"Meet the Captain!" reaches its action-packed finale when Billy is forced to battle the very six gods who give him his magic abilities—a fight he can't possibly hope to win! Once the dust settles…who will possess the power of Shazam?
Shazam! #6 concludes the first arc of the Dawn of DC Shazam series, “Meet the Captain,” reestablishing and redefining the role of Shazam (now known as The Captain), and capturing a new, definitive tone along the way. With the previous issue ending on the cliffhanger of Billy’s status as The Captain’s alter ego at flux as he confronted the gods for their machinations which have been affecting his powers and personality. With the first arc coming to a conclusion, the issue ends on a giant status quo change which is bound to make the internet feel some sort of way.
After taking DC fans’ breaths away with their groundbreaking Batman/Superman: World’s Finest ongoing series, jumping over to a character like The Captain seemed like an odd choice for Mark Waid and Dan Mora. Following this came the divisive choice to change the hero’s name from Shazam to The Captain. After this though, began a story arc which captured the juvenile fun of a child superhero that also cut into the heart of what made the character so compelling. Shazam! #6 concludes all of those story elements in a way that sets up a great new status for the character, harkening back to the original stories in a way that no one could have seen coming. This issue also does a fantastic job in bringing all of the wackiness and zaniness back down to earth by allowing the seemingly random story elements to coalesce into a story in and of themselves.
Waid brings a lot of classic comic book sensibility to this book in a way that makes it feel unlike anything else on the shelves right now. For the entirety of the New 52 through now, Shazam has been dominated by a newly captured seriousness under Geoff Johns, creating stories which carried over into direct cinematic adaptations. Because of this, many readers probably had forgotten about how weird the Shazam cast of characters can be, and how wacky the universe is. Waid brings that all back here, telling the story in a way that combines those old elements with a modern storytelling pattern, creating a very solid first arc for this character.
Mora has taken the DC world by storm and has become many readers favorite artist, something that anyone can understand by diving into this arc. Shazam! #6 really defines what Mora is capable of when he is focusing on a singular cast of characters, mostly contained within their own corner of the universe, really capturing an artistic style that mirrors Waid’s combination of classic stories with a modern sensibility. This duo’s combined storytelling efforts really show through when it comes to the pacing, highlighting how essential it is for a creative team to be on the same page. Alejandro Sanchez’s colors greatly build on Mora’s art, giving everything a sense of vibrancy and a striking sense of surrealism, showing that this is, for all intents and purposes, a fantasy, magic based story that does not take itself too seriously. This allows Mora and Waid to go all in on the elements that give the book its surreal tone and further shows why it all works so well.
Rounding out the creative team is Troy Peteri on letters, who does a great job in playing ball with the tone that is established in this series. The wacky tone and mixed nature of the storytelling is further expressed as Peteri gives the gods their own unique speech bubbles, along with The Captain and the other fantastical characters. This sense of expression brings each of these characters uniquely to life and builds upon everything this creative team has strived towards.
Shazam! #6 concludes the first arc of the story in a very satisfactory manner, reestablishing the status quo of the character in a way that will define the character in a fun, new way for a new generation.
Shazam! #6: Don’t Tell Me Who I Can Be!
- Writing - 9.5/109.5/10
- Storyline - 9.5/109.5/10
- Art - 9.5/109.5/10
- Color - 9.5/109.5/10
- Cover Art - 9.5/109.5/10
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