Shazam #9 Review

by Olivier Roth on December 18, 2019

Writer: Geoff Johns

Artists: Marco Santucci, Scott Kolins & Dale Eaglesham

Colorist: Michael Atiyeh

Letterer: Rob Leigh

Published by: DC


Thought the publication of issues is slightly infrequent - though getting better lately - the storyline being woven in Shazam is enough to keep me coming back for more. And this month, after a pretty revelatory ending to issue #8, Johns explores the repercussions of that ending and continues to throw obstacles in Billy’s way. 


Those obstacles are namely Black Adam with the power of the Seven Deadly Sins backing him, and a resurrected Wizard who states, pretty clearly, that in order for Billy to properly share his powers, he must choose between his adoptive family and his now-returned father. At its core, Shazam has always given the impression of being a book about family, how you can lose one but gain another, and placing this choice in Billy’s hands is a great way to see the evolution of the character. 


The rest of the book is a pretty fun ride as, once Billy’s father gets the powers of Shazam he is both utterly confused at his situation, and also perplexed as to why a grown man is claiming to be his teenage son - I’m sure it’s a long-running joke with Billy Batson and his alter-ego, but it fits really well here nonetheless. 


Johns also gives us some insight into one of the seven Magiclands by, at least for me, introducing the Wonzerlands in this issue - a combination of Oz and Wonderland. Johns drops hints as to why this place has been combined, and I’m really interested to see where this goes. 


Art duties this issue are split between Santucci, Kolins and Eaglesham. Usually I’m not a big fan of a split art team, but it is done in a way that makes sense and doesn’t disrupt the story too much. Santucci gets the nod for all the “Real World” pages, whereas Kolins is doing the Wonzerland stuff. Eaglesham gets a nice double-page spread at the end, and I’m glad he did. He’s been one of my favorite artists for the past 15 years, and this spread encapsulates everything I like about his style. 


What makes the transition less jaring is the talents of Atiyeh on colors. He keeps things nice and dark for the real world fight between the Shazams and Black Adam/Seven Deadly Sins, but then goes completely colorful for the pages in Wonzerland. Very well done. 


Though the infrequency of the releases can be slightly annoying, as long as the quality keeps up, I will be here for every new issue of this wonderful series.

Our Score:


A Look Inside