I’m back from the comic shop this week and I got one new comic plus a hard cover collection:

  • Glamourpuss – 16
  • Superman Vs, Muhammad Ali – Facsimile Edition
  • And now for a review of something I’ve read recently.

    “Shazam!: The Monster Society of Evil” by Jeff Smith

    I’m a fan of Jeff Smith’s work. I like “Bone” and have enjoyed the little of “Rasl” I’ve read so far. So why was it that I had so little interest in this book? I didn’t even mean to buy it. I was pre-ordering the original “Monster Society of Evil”, which has still yet to come out, and my local comic shop accidentally ordered this one. Easy mistake to make since they both have the same name. I was asked if I wanted to buy it at cost since it wasn’t the one I ordered so I did. Like I said: I like Smith’s work. Of course that all took place last December and it’s taken me until now to read it.

    So what did I think of it? I liked it but it’s not a favorite. It’s a retelling of Captain Marvel’s origin and I hate origin stories but they got that out of the way quickly in the first issue. The rest is a retelling of the “Monster Society of Evil” story that ran back in the 1940’s. The new collection of it hasn’t appeared yet so I’ve never read it. It was all new to me.

    I found the story a bit uneven. Smith’s art and storytelling were always good and I liked the last issue but the plot was a bit thin at times. What really bothered me most was the kids. Y’know the sitcom kid who used to be in every show (maybe he still is I don’t know): the wise-craking kid who is smarter that the adults and hands out life lessons to them? At times there are two of those kids in this comic.

    Billy Batson is Captain Marvel’s secret identity (Captain Marvel is the super hero who stars in the book. Shazam is the magic word he says to turn into Captain Marvel. Since Marvel Comics now owns the copyright on the name Captain Marvel and this is not a Marvel comic then DC comics can’t use the name on the cover but they can use it on the inside) in the original comic I think he was around twelve but in this one he looks like he’s seven or eight.

    At least when Billy says his magic word he turns into an adult. Co-starring is Billy’s little sister Mary who seems to be about five. When she turns into her super hero identity she remains five. So, at times, we have two annoying precocious kids. They’re not annoying all the time but when they are it makes me grit my teeth and ruins the entertainment value.

    A nice try I’d have to say overall. Not entirely successful but it had its moments.