Future State: Shazam! #1 (March 2021)

The Last Temptation Of William Batson

Writer: Tim Sheridan, Pencils: Eduardo Pansica, Inks: Júlio Ferreira, Colours: Marcelo Maiolo

No one’s seen Billy Batson in years-not since the incident known as the Final Battle of Titans Island. Now leading a small band of heroes, even his allies have begun to ask who’s controlling Earth’s Mightiest Mortal. In a story set years after the events of Future State: Teen Titans, learn the truth behind the sacrifice Billy made to imprison an ultimate evil even he couldn’t destroy.

DCCOMICS.COM official solicitation

This issue has one major problem. You get more information from the one paragraph solicitation on DCComics.com than you do from the twenty pages of the comic.  Part of the Future State event, you get no information about when it is set.  It was only as I was putting this review together that I cut and pasted the solicitation from the DC website and you shouldn’t need to do that to get the background to what’s going on.

Years in the future, Shazam is leading a team of former Titans (Miss Martian, Bunker, and Powerhouse) plus Vixen and a new Question.  They respond to a Trouble Alert at Iron Heights (which is now in the New Badlands) where Giganta and a Manhunt robot are trying to breakout The Creeper.  For some unexplained reason Raven and Red Tornado are also imprisoned there.

Shazam’s team turn up to stop the prison break and when the dust settles The Creeper is dead.  Apparently, everywhere the team go people are turning up dead.  Bunker suspects it’s a serial killer but The Question turns his attention to Shazam and also asks why no one has seen Jakeem and Johnny Thunder. 

Cut to Shazam in Philadelphia where he is holding someone hostage. Now, I’m not sure if this is an art error or another mystery but I think this is meant to be Jakeem but it is drawn as the classic Johnny Thunder. But it is definitely the holder of the Thunderbolt as Shazam releases him by say “so cool”. Anyway, it is implied that Shazam kills him as he is a threat.

It turns out The Question has had drones following Shazam and recorded him killing The Creeper. Something has turned him dark. All the way through the book whenever someone calls Shazam ‘Billy’ he says don’t call me that.  Flashback to years  ago and Shazam did a deal with Neron in hell to split Billy and Shazam into two different entities. It’s not revealed why but Billy has to stay in hell and Shazam has to make sure he never leaves.

There is no explanation for the set-up and no reasons given for what is happening. The story is only two issues long and acts like it’s a grand mystery. The thing with mysteries is that they have to be intriguing not just created by not giving the reader information.

⭐⭐

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