A while back buddy Jon Morris asked me if I'd be interested in contributing to what became DC Fifty-Too!, where a bunch of us have each picked a book or character from the DC Universe and made up a cover as if we were involved in the upcoming DC Comics relaunch. Surprising no one, I picked Captain Marvel and the world of SHAZAM! When I was designing and drawing it I didn't realize how small some of the elements would be when it was all put together, so I thought I'd post some closer shots here, as well as a little commentary. I'll try to keep it as short as possible.
First, I should explain that if it were up to me I probably would change little or nothing. Cap and company have been so rarely used in the comics recently that I think there's still plenty of room to explore the characters as is. This whole thing is based on the premise that I've been told to change stuff up.
In a perfect world I'd be able to call the book Captain Marvel Adventures, but since I'm pretty sure that will never happen again, I wanted to make sure I did something with the 70's Shazam! logo. The "magic" in the title is important as the book would focus heavily on magic.
I love the "World's Mightiest Mortal" badge that used to be on issues of Captain Marvel Adventures, so I wanted to do something like that. I thought sticking new words for each issue would be fun. A second issue would have said "Mystery! Suspense! High School Girls!". "Giant Robots" is on this one because I think we need more giant robot fights in comics. Speaking of which--
--I would bring back a giant Mister Atom as soon as possible. I took some visual cues from Derek Fridolf's great take on Mister Atom for this. I've gone through all the villains (I mean all of them) and done some redesigning here and there. Everybody except--
--Doctor Thaddeus Bodog Sivana. The guy's a classic so I wouldn't change a thing about him.
I wanted the Wizard Shazam to have a more unique design. There's nothing wrong with the old white/blue robe, but visually there's not much to it. So he's got more layers here and the familiar gold sash tied at the waist. Behind him you can see the Rock of Eternity and it's the same deal: just a few additions while retaining the overall look. And inside the Rock--
--the Great Hall, where the Seven Deadly Enemies of Man are kept. The six legends behind the word "SHAZAM", pictured above Shazam's seat, can also be reached directly here. The mysterious stranger would still be a part of the story.
Billy Batson is still a 12-year old orphan, and the kind of kid who says "Holy Moley!". Again, mostly a visual update.
No matter the title, I still think Cap's name should be on the cover somewhere, if for no other reason than hopefully people will eventually figure out his name isn't Shazam. Plus, I love that logo. Because I don't actually have a good shot of his full costume on the cover itself, I'm re-posting this image I did a couple weeks ago:
Finally, the girl in the bottom right corner is a character who's been around pretty much since the beginning, I've just re-purposed her here. I feel strongly that there needs to be an additional female presence in the book that isn't Billy's sister. I've made her younger for this and I'd probably change up her personality slightly, but her name remains the same. If you know your stuff you can probably figure out who it is, but if not you can always look at the name of the clip below.
Additionally, Mary, Freddy, and Adam wouldn't show up for the first 12 issues if I could help it (you can see my ideas for them here though). Same goes for the rest of the DC Universe. I do have an idea I really like for when the other Marvels show up though, something I might draw for fun eventually.
Hopefully some day I'll get to use some of these, but in the meantime this was a lot of fun to play around with. Thanks for looking!