Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Josie Campbell
Artist: Evan “Doc” Shaner
Letterer: Becca Carey
With the Shazam movie franchise in full force now, DC has been all in when it comes to Shazam and Black Adam comics. Fortunately, the majority of these comics (Mostly Black Adam so far) have been entertaining. Now, Mary is getting the opportunity to shine in The New Champion of Shazam!
Josie Campbell is somewhat of a newcomer, with her biggest credits so far being short stories in Future State and Wonder Woman Black & Gold. Despite this, her lack of experience doesn’t show at all in The New Champion of Shazam! #1. Campbell successfully carves a new exciting path for Mary while also providing a fantastic jumping on point for readers who have never seen the hero before.
Campbell gives Mary a new setting in this first issue, introducing the character to college. Like most college stories, Campbell uses this setting to help Mary find herself. She is now without her powers, and she wants to thrive in this setting that she worked so hard to get to. The New Champion of Shazam! #1 has broad appeal, with a strong character that is relatable to readers, especially those who have gone to school with similar aspirations. It doesn’t take long though for Mary to find herself with new powers, and things get spectacular from there.
Campbell’s script flows wonderfully from beginning to end, and Evan Shaner deserves just as much credit for this debut’s success. After Mary gets her powers, readers are treated to a visual feast during an action sequence. Every page is full of detail, especially the action-filled ones. The panels flow flawlessly, with just enough action happening in the spaces between to allow for readers to fully take in the pages without harming the pacing.
Even when there isn’t a big fight on the pages, The New Champion of Shazam! #1 looks gorgeous. The characters are all expressive and fun to look at. All of their conversations, including the ones that serve as expositions, are entertaining thanks to the strong marriage of art and words. The New Champion of Shazam! #1 is a strong blend of action and slice of life that uses the best elements of both genres.
Becca Carey rounds out the experience with great lettering that plays with tons of font styles and sizes throughout the issue. It doesn’t matter if the characters are talking or fighting, there are many font changeups in almost every page of this issue. It adds tons of personality and sound to the issue without distracting the reader.
The New Champion of Shazam! #1 is a strong start to Mary’s miniseries. It’s full of heart and plays with multiple genres. Fans who want a little more slice of life in their comics or just want to marvel at Shaner’s exceptional art will want to pick this one up.
The New Champion of Shazam! #1
- Accessible to newcomers
- Doc Shaner never misses
- It's already a bummer that this is only a miniseries