9 Reasons Why Comic Books Hate Shazam

9. He's Not Really Nerd-Friendly

Superman's creators Siegel and Shuster were teenage, science-loving, first-generation nerds, and for all Superman€™s power, an intellectual discipline governed his early stories. There was a quasi-Darwinian explanations for his strength€”millions of years of evolution, and, later, the heavier gravity of Krypton. He may have seemed to fly in the cartoons, but the early comics assured us he was really just leaping like a grasshopper. His earliest foes were spies and run-of-the-mill crooks€”real-world concerns that €œjustified€ the escapism. Captain Marvel could fly for real. His creators, adults with less need to prove themselves serious thinkers, regarded themselves as purer children€™s entertainers, and his stories read as if an excited child was telling them to you:
And whenever Billy says SHAZAM he gets the power of six old guys whose names all begin with S, H, A, Z, A an€™ M€”Solomon€™s smarts and Hercules€™ strength and Achilles€™ heel, I mean courage, and Zeus and Atlas and Mercury, but then he can never say SHAZAM unless he wants to turn into Billy, which is a problem because his wizard ghost friend who gave him the power is named Shazam too€”And his best friend is a talking tiger and Shazam€™s house can take Captain Marvel anywhere in any dimension and his biggest enemies are this short, bald, ugly mad scientist who has all these evil inventions, and this worm with a radio loudspeaker around his neck, and there€™s his sister Mary Marvel and the Lieutenant Marvels and Captain Marvel Junior and Uncle Marvel€”
This all plays really well when your target audience is seven, but today's complex comics continuities tend to prefer things that have to be explained.

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.