Over the last few years, the magical world of the DC Universe has been in upheaval. Of course, that means it’s a perfect time for SHAZAM! to flesh out their portion of the world.
Geoff Johns, Marco Santucci, Mike Atiyeh, and Rob Leigh give us the SHAZAM! Family’s first expedition into the 7 Magiclands with a cover by Dale Eaglesham. It also gives us peeks into some new mythology of the guardians of magic, and some frightening hints of the threats facing our heroes.
The kids debate whether they should travel into the Magiclands, eventually settling on trying the most non-threatening of the bunch, the Funlands. However, when they arrive, something is clearly wrong, even if the kids don’t notice. Meanwhile, Victor and Rosa discover their foster kids are missing, and Doctor Sivana enters the picture with a horrifying ally.
Johns here does a better job with the exposition and world building in this issue. Each of the kids are given a strong presence on the page, with a better sense of personality for each of them. There’s also a great sense of dread building throughout, both through the Funlands scenes and the scenes with Sivana and Mister Mind.
Santucci steps in ably here. He’s able to keep a similar style to Dale Eaglesham, but fills it full of his own touches. He really uses camera angles well, peeking over shoulders to give a lot of the story a view into the character’s world. His design work in the Funlands is fantastic as well, complemented by Atiyeh’s colors, using his tools to emphasize what Santucci does.
It’s still not perfect, but this is a much improved issue, and has me bought into the series as a whole.
SHAZAM! #2 is available now from DC Comics.