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Shazam! Vol. 1 by [Johns, Geoff]
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Shazam! Vol. 1 Kindle & comiXology

4.7 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Product Description

About the Author

Geoff Johns is an award-winning writer and one of the most popular contemporary comic book writers today. Johns is the author of The New York Times bestselling graphic novels Aquaman: The Trench, Blackest Night, Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps War, Justice League: Origin, Superman: Brainiac and Batman: Earth One which hit #1 on the bestseller list. He is also known for transforming Green Lantern into one of the most critically and commercially successful franchises in comics. Johns was born in Detroit and studied media arts, screenwriting, and film at Michigan State University. After moving to Los Angeles, he became an assistant to Richard Donner, director of Superman: The Movie. He and his mentor Donner later co-wrote Superman: Last Son featuring the return of General Zod. Johns has written for various other media, including episodes of Smallville, Arrow and Adult Swim's Robot Chicken, for which he was nominated along with his co-writers for an Emmy. He is the Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment and resides in Los Angeles, California.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 115198 KB
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics; 52nd edition edition (1 Oct. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #108,498 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Shazam! Volume 1 is the New 52 retelling of the origin of earth's mightiest mortal, formally known as Captain Marvel, written by Geoff Johns with art by Gary Frank. Shazam began appearing as part of backup stories of DC Comics New 52 flagship title Justice League, and collects the arc from issues; #7-11, 0, 14-16 and 18-21. I was a huge fan of their previous collaborations; Superman: Secret Origin and Batman: Earth One Volume 1.

First appearing in Whiz Comics #2 (Feb. 1940) and later bought by DC, Captain Marvel was once even more popular than Superman and Batman. Young Billy Batson could speak the magic word; "SHAZAM!" and transform into the powerful hero with powers to rival Superman's. He is sometimes referred to as "The Big Red Cheese", a lighter take on the Man of Steel whose powers are derived from Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles and Mercury, bestowed onto him by a powerful wizard. In an era when comics were predominately most popular with children, it served to young readers providing a kind of wish fulfillment, the same reason why Robin was introduced as Batman's teen sidekick. Whiz Comics created the idea of young boy saying the magic word and becoming a superhero. Readers and fans latched onto the concept and even Elvis paid homage to the hero with his stage costume. Times have changed but Captain Marvel endured, remaining in the main stream where other magical based heroes were re-imagined during in the Silver Age of comics. Captain Marvel will always be a lasting reminder of a simpler time.

DC Comics have officially renamed Captain Marvel as Shazam as part of their 2011 relaunch; The New 52. For decades, science has ruled the world, but now magic is returning.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A fantastic re-work of one of comics classic characters.

Due to copyright issues, Captain Marvel is no more, long live Shazam! The story remains largely the same, a young boy meets an old wizard who grants him magical powers in order to protect the world from the threat of magic.

The biggest difference in this book however is that Billy Batson is not the sweet young boy of yesteryear, but is instead a stuck up brat with a serious attitude problem. For years he has been bounced from home to home before he meets a couple who actively help foster children by giving them a home, as they were foster children themselves. Billy is rather mean to his foster brothers and sisters but soon warms to them, and is soon transported to meet the old wizard at the Rock of Eternity. To the shock of the wizard, Billy does not have the pure heart he seeks, but sees enough in the teenager to grant him the powers of Shazam.

Billy later tells his foster brother Freddy about his new found powers and they use them to get revenge on the school bullies and buy some beer, when Billy realises that he tends to find trouble and that his new powers can help him save people. Later, a newly released Black Adam, the previous champion of magic, is revived and comes after Billy. In order to beat him, Billy shares his power with his foster siblings and together they stop Black Adam and the 7 Sins.

This book is an absolute must read, the change to Billy's character really works well and adds a level to the character that he previously lacked, that he should strive to be a good person rather than being born as one. The supporting cast works well too, with Freddy the crafty sibling and Mary the eldest sensible one being joined by the adorable Darla, the tech savvy Eugene and the gentle giant Pedro.

This is the one book that deserves its own series and i'm quite amazed that DC haven't given it one yet.
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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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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