Crimespree on Comics: Kate (and Dan) Read BILLY BATSON AND THE MAGIC OF SHAZAM!

Welcome back friends, to yet ANOTHER (yep, our stay on the CRIMESPREE BLOG has been extended… we hope!) edition of Kate (and Dan) Read Comics! Since this past Christmas has delivered a bouncing baby Kindle Fire to our home, this week’s segment is the first to be reviewed digitally. Which brings us to…

K (and D): Kate (and Dan) Read BILLY BATSON AND THE MAGIC OF SHAZAM!

Kate:
LEMME PLAY WITH THE KINDLE!
Dan: No.
K: LEMMEPLAYWITHTHEKINDLE!!!
D: No. You break everything and always have sticky fingers. You also have chocolate on your face.
K: Do not! ::examines face for stray chocolate::
K: So really, you’ve been downloading stuff all night. Show me something good here.
D: Here, check this one out. Captain Marvel is one of my all time favorite comic book characters. The Kindle has brought us “Billy Batson and the Magic of SHAZAM”.
K: Finished! And I didn’t break it! (But a little GooGone will do wonders for the caramel fingerprints on the back.) The book starts with the characters speaking in code. I pitched my decoder ring after Little Orphan Annie kept telling me to drink my Ovaltine. I don’t like Ovaltine.
D: Agree. ::scrunches face:: Tastes like chalk. I do like that Billy has the power to become a superhero just by saying the magic word “Shazam.” A little boy who instantly becomes a grown man? It’s the ultimate form of wish fulfillment. And really, isn’t that what super-hero comics are all about?
K: So the name Shazam is an acronym for Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, and Mercury. Do you think they know that Solomon wasn’t a Greek god?
D: Achilles wasn’t a Greek God.
K: True, but at least he was in the same universe. It’s like putting Spiderman in the Justice League. You just can’t do that. Doesn’t work.
D:
D: Excellent point.
K: And if you take the “S” out of “Shazam,” you get “Hazam.” You can’t just go with “Hazam”. That’s sounds like bad breakfast meat. Why not use Sisyphus for the “S?”
D: I think you’re getting stuck on a small detail here. And really, “Sisyphus?” What’s the point? We’d just have to do the whole thing again tomorrow…
D: Like I said, SHAZAM has long been one of my all time favorite comics. Captain Marvel, or “the Big Red Cheese” as he’s called by his foes, has been around since the Golden Age Of Comics. In fact, at one point his book outsold every other comic around. Even Superman was second to Shazam! Needless to say, I was a little wary of a “kiddie version” when I saw it online. But what do I like more than comics?
K: Free stuff?
D: RIGHT! So thank you Comixology! Your selection of free comics is wonderful. So lured in by the lack of new Shazam stories on the shelf, and the lure of “free stuff,” an awesome comic was discovered. It seems that in 2008, DC had an all-ages imprint called “Johnny DC.” The “Billy Baston” book was the follow-up to “Shazam! The Monster Society of Evil” miniseries by Jeff Smith. Writer/artist Mike Kunkel was channeling his inner awesome here, injecting the “Billy Batson” ongoing book with fast paced, all-ages storytelling that doesn’t talk down to his audience.
K: ENOUGH WITH THE TALKING PART. TALK MORE ABOUT THE PICTURES!
D: Are you feeling ok?
K: Sure. I just like talking like the Hulk sometimes.
D: ::stares::
K: What?
D: You have issues.
K: KATE SMAAASH!
D: Riiight…But good point there, Ka…er…“Hulk.” Kunkel’s art is really something to behold. With flashbacks that look like they were done in rough crayon, to energetic action scenes that are a blur of crimson and gold, the layouts cleanly lead you right through the story.
K: Know what? I think I’m going to read it again.
D: I think that’s the best review you could give!

Dan and Kate Malmon are a happily married couple (except when Dan forgets to fill the gas tank) in Roseville, MN. When not working, reading comics and mysteries or watching sports, they hang out with Franklin the dog. You can find both Kate and Dan on Twitter.