Yesterday I mentioned that Justice League #5 would include a backup story called The Curse Of Shazam which is slated to be by the creative team consisting of Geoff Johns and Gary Frank. Today, we get a bit more information on the reboot from the mouth of Gary Frank himself. For those scratching their noggins, this particular dynamic duo has paired off a few times before while working on Superman. Their most recent team-up was on another franchise reboot, Superman: Secret Origin, which ironically is no longer canon as it came out just prior to The New 52.
So far, it’s looking like this will be a modernized retelling of Billy Batson’s origins in becoming Captain Marvel. That is, if they decide to keep with the name. For many years, there have been on again, off again legal disputes concerning the name since, you know, half his name is the same as DC’s biggest competitor. In the past, DC chose to work around that coincidence by focusing on the Wizard’s name, instead. Now, ”Shazam” may very well be the name of the Big Red Cheese himself.
I’ve been eagerly awaiting a revamp of the franchise ever since I read the Shazam & the Monster Society of Evil TP by Jeff Smith (and praying over and over for a direct-to-DVD movie be geared for kids that would be an adaptation of this story). The character is rich enough so that he can thrive in pretty much any reincarnation.
To give you an idea as to how loved the franchise was back in its heyday, it’s estimated that over 2,000,000 comics were being sold during the 1940s. That’s still a record. For a modern comic to be considered a success of ridiculous proportions, it only needs to surpass the 200,000 mark. Neither of those figures are a typo. That should give you an idea as to how big the potential is for The Curse Of Shazam.
On a more surprising note, Gary Frank says they’re not designing his costume as differently as every other hero Jim Lee drew up for The New 52. Instead, they’re looking at something more timeless. After DC announced that a Justice Society comic will be arriving in the near future that’s set on Earth 2, one has to wonder if this means the timelessness is actually due to the fact that it will be set elsewhere in the 52-multiverse, such as on Earth 5, which is where the original Captain Marvel universe is located. To read more about Gary Frank’s comments, you can check out this article by Newsarama.