The New Champion Of Shazam got off to a good start as Mary Bromfield is moving forward with her life as she has graduated high school and going to college. But with Billy Batson currently missing Mary’s life as a superhero is no longer behind her as she has been chosen to be the new Champion of Shazam. If that didn’t make life complicated enough Mary has found out that her foster parents have gone missing. With all these developments what is next for Mary Bromfield and her family? Let’s find with The New Champion Of Shazam #2.
Writer: Josie Campbell
Artist: Evan “Doc” Shaner
After learning about her foster parents vanishing from the cops Mary Bromfield returns home to act as the guardian for her brothers and sister. Mary does her best to talk to her family but things are to tense after their parents absence and Billy’s disappearance.
Later, Mary enrolls Fawcett Community College to keep up her studies while she searches for her foster parents. While walking around school she runs into Eugene.
When talking to Eugene alone Mary finds out that Freddy, Darla, Pedro, and Eugene know Mary is the only one with powers. Eugene goes on to talk about how the others felt they could’ve done something to save Billy and their parents if they had powers before walking away.
While in her biology class an explosion goes off somewhere near the campus and Mary rushes off to find out what happened as Shazam.
Shazam finds a giant alligator attacking people on a highway. During the fight the giant alligator grows wings. While Shazam fights off the alligator Hoppy the Rabbit teleports in and mentions sensing something that is not magic behind the giant alligator. The giant alligator then suddenly starts asking for help.
Shazam is suddenly attacked by three shadowy figures with mystery blue devices on their chest. The shadow figures block and redirect all of Shazam’s back at her and severely injure Hoppy. Before finishing off Shazam and Hoppy the three shadow figures teleport away with the giant alligator.
Before leaving the scene Shazam is questioned by a TV news reporter about what happened and who she is. Shazam leaves without answering any questions.
Later, transforming back to normal Mary reflects on what is going on. Seeing missing posters for a bunch of people who have mysteriously disappeared Mary becomes more motivated to find out what is going on. End of issue.
Taking your time to develop a story around your main character does not mean taking it slow. There is a steady pace that a story can move that doesn’t mean going at full speed the entire time. The New Champion Of Shazam #2 is a great example of that as Josie Campbell and Evan “Doc” Shaner take the time to create the investment in Mary Bromfield and the world around her.
What makes The New Champion Of Shazam #2 work so well is how Campbell gets us in Mary Bromfield head. Her parents disappearance on its on is a major deal. The fallout of this happening makes the investment in the story even greater as we see how Mary tries to step up while still trying to live her own life. Throughout this issue we see how Mary does have one foot out the door as soon as she returns to her family home. She is fully in the mindset this is a temporary move back until she finds her parents.
Which makes the way the rest of The New Champion Of Shazam #2 has Mary develop in a way she becomes fully invested in what is going on back home well-paced. We see with the reunion with her Freddy, Darla, and Pedro that her return isn’t a happy one. There is obvious tension that has been building since they haven’t been able to be the Shazam Family together and Billy’s disappearance. Their parents mysteriously disappearing just made things worse that Mary returning to step up as their big sister wasn’t a happy thing.
This made the way Eugene gives Mary a reality check on their family situation work so well for not just their characters but the entire Shazam Family. The way Eugene says this worked well to open Mary’s eye that while she may have been happy to live a normal life the same did not go for her brothers and sister. We see how in no longer being able to be superheroes and Billy’s disappearance there is a feeling they could’ve done something if they did have their powers when all this was going down. It all worked well to continue to build the sub-plot around Billy’s disappearance while making Mary’s narrative of character evolution as Shazam stay the main focal point.
The scene transitioned well into how Mary did find, to her surprise, that she could enjoy going to college at Fawcett Community College. Campbell does a great job in showing how the professors you have are important to making college a fun experience. Mary finding a professor she immediately gets her to pay attention to class was a great bit of personal development after Eugene’s words to her before this.
All this personal life development made the second half of The New Champion Of Shazam #2 on the greater mystery going on with the shadowy figures and parents disappearance even more intriguing. We see that these three shadow figures have some sort of tie to experimenting on some form of magic technology that Hoppy calls non-magic. The power they have is already impressive as they are able to somehow redirect Mary’s attacks as Shazam.
This battle worked into how there is likely a connection between the new villains and the parents disappearance. It was great visual storytelling to show all the missing posters to further motivate Mary to find out what is going on. She now is fully invested in this mystery rater than only having one foot into what is going on. This lets the second half of this series now focus on how Mary will grow from her in and out of being the new Champion of Shazam.
Doc Shaner is no doubt one of the best artists in the industry right now and The New Champion Of Shazam #2 was another example of why. Shaner has such a mastery over how to have characters facial reactions enhance their dialogue and inner thoughts. The story of what is going on in each scene could be told without dialogue and you can get what is being said by each character. Shaner also does an equally wonderful job making all the action scenes smooth with the two different battles Mary as Shazam gets into.
Josie Campbell and Doc Shaner are creating magic with their work on The New Champion Of Shazam. This second issue builds off all the character work done in the first to build greater investment in what is going on around Mary Bromfield in her journey as the new Shazam. The interpersonal relationships and superhero elements all complement each other extremely well. This series is definitely shaping up to be one of the best comic books DC Comics in 2022.
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 10 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10