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Superman/Shazam! First Thunder #1

Posted: Monday, September 12, 2005
By: John Hays



Writer: Judd Winick
Artists: Joshua Middleton

Publisher: DC Comics


The Time: Yesterday.

The Places: Fawcett City and Metropolis.

The Bad Guys (so far): Disciples of the Temple of Bagdan that use a combination of technology and magic to steal European relics from local museums.

The Good Guys: Superman and Captain Marvel (can we say Captain Marvel without getting sued yet?), who seek to protect their native cities.

Just after reading the first few pages of this issue, I had already decided that this miniseries was going to prove to be much better than Winickís last pairing of these two heroes, if you could even call it that. This time out, Winickís gone into the past to the early days of the current generation of heroes, when guys like Superman and Batman were just starting out.

We get a nice change of pace for our two main characters, in that Superman must face magical creatures, and Captain Marvel has to tussle with some giant robots (that look like theyíre straight out of Iron Giant). Itís also interesting to see that weíre going to be looking at Billyís life a bit. I wasnít aware that he had ever lived on the streets, so Iím interested in seeing how that progresses. Weíre introduced to Dr. Sivana and are told of his hatred for Lex Luthor, who he is forced to contact for assistance in dealing with his caped adversary. We also get a possible hint of Sabbac in a reference to one of the stolen artifacts, as well as an Eclipso suggestion in Bruce Gordonís appearance.

The art is rather unique, with minimal, clean lines allowing the coloring to add the depth and contrast. The first splash page of Captain Marvel gives the feel of the old Fleischer Superman cartoons, with its grainy backgrounds. Iím not completely sold on Supermanís facial appearance, but then again Iím rather prejudiced.

Overall itís a solid start to what should be a good miniseries. In contrast to their last pairing, the two superheroes actually encounter each other by the end of this first issue, suggesting that we will get to see full fledged interaction in the second part of the story, and thatís certainly something to look forward to.



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