Billy Batson & The Magic of Shazam! #19
DC Comics (October 2010)WRITERS: Art Baltazar & Franco ARTIST: Mike Norton COLORIST: Zac Atkinson LETTERER: Travis Lantham EDITOR: Chris Conroy
After being attacked by a “vampire” that lives off of life energy, Captain Marvel is at death’s door. Worried that Black Adam may return if they summon the Wizard, Mary and Tawny seek the aid of Freddy Freeman, the only other person with the power to stand up to the villain. At the Rock, Black Adam does indeed return, but the Wizards finds a way to also come back and challenge Adam. With the Wizard’s guidance, Freddy uses the Magic Lightning to restore Captain Marvel, but will never become Black Adam Junior again. However, as the cover shows, Freddy does end up with the power of Captain Marvel Jr., just in time for Adam to show off one more surprise.
What they got right: The comic is up to the series usual high standards, and they’re tying up the loose threads in the series, prior to the series’ upcoming cancellation in a few months. Freddy’s sacrifice is a great example on how superheroes are SUPPOSED to act! Something other fictional hero characters could take notes on!
What they got wrong: Besides the cancellation itself (lame move, DC!), the story feels like they’re trying to get everything in before the deadline. (For one thing, I think the fight with the “lifeforce vampire” would have been interesting.) Sure, that’s what they’re doing, and they have no choice because the DC head honchos are morons, but I needed to have something in this section.
Recommendation: Someone at the next DC Comics panel ask why they’re being so stupid as to cancel this series and not greenlight good stuff like a Cosmic Supergirl ongoing. This has been one of the purest superhero comics on the shelves (thanks to the way Diamond operates) and losing it is a disgrace to the future comic readers this could have brought in and those of us who want to get away from the dark, violent, often vulgar offering in the main line.
Tomorrow’s Comic> The Muppet Show #9