-Theories & Thought Bubbles-
KKRRAKKOOOMMM!! Magic is back baby.
Zero Month is DC’s attempt at once again reinventing the origins of some of the most popular characters within their universe. While purists have been arguing that this is just a marketing ploy to attract new readers – and in some cases this is absolutely correct – there is something to be said about homages, motifs, and characteristics that have remained the same.
Justice League #0 is an example of DC attempting to attract new readers, while giving loyalists something familiar. If you’ve been reading recent issues of The New 52′s Justice League, you’ll know that Geoff Johns has introduced Billy Batson and the idea of Magic into the last few pages of the comic. Justice League #0 actually contains no Batman, no Superman, and no Wonder Woman. It is the full-fledged origin of Shazam (DC has formally abandoned the Captain Marvel name, but you’ll probably find a reference to “Big Red Cheese” in the future). The end of the comic also has a short tale about the new character Pandora and a look at the upcoming Trinity War, along with a single page that re-introduces The Question.
Geoff Johns, who has demonstrated his ability to revive older characters through his writing, has made Batson a little older than his original manifestation, and with the extra few years Batson has become the typical, jaded youth. Still an orphan, Batson has been bounced from foster homes to halfway houses for the majority of his life and has learned about the ugly sides of society. So instead of being this purely good little boy, trying to survive in a world of corruption and apathy, Geoff Johns has made a Billy Batson that today’s youth can recognize – or at least identify. This makes the emergence of Shazam all the more interesting, because he’s no longer a goofy do-gooder, or a clueless kid. But a teenager who is willing to try anything to impress, to be accepted, and to generally feel better about himself. However, in true Johns style, there is something very ominous just over the horizon.
Gary Frank claims the artist credit for this story, and the quality of his work further adds to the appeal of this issue. Expressions of shock, layers of wrinkles throughout a wizened wizard’s form, a full white cloak and hood in place of a half-cape. And energy. Frank creates crackling lightning and iconic sound effects to energize the story, making the reader excited to see what’s on the next page. And just like most popular artists these days, the panels of the comic cannot contain the size and scope of Frank’s art. This is not the Shazam you’re used to seeing, but the roots are there. The red costume, slick black hair, big yellow lightning bolt, and cheesy ear-to-ear smile are all still present. He even has the same magic word.
Within the pages of stories like Justice League #0, the artists and writers at DC are laying the foundations for the next few events throughout their universe. Although cruel of them to split the entire story between several issues, across different series, these men and women are effectively adapting the mythos to target a new audience. Giving newbies a “jumping on point” to make them feel included. And for those of us who have remained faithful, there is just enough canon, innuendo, allusion, and nostalgia to appease us.
- Josh Nelson
Self-proclaimed Guru and Easily Amused
-Events This Week-
Monday – 230pm – 6pm – Pathfinder
Wednesday – 5pm & 6pm – D&D Encounters
Thursday – 530pm – 8pm - Magic the Gathering – Casual
Friday – 530pm – 9pm – Friday Night Magic – Standard Constructed – $5
Saturday – MTG Return to Ravnica Pre-Release – All other regular events are cancelled.
Sunday – MTG Return to Ravnica Pre-Release – All other regular events are cancelled.
September 29th & 30th – Return to Ravnica News
We are now taking sign-ups for the Magic the Gathering Return to Ravnica Pre-Release. We will be hosting 2 events on both Saturday and Sunday. The first event starts at 10am and the second event starts at 4pm. Entry is $25 with $5 extra if you want pizza. You will be asked to pick your Guild when you sign up. We are limiting it to 5 representatives per guild per game, so have a 2nd and 3rd choice in mind. We also ask that you sign up in person, please.
We are also accepting pre-orders for the Return to Ravnica booster boxes. We are offereing a special price of $110 per box if you pre-pay before the Pre-Release and you get the Buy-It-By-The-Box promo.