Shazam! #5 is published by DC Comics, written by Geoff Johns, with art by Marco Santucci, Dale Eaglesham, Scott Kolins, Max Raynor, colors by Mike Atiyeh, and letters by Rob Leigh. After Shazam #4!, Billy and company scattered across the Magic Lands, and Black Adam having discovered the gates to the various lands have been reopened, our story continues to build as the splintered groups face their various challenges.
In past reviews of this story arc I have praised Geoff Johns writing as it has felt like a wonderful walk through the classic style of story telling that has made comic books a delight for decades. Classic plot points, and wonderful, fun narrative has been a wonder to behold, but, while this issue continues to posses that charm, it is beginning to feel a bit thin.
As our heroes have found themselves scattered across three various lands (Fun, Game, and Wild) along with time being spent with Black Adam at the Rock of Eternity, there doesn’t feel like there is enough time spent with any one group for a whole lot to happen. This is disappointing as the book was traveling at a good pace previously, and I am hoping that maybe next issue will have some of the strands come back together so the story might get that smooth pace back.
A stand out point in the Shazam #5’s storytelling is its setting up of a couple of characters to face situations that don’t play to their strengths. And the clever route taken to put them their. Fish out of water scenarios are almost always fun to me, and seeing people overcome obstacles they are particularly ill-suited for is the kind of perseverance that makes true heroes shine.
The art holds its stride, even as the story falters a little bit, as all the character, and world design I’ve loved continues to shine off the pages of this book. The Wildlands continue to be my favorite as the anthropomorphic animals that inhabit this kingdom look great. Their designs are used with great effect when coupled with the ideologies they represent. Along with a couple wonderful nods to classic interpretations of the creatures. Like the old adage, “An elephant never forgets”.
The only place where the art dips a little for me is in the Gamelands. While I like that all the lands have their own distinct feels, the feel a little too rough for me. It’s a bit too far from the others for my liking. That being said, I liked the over all tech heavy concepts at work in these pages, it’s just the execution that didn’t quite work for me.
Despite these minor hiccups I still enjoyed Shazam #5 and am looking forward to seeing where the coming issues take Shazam, and all of his brothers and sisters. As we have only seen four of the seven magic lands, I’m most specifically hoping that we will get to see some of the others soon, preferably as one big happy family.
Despite these minor hiccups I still enjoyed Shazam #5 and am looking forward to seeing where the coming issues take Shazam, and all of his brothers and sisters.