Episode Title: “The Power of Shazam!”
Original Air Date: April 2, 2010
This week we have an alien menace threatening the inhabitants of Earth, starting of course with its heroes. We also have our visit with the Earth’s mightiest mortal, known to some as the big red cheese. I think we also get a message about family, and maybe not being cliquish? I’m not real sure about that last one. Read on for details.
The teaser is another entry in the ongoing Starro Saga, that started with the Challengers of the Unknown, before claiming Aquaman, and in this entry Green Arrow. The teaser gives a little exposition about the mysterious conquering entity and why the heroes are targeted first. Something tells me that Batman will save the day in the season finale, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
The story proper takes us to Fawcett City, where the nefarious Dr. Sivana (along with his two sniveling adult children) is attacking the populace while being opposed by Batman. Meanwhile at the city’s orphanage we see a young ward named Billy Batson being bullied by some older foundlings. Billy hears a report on the radio about Batman’s battle and wants to go help. Now you may be asking what can this young boy possibly do to help the Dark Knight? Well I’m glad you asked, because by uttering the word Shazam, Billy transforms into Captain Marvel, the Earth’s mightiest mortal. Yes, I know everyone knew that already and no one was really asking, but please – just play along. When the Mighty Marvel goes to help Batman, his arch nemesis Sivana captures the big red cheese in an electrical cage in the inner structure of a large radio antenna. When Captain Marvel calls dow the lightning to transform back to Billy in order to slip through the bars of his electric cage, the antenna intercepts the bolt and no transformation occurs. Thankfully Batman does what he does and repels Sivana before freeing Shazam – er, Captain Marvel. As Sivana is escaping back to his lair he is not upset about his defeat, rather he is giddy because his ultimate goal was to get a sample of some good old fashioned Shazam lightening (actually in a bottle).
Now what use could Sivana possibly have for that magic lightening in a bottle? Well I hope you’re sitting down, because it turns out that young Billy Batson isn’t the only one with the power of Shazam – there is another! (Clutch the pearls!) Sivana uses the lightening to summon Teth Adam, a.k.a. Black Adam. Adam was given the power of Shazam in ancient Egypt and was corrupted by it. Black Adam channeled 90’s hip hop legends Snap and told the Wizard Shazam “get off my back, or I will attack, and you don’t want that!” so the wizard had no choice but to exile him to “the most distant star in the world”. Now that Adam is back on Earth, and in Fawcett City he is sent to engage Captain Marvel. As the battle ensues, Marvel notices that Adam has the same familiar lightening emblem on his torso, and hopes that now he (Billy) finally has some kin in this world. However, this is no joyous family reunion, but rather a bitter battle, and thankfully Batman shows up to help defeat the sinister Teth.
Billy and Batman journey to the bowels of the subway to visit the Wizard and inquire about Black Adam (yes, this wizard lives in the subway). Unfortunately, Sivana, Adam and the junior Sivana’s tracked our heroes to the wizard’s location and commence an attack that forces the wizard to retreat to his mystical lair. The villains pursue the wizard to his seat of power as the heroes pursue the villains. At the magical home of the wizard, Sivana sits on the wizard’s throne and becomes a Sivana/ Shazam hybrid, betrays Adam leading to his demise, and appears poised to conquer the world. Luckily Batman tricks Sivana into transforming back to his non magical form and the wizard and Marvel Save the day. Afterwards back at the orphanage, young Billy is dejected that Adam wasn’t the family member he had hoped for, when Batman introduces him to a young girl named Mary that is Billy’s long lost twin sister (and future Mary Marvel) and the story ends with smiles all the way around.
This was a solid story, lots of fun and very well paced. Ultimately I think the teaser was more compelling than the main story, but the main story was by no means a disappointment. There are people who really like the Shazam characters, and people who don’t. The Shazam aficionados will definitely like this episode as it is a faithful depiction of the world of the big red cheese, but there is nothing here that would convert the non fans to team Marvel. Also, why not give us a little Talky Tawny?