As one of the only active defenders of Captain Marvel (read: Shazam) on the planet, I have been eagerly anticipating this film for years, and Saturday was a big day for me. I was glad to have Jon come watch the film with me, because I need someone around to validate my experiences.
I’m embarrassed to say I got some of the finer details about Shazam’s legal and publication history wrong on the show, but in my defense, who cares? I went through a big comic book phase several years ago, and I dove in head first, but as I ran out of money and time, comics fell into the background and things like the trivia of my favorite character’s history got muddied a bit.
It’s funny, because at the time, my friend Drew was trying very hard to help me figure out who my ‘guy’ was going to be. What character I was going to follow in comics. And then one day, out of fucking nowhere, all these childhood memories came back to me, and I remembered. I had a guy already. I’d always had a guy. His name was Captain Marvel.
I love Captain Marvel and I’ve been mostly excited to share that fact with the world. Ironically, my friend Drew pushed back, and hard, against my declaration that I already had a favorite superhero named Captain Marvel. He tried for years to help me turn up a better, more interesting, more compelling hero. And I was never interested. To be a Captain Marvel fan is to be a fan of something that defies cultural coolness. It’s to be in touch with something sincere and childlike, something wide-eyed and yes, silly.
I can’t wait to go see Shazam! again in the theater. I reckon I’ll see it at least two more times before it goes to the second-run theater. It was a real joy to watch, and I’m looking forward to seeing it again and again. While the script was a little shaky and the climactic battle (and the villain[s]) was kind of a let-down, the things that matter about the movie, like its characters, humor and heart, were pitch-perfect. As I mention in the podcast, I simply can’t imagine a better way to adapt Shazam!.
For a better history of Shazam! than I was able to give in this podcast, see the following video:
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