It’s the weekend of March 8 which means Captain Marvel has hit theaters. But, at the same time, DC’s Captain Marvel — Shazam — is experiencing a sort-of coming-out party of his own. The social media embargo on early reactions for David F. Sandberg’s Shazam! was lifted by Warner Bros.

Similar to Aquaman, Shazam! is receiving fulsome praise. Hailed as fun by most, it is also described as “unlike anything” Warner has done with DC comics before (which must indicate it’s better than Aquaman in the eyes of the test audiences).

Some critics could not contain their plaudits in a single tweet. Brandon Davis, a writer for ComicBook.com, raves Shazam! is a win and different but didn’t stop there. He calls it his new favorite too, saying the movie is fun, and revealing it’s unexpectedly scary.

When asked what he meant by scary, Davis’ reply suggests it was better than Venom in that respect. Not hard to believe with David Sandberg’s resume.

Davis compliments director Sandberg and the cast. Jack Dylan Grazer (Freddy Freeman) gets his highest seal of approval: show stealer.

Editor-in-Chief at JoBlo.com, Paul Shirey, is next up with his elated reaction. Shirey admits he lost track while recalling one-liners, the score (and its John Williams feel), and performances, noting the “obvious” tip of the hat to the 80s. He echoes the view Shazam! is fun, new, and distinct — and that Grazer is one of the best parts of the film.

Shirey reveals Shazam! “lives” or ties into DC’s Extended Universe, something we reported weeks back. And, despite reports of the studio’s new direction, maybe quite overt about DCEU continuity. Furthermore, he says to stay around for the credits (hinting at a predicted Superman cameo perhaps).

Steven Weintraub of Collider agrees the film is reverent to 80s movies — making reference to the usual comparison, Big — and tweets highly about the cast (including Grazer), as well as the fun factor of the whole “romp.” The movie “they set out to make,” he says.

Contrary to Shirey, Weintraub doesn’t think it fits so neatly into the DCEU, not that Billy Batson and his friends have to. It’s a win for DC/Warner either way in his book.

It’s worth noting, beyond Big, Ghostbusters, and Superman, there are those comparing Shazam! to a similarly lighthearted and sardonic good guy at Marvel: Deadpool. The Merc With A Mouth was a genuinely surprising hit for Fox and Marvel. Between projections and tracking of early ticket sales, DC’s classic bearer of the title Captain Marvel and his first solo film look to be on the path to the same level of success.

The early reactions don’t deny. You can look at more of that glowing feedback from critics and news sites below.

Shazam! opens April 5.

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  • About The Author

    JB Augustine

    Writer, journalist, comic reader. I cover all things DC and Godzilla. Fan since Batman TAS was brand new. Favorite character is between Swamp Thing and Darkwing Duck.

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