9 Reasons Why Comic Books Hate Shazam

It's a pretty dysfunctional relationship, really.

Dwayne Johnson can't stop talking about Shazam. The wrestler-turned-actor (also known as The Rock) was the first to murmur that he might be considering a film role as either hero or villain in a film version of the series. Now confirmed as villain Black Adam, Johnson recently implied that the movie would reach theaters much sooner than its promised release year of 2019. It seems he even chose the villain role over that of the title character. He seems very much like a wrestler when he talks about it, getting people all excited for the big fight and not even caring whether he's a "face" to be cheered or a "heel" to be booed, to use the wrestling terms. But if he helps the movie's success, he'll be a hero to Shazam's alter ego Billy Batson, a boy who€™s suffered decades of abuse from the art form that once seemed to be his home. It's strange, really. For some time in the 1940s, Captain Marvel was outselling Superman in the comics shops. He also beat him to film, at least unofficially: his adventure serial came before Superman's. And he headlined not one but two TV shows. How did things come to this? Billy's magic lightning bolt may give him the courage of Achilles, but he also seems to have picked up Achilles€™ misfortune.


T Campbell has written quite a few online comics series and selected work for Marvel, Archie and Tokyopop. His longest-running works are Fans, Penny and Aggie-- and his current project with co-writer Phil Kahn, Guilded Age.