Shazam!: The Monster Society of Evil

Overview

Jeff Smith, the award-winning creator of BONE, tells the story of young orphan Billy Batson who finds himself transformed into the World's Mightiest Mortal whenever he says the magic word "Shazam!" after being granted the magical powers of the gods by an ancient wizard.

Now available in trade paperback, this volume tells the exciting story of an invasion of alien creatures that Billy Batson must stop as he battles to stop mad scientist Dr. ...

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Overview

Jeff Smith, the award-winning creator of BONE, tells the story of young orphan Billy Batson who finds himself transformed into the World's Mightiest Mortal whenever he says the magic word "Shazam!" after being granted the magical powers of the gods by an ancient wizard.

Now available in trade paperback, this volume tells the exciting story of an invasion of alien creatures that Billy Batson must stop as he battles to stop mad scientist Dr. Sivana and his Monster Society of Evil from taking over the world.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Captain Marvel returns in a new incarnation, aimed at a younger audience, by Smith, the award-winning creator of Bone. Billy Batson, a young orphan living in a condemned building, follows a mysterious figure into the subway one day and is taken to a wizard who tells him that just by speaking one word-"Shazam!"-he can transform into the superpowered Captain Marvel. His brand-new ability arrives none too soon, because talking alligators and giant robots are showing up all over the city. Unfortunately, Billy has just learned something else-he has a sister who is not content to wait on the sidelines while Billy gets to save the world. Smith brings to this project his considerable talent in creating comics that are as fun for children as they are for adults. The art is brightly colored and engaging, and the young characters at the center of the story are adorable. Unfortunately, the heavy-handed political allegory takes away from the charm somewhat. Longtime fans of the series may be dismayed by the radical changes to the continuity. Newcomers, however, will find plenty to be entertained by in Smith's lively reinvention. (Oct.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

This contemporary update of the childlike whimsy of the 1940s Captain Marvel, one of comics' longest-lived superheroes, is Smith's first major project after his highly acclaimed, multi-award winning fantasy series Bone. Orphan Billy Batson lives alone in a condemned building until a mysterious stranger leads him before the wizard Shazam, who makes Billy the new host for his champion, Captain Marvel. But a mistake by Billy brings to Earth monolithic creatures and monster-men who threaten to destroy humanity. In Smith's take, Billy and his newly found sister, Mary, are very young, perhaps ten and seven, respectively, and Mr. Tawky Tawny, a talking tiger-man in the original stories, becomes an old hobo friend of Billy's who can magically transform into a tiger. Smith's excellent cartooning and humor here are similar to his Bonework and quite dissimilar to today's average superhero comic. The impetuous Mary is very cute (especially when she accidentally gains superpowers), and she and Billy inspire much sympathy. A few profanities and the satire of the villainous Dr. Sivana's speech as the "Director of Technology and Heartland Security" sit oddly against the book's kids' adventure feel. Still, this fun book is recommended for all collections.
—Steve Raiteri

School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up -The creator of "Bone" (Scholastic/Graphix) has successfully remade a popular comic serial originally published in the 1940s. Young Billy Batson is a homeless orphan who is also a "host" for Captain Marvel. Unfortunately, the boy's impulsive behavior almost leads to the destruction of the human race at the hands of Mr. Mind and the Monster Society of Evil. This comic's bright colors and young protagonists will appeal to children, but the sophisticated themes should make it just as interesting to teens. A sly comment on contemporary politics comes in the form of Dr. Sivana, the U.S. Attorney General who is also a corrupt war profiteer. Billy also manipulates a mercenary media network called "SNN" to help him expose Dr. Sivana. Additionally, the situations of Billy and his sister are sobering: Billy lives in an abandoned building and is subject to regular attacks from adults, and Mary lives with a cruel foster parent. The excellent illustrations were drawn with confident, graceful lines, in rich colors. Striking full-page illustrations punctuate dramatic scenes, and each chapter begins with a title page styled after a vintage movie poster. Smith's trademark humor, depth, and artistic talent shine through, making this a worthy companion to "Bone."-Lisa Goldstein, Brooklyn Public Library, NY

Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781401209742
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Publication date: 3/10/2009
  • Series: Shazam Series
  • Edition description: Trade Paperback Edition
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 787,428
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2007

    Wonderfully fun, kid friendly comic!

    Jeff Smith has done here what many comic pundits thought impossible: Write a Golden-Age esque Captain Marvel story and have it also FEEL right among today's offerings. The book is a retelling of Captian Marvel's origin, and we get Dr. Sivana and Mr. Mind's thrown in to boot. Even though the plot is wonderful, it is the sense of wonder that Smith brings to the book that is the equal of his masterpiece 'Bone.' The story is told through Billy Batson's eyes, not through the eyes of a been there, done that comic reading public that is greying and has lost the wonder in their own lives. This one is for the kids, and us older readers should come along for the ride and remember when comics were fun.

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    Posted November 19, 2008

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