REVIEW: ‘Future State: Shazam!,’ Issue #2

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Future State Shazam #2

The multiverse has shaken free from the events of Death Metal, and the unwritten events of alternate dimensions are given new life in the continuing Future State series. Future State: Shazam #2 is published by DC Comics, written by Tim Sheridan, pencils by Eduardo Pansica, inks by Julio Ferreira, colors by Marcelo Maiolo, and letters by Rob Leigh.

Previously, Shazam had been covering up a huge secret, one that was torturing the very fabric of his being. Seemingly no one else knew until the cracks had begun to show, and villains started turning up dead. It turns out, Shazam and Billy had crafted a deal to separate themselves so that Billy could stay and guard the rock of eternity, forever protecting the one being that truly scared him. At the same time, Shazam would forever be the guardian of the earth.

Now, in Future State: Shazam! #2 “Devil’s Due,” the answers we needed are revealed, and they are darker than ever imagined. While Neron’s nefarious plan is unleashed at the hand of his master, Shazam is hunted by the league as he leaves a trail of carnage behind him. The league’s only hope, to get the hero to utter the word “Shazam” and transform back into Billy Batson, unknowing that this will unleash the most feared prisoner of hell.

Sheridan has obviously had a twisted sense of entertainment in writing this story. The author highlights the very dangerous notion of what if the one were made two—the power without the humanity. It’s here in that place where Shazam is realized as an incredibly potent force. However, Sheridan is playing moves ahead because we know if our hero utters those words, the prisoner will be released from hell, and all will be lost.

It’s an utterly tremendous dilemma. The story grips you in place with the realization this is all a catch twenty-two scenario as you wait for the moment it all goes wrong. Sheridan delights in torturing these heroes, but it culminates into a captivating two-issue arc.

The artwork from Pansica and Ferreira operates on another level. There are multiple images to evidence their excellent work, such as the demonic horde in hell, each with their own unique designs, or the character designs of some classic and totally unexpected characters reappearing as they try to take down Shazam. One character relives recent events cramming in an inordinate amount of detail over a two-spread.

The images are then elevated by the use of the colors from Maiolo. The balance of the palettes used is fantastic. It’s clear that great care was taken in capturing the essence of every element on the page, and it all builds to an excellent final product.

The letters from Leigh are commendable as the issue is heavy with both dialogue and action, but the text is placed well to encourage the story’s pace. Leigh had some great designs on some individual character speech designs, and the layout of the onomatopoeia was attention-grabbing.

Overall, this story has so much intertwined within it; it’s hard to believe it’s only been two issues. Packed with intrigue, deception, heartbreaking and shocking moments, horrific events, and a lot of action. Sheridan and team leaned heavily into this Future State story, and you’ve got to applaud them for the stupendous result!

Future State: Shazam #2 is available now wherever comics are sold.

Future State: Shazam! #2
5

TL;DR

Overall, this story has so much intertwined within it; it’s hard to believe it’s only been two issues. Packed with intrigue, deception, heartbreaking and shocking moments, horrific events, and a lot of action. Sheridan and team leaned heavily into this Future State story, and you’ve got to applaud them for the stupendous result!