Revealing his devious plans, Mr. Mind attacks Billy Batson and the entire Shazam family! Pushed to the limit by a fierce battle against both Black Adam and the Monster Society, can Shazam turn the tide and save himself and his adopted family of friends and fellow heroes?
There is nothing wrong with this book in a vacuum. Dale Eaglesham is a wonderful artist who has clearly put his heart and soul into every panel. The layouts are varied and interesting and always in service to storytelling. The color work from Atiyeh is always remarkable and the letter by Leigh are perfect in all their varied fonts and styles. The writing by Johns is perhaps not his sharpest, most fleshed out story he’s done but it certainly isn’t poorly written. The characters, of course, are the wonderful SHAZAM family with the classic SHAZAM villains Sivana and Mr. Mind, a flurry of odd and familiar villains from across the Magiclands, and even a brief cameo from upcoming baddie and fan favorite character Superboy Prime.
The problems with this book are entirely external to the craftsmanship of individual issues but rather across the spectrum of serial storytelling. I no longer find any sense of emotional investment in this particular story. The fill-in issue last month was the most interesting SHAZAM issue of 2020 by a large margin. “The Magiclands”, which began in December 2018, reached its twelfth issue and the somewhat charming listlessness in the middle of the arc has fully lost all its sheen. It has become the story that won’t end– a runaway train of potential ill-spent. With the added problems to long-running arcs in the era of far advanced and readily available solicits, the inevitable defeat of Mr. Mind and Sivana, the return of the barriers between the Magiclands, and arrival of Superboy Prime cannot come soon enough.
SHAZAM #13 (Johns, Eaglesham) delivers the twelfth chapter of "The Magiclands", a story that has been going on since December 2018. The world has changed drastically but SHAZAM has not.
SHAZAM #13: Runaway Train
Writing - 9/10
Storyline - 5/10
Art - 8.5/10
Color - 9.5/10
Cover Art - 9/10
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