DC movies have had a problem, Shazam might save them from it.
Movies based on the DC comics universe have had one big problem. And no, it’s not Martha. Martha is the symptom, not the problem. They’ve taken something that was good in the comics, and carried it just too far. They’re dark and gritty. Something you would expect from Batman, and you wouldn’t expect from Superman. But that didn’t stop Zack Snyder. No, he has pushed dark and gritty to new heights, and in the process, sucked all the fun out of the movies. Justice League attempted to fix that, but the inclusion of these incarnations of Batman and Superman ensured that the Flash and Aquaman’s humor was overpowered by angst generally not seen among those out of their teens. Wonder Woman was cool though. Shazam! looks to be a huge departure from what we have seen.
Shazam is the story of Captain Marvel (who will surely never be called by his actual name in the movie). The super heroic alter ego of teen Billy Batson. Captain Marvel may have super powers that rival Superman’s, but the character was always written as a child, who wasn’t burdened with his powers, and instead enjoyed them.
One might think that the character of Captain Marvel would run afoul of Marvel Comics who have their own characters named Captain Marvel, but that was never the case. In fact, Captain Marvel predates the existence of Marvel Comics. The character was introduced in 1940 and his first run enjoyed success while Marvel Comics was still known as Timely Publications and Atlas Comics.
The character was amazingly successful, and was actually the most popular comics character of his time, overshadowing even Superman, who proved to be his greatest foe. Captain Marvel was introduced in Whiz Comics #2 which was published not by DC, but by Fawcett. DC, didn’t appreciate the similarities between this character and their own Superman character, and brought a lawsuit against Fawcett, eventually winning, and later buying the rights to Captain Marvel and introducing the character to their own universe.
And that’s where the once great Captain Marvel has languished as a second rate character. Now, after seeing the trailer for the new Shazam! movie, I’m thinking that the character may just save the DC Universe movies. This does not appear to be a dark and gritty movie. Instead, this movie appears to attempt to be true to the comic character, which is something I’ve been aching for DC to attempt to do. A Zack Snyder-less DC movie? I’m there.
The official Twitter account of the Shazam! movie tweeted out the trailer which premiered at the San Diego Comic-Con giving us our first full look at Zachary Levi in character. A quick look at his origin, and hints of the Marvel Family. Yes, Billy Batson’s friend is definitely Captain Marvel Jr.
Enjoy the trailer below, and watch what may be the birth of the superhero DC comics may not want, but surely needs.
— Shazam Movie (@ShazamMovie) July 21, 2018