition)
This character has a long but not complicated history. For a start, he wasn't called Shazam but Captain Marvel. Co-created by artist CC Beck for Fawcett Comics, he appeared not long after Superman and became very popular until, some years later, DC sued Fawcett by claiming he was a copy of Superman. This was patently ridiculous but DC still won, Fawcett collapsed and DC took over ownership of the character.

By the time they decided to use him, Marvel had already copyrighted the name 'Captain Marvel' so DC were not allowed to use that name on the cover of any comic featuring the character though the character kept that name. Shazam! is the magic word he used to transform himself from the adolescent Billy Batson into the world's mightiest mortal.

Note the word magic in there. This was already one significant difference between him and Superman. Neither did he have Superman's range of powers. Cap was basically incredibly strong, invulnerable, clever, very fast, and could fly. Basically, like the man of steel himself, Cap was what became accepted as one of an archetype -the super-man. Also different from Superman, his adventures were more naive, cartoony in visual style, and full of charming absurdities like Tawky Tawny the intelligent tiger. He also had a super 'family' who shared his powers to a lesser degree and included Captain Marvel Jnr aka the crippled kid Freddy Freeman, Mary Marvel, and the non-powered Uncle Dudley Marvel.

Heading towards the millennium, DC took the character more seriously as they integrated him into their own continuity -for years he was in a parallel world until the Crisis On Infinite Earths got rid of DC's multiverse.

Now writer Geoff Johns has recreated the character for DC's revised continuity and he has done a very clever and interesting job of it in collaboration with the excellent artist Gary Frank. Somehow Johns has managed to keep much of the mythos of the character while updating it for a modern audience.

Okay. Alter ego Billy Batson is no longer a naive kid who wants to do good but a 15 year old who's been in care and foster homes all his life and has become cynical, manipulative, and out for himself though, under the right circumstances, he can do the right thing. Captain Marvel name is now Shazam after his magic word which was given to him by a wizard (this origin remains virtually unchanged) who looks a bit like a grizzled Australian aborigine rather than the long white haired white man.

Billy is taken in by a decent couple who already have several foster children who he wants nothing to do with. Needless to say, this changes. On getting his powers he uses them to get money for food and beer and also, almost inadvertently, do some good deeds.

Also reborn is his nemesis Black Adam who goes looking for Shazam to extremely violent effect.

I'll skip the details as I don't want to spoil it for you. The content of this graphic novel originally appeared as a series of shorts in the back of the Justice League comic but they don't read like that. What you get is a full blown origin story that touches all the bases, while updating it in an interesting way. Shazam now has his own title and I'm looking forward to the first trade. Extremely promising start and highly recommended.
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Shazam! Volume 1 HC (The New 52)
Shazam! Volume 1 HC (The New 52) by Geoff Johns (Hardcover - 8 Oct 2013)
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