Shazam, the Good, the bad, and the Ugly

Addison Harper, Staff Writer



It has currently been four days since the release of DC’s hero movie Shazam. At the time of me writing this article, the movie has accumulated an estimated sixty-three million through ticket sales. However, it does not compare to the one hundred and fifty three million dollars that Captain Marvel produced in the opening weekend last month. Forgive me if I make the wrong assertions. I am fairly ignorant when it comes to superheroes based on comic books. That being said, I shall state my thesis: Shazam is a work that, as far as I am aware, is told accurately based off the comic book and uses high quality CGI to convey its story but, its main character [Shazam] is unoriginal in concept, and the film follows a cliche plot sequence.

The Ugly

A year after Superman was published, a character known as Captain Marvel made his first debut in December, 1939. Fawcett comics, which later became known as Marvel, was the original publisher of Captain Marvel, but in a lawsuit filed by Detective Comics in 1953, they were accused of copying the concept of Superman for their own character. Thus resulting in soon to be Marvel signing over the character rights to Detective Comics.

The story of Shazam and Superman are easily comparable to one another. Both heroes are orphaned children that acquire the power of flying, super speed and strength, and complete immunity from projectiles and fire. The only noticeable difference being the color scheme, Superman’s weakness, and that Shazam is able to generate lightning while Superman has eyes that fire beams of intense heat. As stated previously, Superman was the first to appear in a 1938 comic, and Shazam appeared in 1939. Their similarity in terms of power and in the nature of their origin moves many to believe that Shazam is just a reflection of Superman that was born at a later date. The films predictable plot was also an issue when viewing the movie.

The Bad

You have seen it before, and you have seen multiple instances of it. The simplicity of a hero that experiences self doubt that later receives a considerable amount of power from a mysterious figure, and begins by tailoring it to his or her own personal desires, but ends up switching moral alignments and discovers a place of social belonging, either before or after he or she defeats the main villain. Even in the event of converting a comic book hero to film, changes must be made in order to prevent the work from being too generic and unoriginal. However, the work was produced using advanced lighting techniques, and had moments that were fairly decent.

& The Good

Apart from the negative aspects that turned many individuals away from the movie, the film does contain a number of scenes that are filled with special effects that can only be described as eye candy. Not to mention the references to other superheroes and their timelines were decent in nature. In order to avoid any plot spoilers, for anyone still interested in viewing Shazam, I will refrain from spoiling them.


The film will be enjoyable to those that do not mind the comic relief character that is Shazam, and those who pay no heed to the overall plot, but only care for the action. Or possibly for individuals that wish to be reunited with their favorite childhood hero.