DC Comics released some new art on Monday showing off the brand new look and concept for the classic character
Captain Marvel, er, um… I mean Shazam!
DC announced back in January that Captain Marvel’s name would officially be changed to Shazam, the word used to transform the young Billy Batson into the powerful superhero. And, now, the first image of the newly named Shazam has been released. Check it out in full here below.
So, this is the new Billy Batson that we’ll see written by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank? Huh… Well, I don’t want to seem too critical because I think it’s a decent design. Although, one of the things I actually liked about the magical hero formerly known as Captain Marvel was when he was written with youthful enthusiasm as being a hero considering he’s actually a little kid that can be a superhero with one magical word. Based on the artwork, which honestly is not a lot to go on, it appears that the joy is gone. The art’s pretty dark, no?
Anyway, while DC confirms that some of the aspects of the character are still the same, like his Billy Batson alter ego, his source of magical power, his lightening bolted chest, and more, there are some differences which you can view in the full image here below.
The newly dubbed Shazam! has a new cape and hood that are meant to mimic those of a mystic or sorcerer, which was carefully detailed when creating the new look for the hero. DC even makes a point to say that the design differs from many of the other heroes in the new DC Universe for the reasons of his source of powers, etc. Now, this is where they lose me. Shazam gets his powers from gods, so he looks this way. So then, why does Wonder Woman not look closer to the design of the gods of Greek mythology? Why does Batman’s suit look so similar to Superman’s if Superman’s powers come from his alien heritage while Batman is a rich guy with a technological prowess? That doesn’t make sense to me, personally, but more power to them. But, let’s go back to Billy Batson.
DC also confirms that Billy Batson transforms into his heroic self by saying the word “Shazam,” now using logic, that would suggest that he can’t introduce himself to his contemporaries by his name because that would just change him back into Billy Batson, right? So, what I’m guessing is that Shazam will have a business card to hand off to the Justice League in just such an occasion.
Anyway, I remain optimistic about this new take on one of my favorite characters despite my snarkiness, and as much as I give Geoff Johns a hard time, he’s shown himself to be incredibly talented when re-invigorating a character that may have fallen out of the public eye for whatever reason.
For more information on Shazam, check out DC’s website and The New York Post’s exclusive coverage. To check out the debut of Shazam in the New 52 universe of DC Comics, make sure to pick up Justice League #7, which features the Shazam back-up story, in stores on March 21, 2012.