Jeff Smith - Shazam!: Monster Society of Evil (3 stars)

(DC)

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Shazam!: Monster Society of Evil

SUPERHERO

Jeff Smith will forever be known for his wonderful, self-published, multi-award-winning Bone series, a whimsical fantasy tale that got the balance of childish wonder and compelling storytelling just right. Here he takes on Captain Marvel, retelling and updating the origins of the stoic superhero who draws his power from the Rock of Eternity merely by uttering the mystic word ‘Shazam!’.

The thing that really set Captain Marvel apart from his superhero brethren was that, while not a superhero, the power of Shazam! belonged to a young boy, Billy Batson, rather than a simple alter-ego (such as Clarke Kent or Bruce Wayne). So, as you’d imagine, Smith is perfect at creating the required tone. Unfortunately, this doesn’t have the wonder of Bone and, while charming, it can be childish in places. Sometimes, though, you just long for a bit more bite.

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