Title: Shazam! (2018-) #2
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Marco Santucci
Colors: Mike Atiyeh
Cover: Dale Eaglesham & Alex Sinclair
Publication Date: January 23, 2019
Publisher’s Summary: “Shazam! and the Seven Kingdoms” part two! The acclaimed team of writer Geoff Johns and artist Dale Eaglesham continue the first all-new ongoing SHAZAM! title in decades! Billy Batson has uncovered a secret deep within the Rock of Eternity that sends him on his most personal mission yet—one that threatens to tear apart his family! Meanwhile, the truth behind the Rock of Eternity’s purpose and its forbidden past unveils new and familiar worlds (that Dale may go mad drawing)! Plus… talking animals?!
“Oh, come on, Mary! You expect us to find a secret mystical subway station and a map to ‘The Seven Magiclands’ and just shrug?”
A man alleging to be Billy Batson’s biological father sits waiting in the living room of the foster home, our six young heroes debate over which magical land to explore first, and a sinister ear-worm(?) is introduced; quite a lot happens in Shazam! (2018-) #2, and still, the series remains fresh and easy-to-digest.
Thus far, Geoff Johns has done a fine job balancing the fun and the exciting with the serious and the important, pacing this book in a way that informs while it entertains, creating a pleasant reading experience. As the more sinister elements are introduced to this tale, balance will grow in importance. While nothing ruins the severity of a universe-altering plot than a slew of bad jokes, no one–that I know of, at least–wants to read a Shazam book that takes itself too seriously.
The first of the Seven Kingdoms that our heroes visit is a candy-coated electric playground of sorts that, thanks to an impressive amount of detail work done by artist Marco Santucci, is full realized. Santucci’s character work is equally strong, but this setting lives and breathes and thus possesses the ability to envelope readers in its strange and unsettling warmth.
After an exciting opening issue, Shazam! found itself off to a great start, and now, in its second issue, the series continues to impress with strong artwork and a well-balanced script. And now, that it is apparent where this series is heading for the next dozen-or-so issues, I am confident that energy levels will remain high and that this series will (and should) remain on pull lists.
The Bottom Line
Light and exciting, although not as humorous as its predecessor, Shazam! (2018-) #2 continues to impress and raises the stakes by introducing some sinister forces into the mix.