Review: ‘The New Champion Of SHAZAM!’ #1 Is Pure Magic
by Tony Thornley
Mary Bromfield is one of the greatest protagonists in the DC Universe. Unfortunately, she has sort of fallen by the wayside, as the publishing line has focused elsewhere. Now a New Champion of SHAZAM! rises and Mary rises back to her rightful place in the DCU pantheon.
Josie Campbell, Evan “Doc” Shaner, and Becca Carey tell the tale of Mary’s ascension.
Mary Bromfield no longer holds the power of SHAZAM!, withdrawn to the Rock of Eternity with her brother Billy. She doesn’t mind, she has everything else she could ever dream of. Her first day of college doesn’t go to plan though, when an emissary of Billy drops into her lap- quite literally- and thrusts her back into the heroic life she thought she left behind.
Campbell bursts into the DCU with this fantastic debut issue. I’ve always liked Mary, but she gives her added depth, and a personality that feels much more well-rounded than what she’s had in the recent past. It helps us feel for the character, and allows her to grow up a bit. Campbell’s plot is interesting, but it is almost entirely setup for the next few issues.
Shaner is THE SHAZAM artist right now. His clean lines establish the characters and setting perfectly. He gives Mary so much personality, and fills out the supporting cast with people and creatures that leap off the page. His action scene is fantastic, turning a bank robbery into an exciting set piece, and showing how different Mary is from Billy. His color work is incredibly vivid too, making it feel larger than life, without making it also feel unrealistic.
Carey has a great eye for merging the dialogue with the art. While Shaner sets up comedic moments, she delivers on the jokes in the script, making the lettering a part of the joke. She also makes the back and forth between characters feel natural, while adding effects and mixing up fonts to mimic the exclamations and mutterings of a spoken conversation.
The DC Universe needs more stories like this- a hell of a lot of fun, while revitalizing one of their mainstays.
The New Champion of SHAZAM! #1 is available now from DC Comics.
The greatest magical champion of the DC Universe returns. The debut issue brings Mary back into the spotlight with an excellent plot and absolutely exceptional art. This is what the Champions of Magic need to be at the forefront of the DCU again.