Sunday 21 July 2013

#CBR5 Book 88. "Shazam!: The Monster Society of Evil" by Jeff Smith

Page count: 240 pages
Rating: 4 stars

Orphan Billy Batson lives in an abandoned building, when his life is changed completely. An ancient wizard grants him the ancient powers of seven legendary heroes and gods, and whenever Billy utters the magic word: "Shazam!" he turns into Captain Marvel (never named as such in the comic due to licensing restrictions), an adult superhero. Yet Billy went wandering to places he shouldn't, and now there is an invasion of giant alien monsters, and scary talking animals calling themselves the Monster Society of Evil.

Can Billy Batson, his little sister Mary and their friend, the talking tiger Tawky Tawny prove that the sinister Doctor Sivana is in league with the Monster Society of Evil and up to no good? Can they remove the alien threat before the mysterious Mister Mind and the gigantic alien vessels destroy all human life on Earth?

Shazam! The Monster Society of Evil is a comic miniseries written and illustrated by Jeff Smith, probably most famous for Bone. It's a reboot of the whole Captain Marvel story, retelling Billy Batson's origin story. The art is typical for Smith, and very suitable for a comic clearly aimed at a fairly young audience. The dialogue is witty and rather clever though, so it's not in any way any less enjoyable a comic to read for adults. At only four issues, collected in a beautiful collection, this is an entertaining and fast read. Well worth checking out, if you like your superhero adventures more lighthearted and fun than dark and gritty.

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