REVIEW: Convergence: Shazam #2

WRITER: Jeff Parker
ARTIST: Evan ‘Doc’ Shaner
LETTERER: Saida Temofonte
COLORIST: Jordie Bellaire
COVER ARTIST(s): Evan ‘Doc’ Shaner, Jordie Bellaire
RELEASE DATE: 05/27/2015

The best-selling comic book in the Golden Age of Comics wasn’t Action Comics. It wasn’t Detective ComicsStar-Spangled ComicsFlash ComicsAll-American Comics, or any of the other DC/Marvel publications. It was Fawcett’s own Whiz Comics, starring the Big Red Cheese himself, Captain Marvel (later re-named Shazam, because Marvel is petty). And let me tell you why.

Because there’s something truly beautiful about innocence. About youthful fun and enjoyable storylines.

Nothing epitomizes those two statements quite like Convergence: Shazam #2, which is a blast to the past as it pits the original and classic Fawcett Comics’ version of Captain Marvel (along with his best friends and family) against the dark and brooding Batman of Gotham By Gaslight.

Jeff Parker crafts a story that holds up as a phenomenal sequel to its predecessor in this comic. Unafraid to go full Golden Age fun on us with the Marvel family’s dialogue, whilst immediately switching over to a Victorian-era Dark Knight, the writing demonstrates clearly why DC thought it would be fun to have these two wholly different worlds interact. The only real criticism of this issue’s writing is the pacing, which seems out of whack throughout the issue at times. However, this can most likely be explained by the limitations imposed by 22 pages. After all, this is supposed to be the goodbye wave from both worlds to the reader, so obviously you can’t just end without an awesome full-pager of our heroes flying in the sky.

Speaking of awesome, let’s just all take a moment and agree that Doc Shaner should be drawing Captain Marvel for all of eternity. Seriously, I have never seen art that so beautifully captured the essence of this character. There is no stale moment, no less-than-perfect shot. Even his interpretation of the Gaslight world, complete with a Victorian Rogues Gallery, remained lovely. And this further jumps with Jordie Bellaire’s colors, which do an extraordinary job switching from orange delights and bright smiles/suns to a blackish-grey atmosphere. This team is phenomenal, and could not be more perfect for the book. I don’t often believe in 5-stars. I think they’re an exaggeration, because they imply near-perfection. Here, though? The entire art team (including Saida Temofonte’s lettering job as well) deserves a 5-star rating for sheer greatness.

Believe it or not, I wasn’t born in the 1940s. I didn’t grow up on Whiz Comics and Captain Marvel’s adventures with his family. But in this short, 22-page comic book, the entire team came together to provide a story and experience that actually made me nostalgic for an era I never got to experience firsthand. And for that, I am truly thankful. My biggest criticism by far is that I don’t get to enjoy this team’s work on a book of this caliber every month, forever, because that, DC, would be the ticket to my ultimate happiness. If you are even remotely interested in getting into the essence of this truly life-changing character, Convergence: Shazam #1-2 are the best way to do it. Shazam!


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