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Superman/Shazam! First Thunder #4

Posted: Thursday, March 23, 2006
By: John Hays



Writer: Judd Winick
Artists: Joshua Middleton

Publisher: DC Comics


While things settle down in Metropolis for the Man of Steel, they heat up for the World’s Mightiest Mortal in Fawcett City. Thugs hired by Sivana attempt to kill Billy Batson, and instead cost him something else very dear. When Captain Marvel decides to take matters into his own hands, Superman intervenes, only to find out more than he ever dreamed possible about the magic-based superhero.

Wow. This was a great issue. As good as the others were, this stands on a shelf with the best single issues of the year. We get a great splash page of the big red cheese. We get a story that has the World’s Mightiest Mortal suffering utter and complete defeat (a sight very rarely seen when tossing Captain Marvel into comics outside of his own title). We get the range of the normally innocent Billy Batson on the verge or murder, to openly crying in front of his hero, Superman. We get Superman chewing out the wizard Shazam for using a child in the role of Captain Marvel, and finally we get to see the wonder and awe any child would feel seeing Clark Kent revealing his super suit underneath his normal attire. Oh, and we get ALL of this….IN CHARACTER. That must be mentioned, or else people could come along and say that this wasn’t “true to their characters,” because in this case, in the way it was written, it really was.

The art was, once again, phenomenal. The contrast between darkness and light was so distinct that it only punched up the intensity of each character. The heroes were brighter, the villains were darker, and the emotions were sharper. Just the skin coloring when in shade and when in light, and when showing a young person beside an older person was brilliant. I really want to see more of this style in comics.

Needless to say, I loved this mini series, and highly recommend it.



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