Under the direction of creative team Geoff Johns and Gary Frank, a brand new version of Shazam will be launched in the back of the top-selling Justice League title beginning with issue #7. In series of monthly, 10-page stories titled The Curse of Shazam, Johns and Frank will completely reboot the character's story.
And now, DC has given Newsarama some exclusive images from the character's revamping, showing how Frank is depicting what appears to be a young Billy Batson discovering the magic that will change his life.
"Gary is an amazing storyteller," Johns told Newsarama in an exclusive interview earlier this week. "But he's got the emotion down pat. And with these characters — both the characters that we know and don't know, that we meet for the first time — all of them instantly have personality when he introduces them. He knows exactly every line he draws, every expression he has, is brilliant. "
Frank told Newsarama when the relaunch was announced that the new stories would feature "a very modern Shazam" with a "slight shift in emphasis.""It's a wonderful character. As pure a story of superhero wish-fulfilment as exists," Frank said.
"There's a touch of whimsical magic in this story," Johns "and it's a lot of fun, with a lot of heart and a very emotional journey for these guys. It's all about the characters. It's just a different type of book, with Billy at the center of it, and what the situation is."
Johns verified that the book will include new takes on Billy, Mary, Freddie, Sivana, the Wizard and Black Adam. While the hero that Billy becomes was formerly called Captain Marvel, Billy's heroic character will now be known as Shazam, and Frank told Newsarama he'll get a new costume that reflects his magical origin.
Johns also said there will be a "lot of mystery" to Shazam, and the story will "explore areas in depth" in the mythology that haven't been explored before.
"The whole thing is being done from the point of view of bringing in new fans as well as trying to excite the existing ones," Frank said. "Anyone will be able to pick this up even if they have never heard of Shazam, Captain Marvel or Billy Batson."
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