What we know so far is this New 52 version of Billy Batson is a departure from the previous interpretations. Billy was always seen as an innocent and wholesome kid that gains the power of Shazam. This Billy is not so wholesome. He has an attitude and no problem talking things out with his fists. He's doesn't seem as if he'd be the perfect worthy candidate of the power but that's what makes this interesting.
As we get further into the New 52, I'm finding myself strangely becoming more accepting of the changes that are happening. This isn't the Billy Batson I know but I sure do want to see what he's going to do. Assuming he becomes Shazam, that is. (You'll have to read to find out).
There's also the threat of Black Adam. And let's not forget that the Wizard was there to issue the sentencing when the Trinity of Sin was judged in the New 52 FCBD issue. That means a possible connection to Pandora, Phantom Stranger and the Question. There is also a back up here featuring Pandora so it's all coming together.
The other great thing is the fact that this main feature is all Gary Frank artwork. It's also nice to see kids looking like actual kids. Too many times kids are drawn like miniature adults. Brad Anderson's colors really make the scenes work and you can almost feel the magic in the air.
That's another thing, while we do have the little magic corner of the New 52 DCU, some of the conversation made here is setting up an interesting stage.
Billy Batson as a street punk wiseass is almost cliché but it does offer a new approach to Captain Marvel (or Shazam as we need to get used to). You can imagine what this Billy could be like with that kind of power. There's been mention that Shazam will be joining the Justice League so hopefully things will smooth out quickly.
The backup with Pandora felt a little weird here even though the Wizard was involved. We'll have to see if Shazam is involved with the Trinity of Sin at all in the future.
A minor complaint is the fact that this is a zero issue. In theory this should take place before JUSTICE LEAGUE #1. Clearly that is not the case. But we get a great Shazam story so I'm willing to overlook this.
It's time for Shazam to finally arrive. Geoff Johns and Gary Frank deliver a full size story showing the next step of Billy Batson and his [possible] connection to the power of Shazam. This zero issue might not fit chronologically before JUSTICE LEAGUE #1 but if we are to see more of Shazam in the coming months, this can be easily overlooked. This isn't going to be the Shazam (Captain Marvel) we knew from before but that's what makes this interesting. The New 52 is the time to experiment and make tweaks and that's what we're getting. This is the beginning of a new chapter for the character and I can't wait to see what's going to happen next. Johns and Frank are definitely putting the magic into this issue.