Best Shots review - Future State: Shazam #2 overly grim

Future State: Shazam #2
(Image credit: Eduardo Pansica/Julio Ferreira/Marcelo Maiolo (DC))

Every so often, a book comes out that reads as so antithetical to its lead character's energy, personality, and tone that it's truly baffling how anyone approved the story during its development. The overly grim Future State: Shazam #2 (opens in new tab) is one such slog of a book.

Future State: Shazam #2 credits

Written by Tim Sheridan
Art by Eduardo Pansica, Júlio Ferreira, and Marcelo Maiolo
Lettered by Rob Leigh
Published by DC
'Rama Rating: 3 out of 10 

Now, there is a nugget of a potential idea embedded within this mess that sees Billy and Shazam separated into different entities. Tim Sheridan's script however chooses not to dig into what makes these individual parts a cohesive whole. Instead, the focus is occupied on justifying why Billy has chosen to make a deal with Neron. Meanwhile, the remaining Teen Titans do their best to understand why Shazam has returned with a penchant for murder.

(Image credit: Bernard Chang/Marcelo Maiolo (DC))
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There's a panel early on, during a scene between Vixen and Shazam, in which Eduardo Pansica focuses on Shazam's eyes and furrowed brow. Júlio Ferreira's inks enhance the heavy shadow in the panel. The finished result makes for an evocative image in a sense, albeit one that emanates so much rage by itself that it shows how hard the creative team is committing to this vibe.

There's been a good deal of pessimistic times presented in 'Future State,' but many of those have at least seen heroes taking a stand to try and better the world from getting any worse. Future State: Shazam #2 however, is resigned to the bleakness of the situation – even the body language of the characters reads as cold and at a remove from one another – and that dissonance between the chosen tone and what you'd expect for a Shazam story is a factor which the creative team proves unable to reconcile.

You don't need a magic word to know what the best Shazam stories of all time are.

Freelancer Writer

Matt Sibley is a comics critic with Best Shots at Newsarama, who has contributed to the site for many years. Since 2016 in fact.