That was not really what I expected. On one hand, it’s got the heart of a super hero origin story, with Billy Batson gaining powers, learning to use them (and not lose himself or his friends/family while doing so), and fighting the big bad.

But on the other hand, it starts dark with a boy told ‘you’ll never be good enough’ (obvious villain origin is obvious), before going into a young child being separated (permanently) from his mother, all in the first few minutes. Given that I really didn’t know that much about Shazam!/Captain Marvel’s origin going on1, it’s surprisingly dark. Especially since the hero is otherwise a kid and the rest of the movie definitely has a childlike charm to it, as he discovers his powers and how he ends up fighting big bads.

Overall, I enjoyed the story well enough, it’s a pretty decent superhero flick. I did particularly like the foster family dynamic. I know that foster families absolutely range from terrible to great, but seeing what they can be really is quite nice. They really do care about each other, that much is obvious. And all of the kids in the family were a lot of fun.

  1. Fawcett ceased publishing Captain Marvel-related comics in 1953, partly because of a copyright infringement suit from DC Comics alleging that Captain Marvel was a copy of Superman. In 1972, Fawcett licensed the character rights to DC, which by 1991 acquired all rights to the entire family of characters. DC has since integrated Captain Marvel and the Marvel Family into their DC Universe and has attempted to revive the property several times, with mixed success. Due to trademark conflicts over other characters named “Captain Marvel” owned by Marvel Comics, DC has branded and marketed the character using the trademark Shazam! since his 1972 reintroduction. This led many to assume that “Shazam!” was the character’s name. DC renamed the mainline version of the character as “Shazam” when relaunching its comic book properties in 2011, and his associates became the “Shazam Family” at this time as well.

    Wikipedia ↩︎