I was checking out DC Comics’ June solicitations this morning.Â This is, of course, their list of books coming out in June.Â Well, I was about halfway through the list of largely mainstream superhero books when I spotted it.Â It’s a series that’s been going for eight issues and sports the silliest, most ridiculous title known to mankind.
Trials of Shazam!
Now, I won’t go into too much detail about Shazam because, frankly, I don’t know a lot.Â He’s one of DC’s mightier heroes, and I think he’s somehow related to Captain Marvel, Kid Marvel, Mary Marvel, Isn’t it a Marvel? and Marvelthorp the slack-jawed super-yokel.Â Unless they’ve changed continuity (which never happens), all of these characters change into their superpowered identities by yelling SHAZAM!
Trials, on the other hand, suggests either great toil or a legal matter of some importance.Â There’s a strong sense of drama there.Â That drama is all stripped away by the words “of Shazam.”
IÂ hear “trial,” and I think of some serious matters.
IÂ hear “Shazam!” and I remember how good Beyonce Knowles looked as Foxy Cleopatra in Austin Powers: Goldmember.
Now, this isn’t the first time comics have butted the serious and silly up against each other.Â It’s one of the reasons we love them so.Â Spider-Man deals with real world issues of being a broke loser (who happens to be married to an actress and super model) while dressed like a complete twit.Â One of his villains, The Rhino, is an angry man dressed like a rhinocerous.Â DC has the murderous monsters Mr. Freeze and Captain Cold (or something like that), and Marvel has Stilt Man.Â Stilt Man!
But still, comics are about (or probably should be about) big, dumb fun.Â As much as Marvel and DC editorial would like to think so, we don’t read about superheros for the gritty realism.
But Trials of Shazam?Â C’mon!