REVIEW: ‘Shazam!,’ #2

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Shazam! #2 - But Why Tho?

Shazam! #2 is published by DC Comics, written by Geoff Johns, with art by Marco Santucci, colors by Mike Atiyeh, and letters by Rob Leigh. The book features a magical train station, developing schemes, and a surprise visitor that throws Billy Batson’s home into turmoil. What’s a superfamily to do? Explore!

Shazam! #2 opens with Billy’s foster parents dealing with the appearance of a man claiming to be Billy’s biological father, which is putting them through the emotional wringer. I was caught off guard by this opening after being treated to a festive cover featuring jolly old Saint Nick himself, but it worked to instantly pull me in and keep my attention to what might not be just a jolly old book. From there, the story spends time with the super kids as they explore the Rock of Ages.

Johns writes these kids wonderfully, capturing those classic feelings of wanting to discover and have exciting adventures while being able to twist logic to support what they want to do. The explorations of the kids are broken up by an interlude to Dr. Sivana, as he prepares with a scheme, which we see the steps being taken is as equally distant from the fun jolly feel of the main story as our opening at the foster home was. The kids eventually settle on going to Funland and, with all the changes in tone the book bounces through I found myself looking at everything especially closely. Which I have very little doubt was the creative team’s goal.

As I’ve already touched on, Johns writing here is magnificent. He successfully writes parents in distress, kids in all their gleeful mischief, and a sinister figure pursuing his nefarious ends. Johns weaves them together making a tonally consistent feel, even when it doesn’t seem like it should be.

The art compliments very well, combining with the writing to further enhance the story’s thematic elements. Santucci’s illustrations capture emotions with wonderful perspective choices. He knows just how wide, or tight to focus in on a subject. He executes every panel as it needs to be to show exactly what he wants to. These panels are also supported by excellent color choices from Atiyeh, which helps to highlight subjects, even in panels that can become fairly cluttered and busy.

The issue wraps up with a cliffhanger introduction of what is to come and leaves me wondering what is coming next. I found myself pleasantly surprised by this book. With the cover being such a festive motif I was expecting a very different issue. I’m now very much looking forward to the next issue when, hopefully, some answers are given as plans continue to progress. And perhaps we’ll hear that iconic line again.

Shazam! #2 is now available in comic book stores

Shazam! #2
4

TL;DR

I found myself pleasantly surprised by this book. With the cover being such a festive motif I was expecting a very different issue. I’m now very much looking forward to the next issue when, hopefully, some answers are given as plans continue to progress. And perhaps we’ll hear that iconic line again.