[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Marco Santucci
Colours: Mike Atiyeh
Letters: Rob Leigh
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
“Shazam! and the Seven Kingdoms” part two! Billy Batson has uncovered a secret deep within the Rock of Eternity that sends him on his most personal mission yet—one that threatens to tear apart his family! Meanwhile, the truth behind the Rock of Eternity’s purpose and its forbidden past unveils new and familiar worlds! Plus… talking animals?!
This issue seems more of a break in the action, focusing instead on advancing a number of subplots and upcoming threats while the family takes an excursion to the mystical realm, “The Funlands”. It turns out that the Funlands is like “Disneyland on steroids” – one massive amusement park with rides, junk food, and games. This land appears to be populated solely by children.
Finally, the land’s ruler arrives, calling himself King Kid. He also claims to be the missing seventh champion of the Shazam! Family. Could King Kid be telling the truth? Something about him brings to mind the character Kid Eternity. It seems to me that there was some connection between the original Captain Marvel and Kid Eternity, so could this be a new take on that connection?
Also, we see Doctor Sivana and Mister Mind working on some sinister plot, which is bad enough. But we see Sivana reading a book titled “The Encyclopedia of Magical Monsters.” This would seem to hint that the family will be soon facing the Monster Society of Evil.
And then there is the case of the man claiming to be Billy’s father. Could it be that Billy’s father is not dead in this iteration of Shazam continuity? I suspect that something more sinister is afoot.
I usually love “A Day In The Life” type stories, where the title takes a break from superheroic action, instead focusing on the protagonists going about their normal lives instead. But this is only the second issue in. It seems a very odd choice to go for a whole issue without seeing a single one of the family in their superheroic identity. Perhaps this should have happened after the first big storyline instead of right at the start.
Also, I still feel that this book is a bit crowded with a core team of six heroes -possibly seven now if King Kid is telling the truth. I feel that the book might be better off focusing on Billy with occasional backup from Mary and Freddy, and keep the other three family members in the background.
Despite the lack of action, the book was still a fun read and serves to set the series off on a promising start. I look forward to seeing the adventures this series has in store for Billy and the rest of the Shazam Family.