Billy Batson & The Magic Of Shazam #14 was a very enjoyable issue. This title is remarkable in that it gets better with each issue. Balthazar & Franco have crafted a good story in an entertaining style.
I understand Captain Nazi is sort of a relic of the past, and there is a strong argument for updating or revising Freddy's origin. I always felt the natural way to go would be to just substitute Black Adam for Captain Nazi. But when it was revealed lesser known villain Firefly would be responsible for Freddy being crippled (in an incident that happens "off-panel", at that) and when I first heard Freddy Freeman, in this continuity, would become Black Adam Jr, I thought "oh no...DC is screwing it up again". But I found the story to be very enjoyable. Especially good was the scene where Adam Black tempts Freddy with power, as well as the humorous appearance of Mr Tawny. Something I cannot say for Trials Of Shazam, Day Of Vengence, Countdown, and all the other lack luster Marvel Family appearances over the last few years.
Mike Norton's art is also very strong in this issue. It has an animated quality that is a little whimsical, but still is heroic enough to compare favorably with the likes of Darwyn Cooke. I cannot wait to see where the Freddy Freeman storyline goes and how it ends up, and if I will still be as supportive of this title when the arc is completed. Would I like to see an on-going Captain Marvel title based on the version of the character in Alex Ross' Justice mini-series? You bet. That would be the ultimate. But for now, I have to say Billy Batson & The Magic Of Shazam is a title I look forward to reading each month, and is better than Jerry Ordway's Power Of Shazam title after issue 12 (when it "jumped the shark").
The last decade, with the exception of Power Of Hope and Justice, has been miserable for the World's Mightiest Family. But with a near perfect appearance on Batman The Brave & The Bold, and the stellar Billy Batson & The Magic Of Shazam title each month, and the Captain Marvel movie off on the horizon, it looks like this new decade ("the teens", I guess it will be called?) is certainly off to a great start!
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