Shazam! With one lightning-infused magic word, DC Comics has relaunched one of its most iconic characters, reviving the superhero known since 1939 as Captain Marvel and renaming and supercharging him with a heavy double dose of mysticism and magic.
“We changed his name [to Shazam] for a lot of reasons,” said Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns. “One of them is that Shazam is the word most associated with the character, so we just felt it made sense — a lot of people already thought that was his name, anyway.”
With a new origin, a cowl, a lightning bolt on his chest, and a penchant for causing electrical appliances to explode, Shazam still bears similarities to the original hero, including the power to change from feisty teen Billy Batson into a superhero by uttering the magic word that is now his name.
The new Shazam debuts March 27 as a side story in Justice League No. 7.
“His place in the world will be far more rooted in fantasy and magic than it ever was before,” Johns said.
edit - And here is the post from DC's blog:
The new interpretation of this iconic character will debut in the seventh issue of JUSTICE LEAGUE, the comic book industry’s current bestselling title, in a new ongoing back-up story that will re-imagine the character’s magical origins. Designed and illustrated by New York Times bestselling artist Gary Frank, SHAZAM! will be written by critically acclaimed writer and DC Entertainment Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns.
“With SHAZAM! Gary and I will be focusing on the magic hero instead of the super hero,” Johns told THE SOURCE. “For centuries, science has ruled the world, but now magic is returning. We’re telling the story of the hero’s young alter ego, Billy Batson, a foster kid at a crossroads in his life. The question is, how does the emotional journey of this troubled teenager collide with the fate of the world? The Rock of Eternity and the legacy of SHAZAM! will be explored in a different way as the extent of Billy’s connection to the magic world around him is greater than ever before. The story will have a profound impact on Justice League later in the year and you’ll see new characters, locations and creatures along with the classics from the SHAZAM! universe. Billy’s friends and enemies will be along for the ride.”
“You’ll notice that SHAZAM! looks different from many of the other heroes we’ve seen in DC COMICS-THE NEW 52,” said editor Brian Cunningham. “That was definitely intentional. His powers come from a different place, and we wanted to see that reflected in the design. We’ve removed the “circus strongman” elements from his costume. Rather than a traditional cape, he wears a cloak with a hood; there’s more of a mystical, magical, fantasy feel to that.”
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