Isolated from Billy's youthful optimism and covering up murders, all is not well for Shazam in Future State: Shazam! #1 (opens in new tab).
Written by Tim Sheridan
Art by Eduardo Pansica, Julio Ferreira and Marcelo Maiolo
Lettering by Rob Leigh
Published by DC
'Rama Rating: 8 out of 10
Writer Tim Sheridan paints a portrait of an isolated and troubled hero, struggling to lead a tense team. The death of the Creeper during an attempted breakout at Iron Heights causes Miss Martian and the Question to suspect Billy's hulking alter-ego. But he couldn't have, could he?
Structured as a miniature mystery with a satisfying conclusion, Sheridan quickly makes a case for Future State: Shazam! and immediately sets upon fulfilling its premise. Again, there's questionable merit for yet another 'Future State' tragedy, but the concept is simple and compelling enough to get away with it. Sheridan uses the prospect of a loose cannon Shazam! to build anticipation and dread for the story's conclusion.
Eduardo Pansica and Julio Ferreira fill the page with sullen and stoic faces, carrying the tension of Sheridan's pointed script. Marcelo Maiolo colors a world of bright blue skies, with Ferreira's inks introducing sheer black blotches of shadow to reflect the interior turmoil of the issue's characters, while Rob Leigh's letters become unhinged for the rabid Creeper and some shockingly purple lightning bolts.
A good story absolves all sins. Billy Batson faces a real crisis in Future State: Shazam! #1, a well-crafted shot at a pessimistic and sullen version of one of DC's brightest characters. I eagerly await the conclusion.
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