DC has posted some solicitation info and preview pages for Judd Winick's upcoming Trials of Shazam mini-series over on their fancy inter-ma-net site. I'm trying to keep an open mind about things, and I don't want to rush to judgment before I read the full story because I certainly don't want to be, you know, That Guy (though I've exhibited a fair amount of That Guy-ness in the past re: DC's handling of Captain Marvel), but the preview left me feeling kind of worried that they're going to screw up one of my favorite characters in an attempt to make him More Serious. Again. And, to quote the great 20th century pundit Rocket J. Squirrel, "But that trick never works!"
But I'm not alone in this, thankfully. Both Ragnell and The Fortress Keeper express their own fears, and they're, you know, actually good at this blogging stuff. And so does Walt at The Marvel Family Web (scroll down to the May 3rd entry, which contains some spoilers from Infinite Crisis #7). That takes away a little of the sting of That Guy-osity. So I've got that going for me, which is nice.
So between the script, which as Ragnell points out, sounds entirely too much like bad slash fanfic* (with this and the creepy child molester vibe of that last scene in the First Thunder mini, I'm a little scared to think about what goes through ol' Judd's mind when he writes this stuff), and the art from Howard Porter - whose work I usually like, but here it looks like that bad computer-generated art in the old Batman: Digital Justice graphic novel - I'm left anticipating Jeff Smith's long-promised-for-forever-and-a-day Monster Society of Evil project more than ever. After enjoying First Thunder (except for that last scene - CREEEEEEEEPY!), I was cautiously optimistic about The Trials of Shazam. After seeing this preview, I'm just cautious.
Damn, I'm getting more and more "Comics were better back in the day!" all the time. I'm becoming that which I've always feared: a Cranky Old Bastard of Popular Culture. Hey you kids, stay outta my comic boxes!
*Is that redundant?