Shazam isn’t a superhero I’ve seen much of. I’ve always been more of a Marvel guy, so I guess I didn’t really know much about “Captain Marvel”, which is his original name. Which was about twenty years before Marvel Comics emerged out of Atlas Comics. It actually was a Fawcett comics creation and DC actually used some lawyers to “kill” Shazam for being a “clone” of Superman and ironically DC got his rights and made him an official DC character in the 1970’s. Since then he’s been a member of the Justice League too. Now it’s his time to shine in the DCEU which is struggling to compete against Disney’s MCU.
The story starts out with Billy Batson, a young boy orphaned after he got lost from his mom when he was really little. Now a teenager, Billy is a bit of a troublemaker, but he wants to find his mom beyond all other things. He ends up in a new foster home, but instead of finding his mommy, he is called upon by Shazam, a dying magical wizard who seeks to find a worthy successor. All Billy has to do is say the wizard’s name for a new power.
And he becomes his own Shazam, a much older and powerful version of himself. Him and his foster-brother Freddy Freeman mainly use his newfound powers as a way to make their lives better (and not very moral) and have a lot of fun doing so. Freddy is a huge nerd for superheroes (and remember he lives in a world where Superman and Batman are real) so he helps Billy in testing out his new powers. It doesn’t take Billy long to become somewhat famous as his alter ego.
But a terrible man named Doctor Sivana has recently gotten new powers as well. While Billy got his powers from a magical being of goodness, Dr. Sivana got his from creatures of pure evil. When he was a boy, the wizard Shazam tested him and he was not chosen to be worthy of the title. He’ll soon come across Billy Batson as Shazam and he isn’t exactly going to be happy about it. He spent his whole life trying to right that wrong, and he wants what Billy has. And he isn’t shy about committing any act of evil to get his way.
Overall Shazam! is one of the better films in the DCEU. Marvel (well Fox’s Marvel) did excellent with Deadpool as a just a hilarious movie, and Shazam! draws from the same kind of comedy, though DC’s funnyman is suitable for most ages. Though I will say, the action and fights were a bit dull and hurt the movie a little for me. It’s obvious that Shazam will be in Justice League 2, but it will be interesting to see if his humor survives especially if Zack Snyder directs, because his films are pretty humorless.