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REVIEW BREW: CONVERGENCE: SHAZAM #1

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Writer: Jeff Parker
Artist: Evan “Doc” Shaner
Reviewed by Slewo

I’ll readily admit that Convergence is not my cup of tea. I had little to no interest in the idea of marrying nostalgia with superhero beat-em-ups. The themed series have similarly carried flaws either ignoring the writers attached to those recent comics, or completely missing the tone of the original comics. Those criticisms aside, the Shazam tie-in to Convergence has neither of those problems, and better than that stands on its own as a Captain Marvel comic.

The biggest problem Captain Marvel has had as a character is that unfortunately both superhero comics and media have trouble working with a character that at his core is childhood wish fulfillment. Wisely, Parker doesn’t attempt to steer clear of any of that. He embraces Captain Marvel’s mythology and tone wholesale: the Marvel Family, Talky Tawny, and the bizarre Monster Society, all of it. While I enjoyed Thunderworld very much as a modern take on Captain Marvel, Parker and “Doc” Shaner have basically distilled what made those Golden Age Captain Marvel tales beautifully.

In addition, while the setup of Convergence such as the characters being stuck without their powers in a dome has been a hindrance for some stories, Parker treats it as while an abnormal situation, an opportunity to prove what heroes Billy and his friends are even at their weakest. There’s no compromising of their moral integrity, or any attempts to drag the characters down to meet the level of comics that came after them, they’re the same characters people knew and loved. In addition, the book is a big love letter and is a reminder that Black Adam and Doctor Sivana are not the only cool villains that the Marvel Family have in their roster.

The art in particular deserves great praise. The right artist can elevate a book, and while Thunderworld has Cameron Stewart, the Shazam book has “Doc” Shaner. The book embraces the spirit and levity of the Captain Marvel mythos, while keeping its own tone even in the face of being a tie-in to a bigger event. Everyone looks on target from Captain Marvel, to Doctor Sivana, to Tawny, and reminds us of what a different world Captain Marvel has from the DC Universe in general. With any luck, we’ll see more of Captain Marvel from this team, definitely worth your time and $3.99.

5 out of 5 Magic Lightning Bolts

About soshillinois (294 Articles)
What's there to say about me? Well I'm an avid fan of comics, video games, tv shows, and movies alike. I love to read, consume, and discuss information of all kinds. My writing is all a part of who I am.
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