Written by Geoff Johns
Pencils and Inks by Dale Eaglesham and Marco Santucci
Colored by Michael Atiyeh
In the previous issue, we are introduced to the Shazam family, a new connection to a magic-world for the family to investigate, and the return of Billy Batson’s father. This issue begins, Billy and the rest of his siblings are in the magical world, The Station, where they find connections to several other worlds: The Darklands, The Monsterlands, The Gamelands, The Wildlands, and The Funlands. They have a connection back to The Earthlands. The kids choose to investigate The Funlands first, jumping on a magical train, which brings them to an amusement park that is like “Disneyland on steroids.” Meanwhile, a character named Dr. Sivana visits a doctor’s office. He’s got the “Encyclopedia of Magical Monsters” in his hands, which informs us that he needs to remove the doctor’s tongue to finish a magical potion. Finally, Billy’s foster parents, Victor and Rosa, have a conversation with Billy’s case manager asking her why Billy’s father was given their address? After the phone call, they discover that all of their children are missing.
The most interesting part of this story is the child-friendly atmosphere where magic, wonder, and treachery coexist. The main characters, all being children, open up a story where creativity and mystery can really shine. As evidenced by the many different worlds that they learn about and will investigate. The dynamic among the children makes the story work. Mary is the mature leader, the younger boys, Eugene and Freddy, are thrill seekers, and Billy is in contact with a larger story: The Rock of Eternity and the wizard who gave him his powers.
The art is gorgeous that depicts the connection to magic in the blue lightning that surrounds the train that transports them to The Funland. The blue lightning is the imagery that reminds the reader that this is a Shazam story. The art also comes to life when Dr. Sivana opens The Encyclopedia of Magical Monster, which shows a green centipede-looking creature. The green creature and the surrounding pages are pictured with beautiful coloring and detailed back-matter. The creature informs him what he needs to create a potion; however, they don’t reveal what the potions will do which keeps me interested. Another highlight of the art occurs when the kids arrive in The Funland and the large carnival is pictured. The details of hundreds of different children, large machinery, and colorful banners were visually engaging.
Overall = 9/10
This is an engaging child-friendly story filled with mystery, energy, and fun. The art creates a world that is magical, beautiful, and potentially treacherous. The mystery surrounding these characters is infused with emotional depth mainly through Billy’s status as a foster child. I highly recommend this book to fans of Shazam and DC comics.