It looks like DC s set to replace Billy Batson with a “New Champion of Shazam”, as a new solicit for an upcoming series of the same name has revealed the publisher’s plans to elevate his sister to the role of Earth’s Mightiest Mortal.
In an exclusive preview of the new ongoing, indeed titled The New Champion of Shazam! and written by Josie Campbell with art from Evan “Doc” Shaner, Polygon reports that the book will see Mary Marvel takes over the responsibilites of the Wizard’s chosen one.
This isn’t unprecedented for her: after making her first appearance in Fawcett Comics’ Captain Marvel Adventures #18 (1942), she soon appeared in her own comic by creators Otto Binder and Marc Swayze lasting for 28 issues from 1945 to 1948.
“It’s been so long since she had her own book, since before she was a DC property,” said Shaner. “We’re hoping to have the fun and the creative energy behind so much of the early stuff that Binder did, but bring that to a more modern audience and try to make it more relatable to kids or young adults today.”
“For a long time I just didn’t have any interest in returning to anything Shazam related,” Shaner added. “But I always thought Mary should be the lead of the book for a while; and that was the one time I would return if it ever happened.”
Campbell explained who Mary is and wants to be “is the very heart of this comic,” but so are “roles that she’s either been forced into or has willingly joined into.”
“It’s really shining a light on her and her wants and her desires — as somebody who was part of a superhero team, doesn’t have her powers, gets them back, and then she’s got a lot of choices suddenly displayed in front of her that she’s gonna have to make real fast,” said Campbell.
The New Champion of Shazam! #1 goes on sale in February.
A synopsis for the series, as provided by DC, can be read below:
“Mary Bromfield has always struggled to determine who she is outside her family … kinda hard to do when you’re all superheroes! Now, after Billy Batson’s heroic sacrifice, the power of Shazam has vanished, and she’s been left powerless.
“Most heroes would be distraught, but not Mary. It’s finally time for a voyage of self-discovery as she prepares for her freshman year of college and a civilian life. But nothing is ever truly normal for this young hero, because she’s just been chosen as the new champion of Shazam! (At least according to a talking rabbit sent by her estranged brother Billy.) Will she embrace the power? Or will it die alongside this world’s hope of survival against the mysterious magical forces waiting to take control?”
Are you excited to see Mary Marvel step up to fill the Big Red Cheese’s shoes? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!