Review: The Infected: King Shazam #1
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Sina Grace
Artist: Joe Bennett
Letters: Rob Leigh
Reviewed by: Carl Bryan
Billy Batson is a good kid. He helps his friends, loves his family, and tries to do the right thing. But Billy is about to have a run-in with the most dangerous serial killer in existence, and the Batman Who Laughs wants Billy to be bad. Spinning out of the events of Batman/Superman and “Year of the Villain,” it’s the tale of a hero whose soul has been turned black, and who has something to prove to the old guard. Buckle in for Shazam’s journey to punch a bunch of so-called “gods” in the face and show the establishment exactly what the future looks like…
The The Batman Who Laughs’ dark metal serum is pumping in Shazam’s veins. If you have been reading the events in Joshua Williamson’s Batman v Superman event, you probably wondered what happened to Billy Batson once he left Batman and Superman mid-battle.
It turns out Billy has some brutal family issues on both sides of his coin that he is being brutally honest about. Sina Grace writes a mean mean Billy! And Joe Bennett renders an evil Shazam akin to the pencils of Todd McFarlane’s Spawn. He’s a grey shell of his former self and arguably more powerful than Superman. Where’s Black Adam when you need him?
I love that the serum affects both Billy and Shazam. He puts his family through the ringer with brutal commentary. And it turns out he has issues with the gods as well. The hit list that Shazam goes after is pretty big – Atlas, Thor (Red Headed and standing in for Hercules), Rao, and Ares. Not the normal heavy hitters nor his name sakes, but probably through licensing as much as DC can get away with.
Shazam versus Thor. What a cross-over we could really have here, but it is DC style for right now!
Thank goodness Billy’s sister Mary is the voice of reason. But I am afraid her type of reasoning with a virus infected Billy is going to be all for naught. He’s intent on her joining his “lucid” state and it doesn’t look good for the Shazam family.
Joe Bennett’s pencils! Joe Bennett’s pencils! Did I mention Joe Bennett? Look at the graphic below…The Batman Who Laughs in the clouds of the Thunderbolt that hits Shazam. Priceless!
None. But you need to check out Year of the Villain: Black Adam #1. Where is Black Adam in this issue? He seems to be the only one that can take it to this dark metal Shazam. I’m not sure where this issue and Black Adam’s fall in sequence, but Sina Grace, Scott Snyder, and all who have had a hand in the dark metal influence are doing a great job!
I simply don’t know how it can get any better. Dark Metal is spreading its influence at a rampant pace among Batman and Superman’s reach. Shazam’s family is about to find out how bad this stuff really is. And the Year of the Villain marches on!