Future State: Shazam #2 – Tim Sherida, Writer; Eduardo Pansica, Penciller; Julio Ferreira, Inker; Marcelo Maiolo, Colorist
Ray – 7/10
Ray: The first issue of this mini threw us into a complex and very dark status quo for Shazam and let us figure it out along the way. With Billy Batson trapped in hell in a battle of wills with Neron, Shazam was left to be the dominant personality—and somehow seemed to become a serial killer hunting down his fellow heroes. It wasn’t clear if Shazam had been corrupted himself or if something else was going on, and it’s still not as we start this issue. This is a slightly more straightforward story, as it hops back and forth between Billy and Shazam and the attempt by the survivors of the Justice League to stop their murderous teammate. There are a few cool twists involving the Spectre and especially in the identity of the mysterious Question—which still isn’t totally answered—but it spends a little too much time trying to wrangle Shazam before we get to some actual answers.
The highlight of this issue continues to be the excellent art by Eduardo Pansica, who draws some excellent and creepy segments set in Neron’s hell. But while the tone is more action-packed than the previous issue, it’s still overall a little too bleak. This is basically a polar opposite from the optimistic Geoff Johns Shazam run. And while it’s not a bad story, it has one major problem—it doesn’t end. This is essentially the second part of a story that’s going to be hopping all over the Future State books—it continues from Teen Titans, and will now apparently be dovetailing into Black Adam where the big villain will be resuming her attack (despite that one taking place in the DC One Million reality). The creator does a good job with the concept, but the problems of the first issue do persist. This is a decent horror comic, but it’s still not a very good Shazam comic.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.