Since 1939, Billy Batson has been the only one to carry the mantle of the thunder-wielding hero Shazam. Though he’s got a new movie on the horizon, DC Comics has decided that there should be a new hero to carry the title, and that’s where his sister Mary Bromfield comes in.
Announced by Polygon yesterday, DC’s releasing a new miniseries from Josie Campbell (She-Ra) and beloved comics artist Evan “Doc” Shaner called The New Champion of Shazam!. After Billy’s recent sacrifice left their entire superheroic Shazam family powerless, Mary’s trying to adjust to being a normal college freshman. But then the former Mary Marvel gets a message from a talking rabbit with some interesting news: Billy’s picked her as the new Champion.
“‘Who Mary is’ the very heart of this comic,” Campbell told Polygon, adding that the book would explore her feelings about the various situations in her life she was forced into. “It’s really shining a light on her and her wants and her desires — as somebody who was part of a superhero team, doesn’t have her powers, gets them back, and then she’s got a lot of choices suddenly displayed in front of her that she’s gonna have to make real fast.”
Despite being a huge fan of the character, Shaner told Polygon that he never had real interest in returning to anything related to Shazam since 2015's Convergence event. But he always thought that Mary should be the lead of a book. “That was the one time I would return if it ever happened.” Though Mary co-starred in 1973's Shazam! and 1995's The Power of Shazam!, she hasn’t actually headlined a book on her own since 1945's Mary Marvel. Shaner definitely understands the opportunity the duo have for the character. “We’re hoping to have the fun and the creative energy behind so much of the early stuff that [creator Otto] Binder did,” he said. “But we also want to bring that to a more modern audience and try to make it more relatable to kids or young adults today.” Check out the cover from Shaner below, which sees Mary fully embrace the responsibility thrust upon her.
The New Champion of Shazam will begin its four-issue run on February 8, 2022.
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