#2361: Shazam!

SHAZAM!

DC HEROES UNITE (SPIN MASTER)

In the ’40s and ’40s, Fawcett Comics’ Captain Marvel (now more commonly known as Shazam) was outselling pretty much anything else in the comics market, including National Publications’ (later DC Comics) Superman.  National wasn’t much of a fan of this, and launched a lawsuit positing that Captain Marvel was in fact an illegal infringement on National’s Superman.  In a case that it is widely agreed wouldn’t hold water these days, National successfully defended this point, and Fawcett was forced to cease publication of Captain Marvel, and in fact shut down entirely.  Years later, the character would return, now under National/DC’s banner, and…unable to use his real name on the cover of any book he appeared in, since Marvel Comics had grabbed the title in the time the character was out of publication.  He sort of puttered around in the background of the DCU for a good long while, but has seen something of a resurgence in the last few years, thanks in no small part to the success of the Shazam movie last year.  It’s thanks to this resurgence that Shazam is a natural choice for the launch of Spin Master’s DC product!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Shazam is part of the first assortment of Spin Master’s DC Heroes Unite line, as one of the more common figures in the line-up.  He’s seen here in his current costume, which is the one he’s been sporting since the New 52 relaunch.  It doesn’t quite have the same cleanness of the original design, but it works well enough.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 17 points of articulation.  Shazam is sporting an all-new sculpt, and it’s pretty much on par with the rest of the line so far.  It’s a solid recreation of the character, with a little bit of a stylization to it that works pretty well for this type of line.  I like that, like Superman and Nightwing, he’s got his own distinct build; he’s actually the largest of the ones I’ve looked at (well, excepting King Shark, of course), which feels right given the usual depictions in the comics.  The head manages to really capture that “child in an adult’s body” aspect that the character needs, and the body works in a lot of costume specific details that I honestly wasn’t expecting to see given the other two figures I looked at.  Perhaps the only real downside is the figure’s cape; it’s a rather cheap, very flat piece of almost paper-like cloth.  It’s not terrible, but it does connect to the back a little bit awkwardly, and it’s not so aesthetically pleasing when you view the connection head-on.  From the front, though, it looks alright, and given the price point we’re dealing with here, it doesn’t pull me out of things too badly.  Shazam’s paint work is pretty basic, but for the most part pretty decent.  The only slight issue with mine is that the right boot doesn’t seem to have gotten quite as much coverage as the left, so they’re a little uneven.  Shazam is packed with an electricity effect, a girder, and (coolest of all) a little Billy Batson figurine.  The coloring on these accessories indicates that he’s got the “Metropolis Mayhem” selection.  Regardless of the coloring, I think this is probably the coolest selection of accessories so far on these guys.  There’s also the collector’s card like we saw with the other two figures.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

My Dad was kind enough to pick this guy up for me.  I had shown him the Superman and Nightwing, and he wanted a Superman of his own, and came across this guy at the same time.  I really dig him just like I’ve really dug the other releases I’ve picked up.  Of the two new DC licensees, I gotta say, I’m really feeling the output of Spin Master a bit more than McFarlane.  I’m definitely down for more of the line.

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