Sunday, 7 January 2018

Shazam!: The Monster Society Of Evil by Jeff Smith Review

Monsters threaten Earth - Shazam gotta punch ‘em. Wow, what an original, thoughtful storyline!

I suppose Jeff Smith does a decent, if rushed, job of explaining what is a really weird and convoluted origin but I feel like Shazam is an outdated character at this point - he’s just not interesting and comes off as quite corny, both of which could also be applied to the one-dimensional monster villains (convenient that the baddies call themselves “The Monster Society of Evil” eh?), as well as Sivana and Mr Mind. 

None of the characters are especially interesting, the villains’ motivations are cliched, the storyline is generic, the action is dull (it’s just Shazam repetitively thumping whoever), and there were too many plot contrivances so the overall effect is quite messy. Like how it all came about felt absolutely pointless - why did Billy climb to the top of the mountain in the first place, thus causing all this nonsense to kick off?? Then the finale where the characters have to tediously climb the giants - Billy can’t change into Shazam for REASONS while I have no idea why Sivana didn’t use his vast resources to charter a helicopter up to the top of one Mind’s giants. 

I love Jeff Smith’s art though which is really great. The characters are very expressive and the panels have a pleasingly cinematic vision to them. Mr Mind’s giants oddly look like blown-up versions of the rat creatures from Smith’s Bone series - maybe that’s a deliberate nod to fans of that comic? 

Anyway, shame the writing isn’t as sharp as the art. The story was too simplistic and cutesy-poo and did nothing for me. Maybe the kiddles’ll enjoy this more as the approach feels more child-centric but I didn’t give a shit at any point. Fuck, this was a boring read! Shazam remains one of DC’s most unimpressive, yet strangely prominent, superheroes.

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