Sunday, January 02, 2011

Power of Shazam - a general post

I was really looking forward to reading the Power of Shazam books, but as I write this they have been a bit disappointing.  I'm up to issue 21 and well, they are just so darn corny.  I think they have been written more for kids than for adults, but I'm not sure how well they stack up as kids books.  I mean, during the set up for Freddy getting the Marvel family powers we see both Mary and Billy interact with him, and also see Freddy by himself, getting attacked by Captain Nazi (leading to the scans featured yesterday).

Billy's first thoughts about Freddy:

I know this was done in 1995, but it seems very old fashioned.  Does this impress any kids nowadays?  I guess, if they were under 11 maybe.  I can't see young teenagers going for it though.  On the other hand, the comic did explain that the Wizard Shazam had kept Fawcett City in a state of perpetual timelessness since the 1940s, so that could explain the old fashioned aspects of the place.

Oddly enough, the girls don't want to join Freddy on him and his Grandpa's fishing trip.  Lucky for them as a rejuvenated Captain Nazi then joins them and takes out Freddy's Granpa:
This just makes him look comical.  Later on Captain Nazi (I can't believe I'm still typing that phrase) also beats up Freddy and he ends up with spinal injuries, meaning he many not be able to walk again.  Two of his girl friends (again, not used in a  serious relationship sense, more in a 1950s flirty sense) turn up at the hospital and completely fail to offer any moral support:

Nice going huys, the school's star athlete has been told he might be paralysed, some sympathy and encouragement might be in order.  Telling him he's better off dead is not the way to do it.

One this this series has done for me is highlight how cool Mary Marvel is.  She's the only one of the Marvels that I actually like so far.  Because of that, here's another great depiction of her.

Back to Freddy.  I shouldn't mock, but this is a hilarious incident to find yourself in:
In a full body cast, stolen by Captain Nazi (that dratted phrase again!).

Lastly, Freddy gets his powers but doesn't change into an adult.  Why?  Because he's an insufferable prat, that's why.

I will continue reading and I hope that it gets more interesting.  There is so much potential with these characters, but right now the writing style isn't quite doing it for me.

All scans from issues 6 and 7 of Power of Shazam.

EDIT: I have now finished the run and some bits improve, others remain dull.  As some of you have asked about buying these issues I've had a look around Amazon and the following 2 trades are available:
The Power of Shazam
Another one, also called The Power of Shazam.  I assume they contain different stories.
Shazam: the Greatest Stories Ever Told contains one story from the Ordway run, about a burns victim who uses some amazing make up gel to appear normal for one day.
The Power of Shazam: issues 5 - 7 in paperback.  This one is currently unavailable.


Eyz said...

Oh! I see...
I wanted to read those for quite some time...
But it looks like the current Billy Batson and the power of Shazam on-going or the Monster Society by Jeff Smith are much better introductions to Shazam!-mythology :P

Saranga said...

Hi there Eyz,

I've just put a review on Supes/Shazam: First Thunder up on New readers:

I think that's the best place to start for intros to the Marvel family.
There's also Trials of Shazam, which will also have a review posted on New readers.. in the next week. Keep an eye out.

Eyz said...

Yeah :)
Read those already!

I started from Jeff Smith's Shazam, went through Supers/Shazam and the Trials and now currently a fan of Billy Batson' Johnny DC on-going^^

Though I do think the Shazam family should have a proper in current DC-verse on-going as well...
It's pretty difficult to follow what they're going through in the modern continuity...

(and Shazam! was my door into DC's magical characters, with the Day of Vengeance crossover, then the Shadowpact, 7 soldiers, etc...)