A New Period of the ‘Superhero’ Soars with “Shazam!”

“Shazam!” is the light at the end of DC’s dark and desolate tunnel, bringing a new era of superhero films competing with Marvel’s Cinematic Universe


Courtesy of Meta Critic

Lismery Luna, Staff Writer

“Shazam!” deserves all the praise and cheering. There’s a new era rising for DC films and people can feel it with the cosmic entrance of its newest hero, Shazam.

“Shazam!” is a movie about 14-year-old Billy Batson, played by Angel Asher of Disney Channel’s TV show “Andi Mack.” Batson (Asher) had spent his entire life running from foster home to foster home in search of his mother.

Baston gets sent to one last foster home in Philadelphia.

Throughout the film, the importance of family and what constitutes a “family” are enforced, almost pounded into the audience’s members forefront thoughts.

From there, Billy meets his keepers; Victor and Rosa Vasquez (Cooper Andrews and Marta Milan), who love each member of their family equally and whole-heartedly and their kids: Mary (Grace Fulton), the oldest and a responsible role model for the other kids, Eugene (Ian Chen), who surprised his siblings and audiences the best and Darla (Faithe Herman), an adorable little girl who would do anything for her big brothers, Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer), a kid on crutches infatuated with comics, who uses sarcasm and quips as his main line of defense.

The superhero, Shazam, derives from the 1940s’ comic created by writer Brian Parker and C.C Parker for a small-time publication called Fawcett Publications. Originally, the superhero was called Captain Marvel (confusing since there are other heroes with that moniker), as stated in SlashFilms.com and RollingStone.com

Billy Batson is chosen to use the powers of Shazam, an acronym for of the immortals Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, and Mercury, according to RollingStones.com.

All Billy has to do is utter the words ” Shazam!” and he transforms to the superhero, played by Zachary Levi. Zachary Levi plays the adult version of Batson while maintaining the antics and mannerisms of a teenage boy with justice.

However, while Billy is Shazam, he has challenges and hurdles all superheroes go through, in a hilarious but somewhat urgent fashion.

“Shazam!” takes the classic superhero movie and turns it on its head, while providing twists, elements of surprise and anticipation with each scene.

However, the pacing of the film can be a bit nauseating for some viewers, as the action and plot are thrown all for the ending sequences and tries to slap a little bow on things to make them seem more glossed and hide some of the plot-holes.

After Billy (Asher) acquires the powers of Shazam, that is when the fun begins and Freddy (Grazer) acts as a sidekick/mentor to Billy and teaches him how to use his powers through a series of tests, how to juggle the responsibilities of hero-work, etc.

Every superhero has an opponent. Batman had the Joker, Superman had Lex Luthor and General Zod.

Now, Shazam’s turn has come with Dr. Thaddeus Sivana, played by Mark Strong, a man fixated on the magic of Shazam until he acquired his own powers.

Dr. Sivana is a prominent opponent meant to test and challenge the rise of Billy/Shazam. However, CGI and special effects bring forth the gruesome and ominous presence Sivana (Strong) has on both the audience and Shazam (Levi).

“Shazam!” takes audiences on an adventure of a boy when he’s given powers to save the world, but Levi’s adventure as the adult version of Billy Batson is “the magic that makes the movie” as stated in a Rolling Stone’s review of the film.

Overall, “Shazam!” is an exceptional entry into the new era of DC’s Extended Universe because it takes audiences a roller-coaster ride of a boy trying to save the world while keeping ties to who Batson (Asher) is behind the hero.