Writer: Josie Campbell
Art: Evan “Doc” Shaner
Letters: Becca Carey
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: November 1st, 2022
Mary Bromfield’s having a busy week in The New Champion of Shazam! #3! She’s dealing with a huge backlash on social media after last issue’s events, arguing with her sister and brother, attending Community College and, of course, protecting Fawcett City with the Shazam powers Billy Batson handed over to her. All this and she’s still trying to find her missing parents too. And when the creepy villain Babel shows up, how will a besieged Mary take him down?
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The New Champion of Shazam! #3, along with the previous two issues, has given some great insights into Mary’s character and her current status in life. This issue, the internet rears its ugly head again, as Mary finds herself under attack at the beginning of the issue from the usual loathsome horde of incels and keyboard tough guys. Thankfully, though it irritates her, she mostly ignores it and dives back into her life again.
Her supporting cast, including her younger sister Darla, Hoppy the talking spellcasting bunny (who unfortunately is hardly seen this issue) and her favorite college professor (who she calls “Doctor G.”) make the book richer and fill in gaps in Mary’s life. I especially loved Mary’s conversation with Doctor G. this issue, as she shares a bit of her past with Mary and gives her the inspiration to fight on when Mary’s at her lowest. I can see the Doctor being a great mentor for her, someone Mary can confide in when the world’s getting to be too much. The mystery of Mary’s missing parents continues also, and Mary does some great detective work here, which leads her to meeting a surprise person who has ties to the Marvel family since their early days.
I’m not familiar with the villain Babel who pops up here. I’m not sure whether he’s a brand new character or a villain who’s appeared elsewhere, but he’s wonderfully creepy with a unique power set that gives Mary one hell of a challenge in the battle.
I love Mary’s fierceness in battle, she’s much different from Billy Batson’s Shazam, her teeth clenched, launching forward and throwing devastating punches, never seeming to hold back. She’s very intimidating in combat and she needs every bit of grit and strength against Babel. As stated above, Hoppy’s not in the book much this issue and I missed seeing the little guy. Hopefully next issue he’ll be in more scenes.
Evan “Doc” Shaner’s art on The New Champion of Shazam! #3 is his usual awesome work. His artwork always gives books a Silver Age feel. Mary is drawn very much like an “All-American girl” in her early 20’s and I appreciate that, it’s a great counterpoint to how artists have drawn her in the past to look like a model in her 30’s. The scenes set in Fawcett City and in the subway tunnels below Fawcett City are portrayed with their own unique style, showing the differences between those living in the city and below it.
The battle scenes are drawn with fury and beautiful light effects as punches are landed. Babel’s glowing light blue eyes are disturbing, and his character design reminded me a bit of Stephen Lang’s menacing character from the “Don’t Breathe” films.
Another beautiful issue with both Silver Age and modern feels.
The New Champion of Shazam! #3 continues Mary’s story with some good character moments, another epic battle with a great villain and gorgeous artwork from Evan “Doc” Shaner.