SHAZAM! #4 Dives Deep Into The Magiclands

by Tony Thornley

The world of SHAZAM! has always been one of the most interesting parts of the DCU. The developments of this newest series deepens that even more, creating literal new worlds. In SHAZAM! #4, we get to actually see them.

Geoff Johns, Dale Eaglesham, Marco Santucci, Mike Atiyeh, and Rob Leigh continue exploring the Magiclands, as the SHAZAM family is broken apart across them.

Freddy and Darla are trapped in the Wildlands, while Eugene and Pedro begin to explore the Gamelands. However, Billy and Mary are still trapped in the Funlands as King Kid’s captives. Fortunately for all of them, help is on the way in the form of an old foe…

This issue is mostly a mid-arc transition. However, Johns takes advantage of that, setting up two new villains and transforming the reader’s perspectives on another character. His strength in character building shines through as well, as he takes King Kid and turns the trickster we’ve seen the last few issues into a horrifying, twisted monster. It turns what would be a mediocre issue into a strong outing.

Eaglesham and Santucci split the issue up, both doing great work. Eaglesham is able to take the sinister turn of King Kid and really sell his menace. His splash pages are also full of detail, and makes the Funlands come to life. Santucci’s designs in the Wildlands are beautiful, creating a city full of anthromorphized animals that are far outside the norm, with a lot of thought and realism that goes into the pages. It’s a great looking and totally engrossing read.

This series has quietly become one of DC’s most enjoyable. It’s redefining the classic concept and pushing it into some great new avenues.

SHAZAM! #4 is available now from DC Comics.

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