Beloved comics writer and artist Jerry Ordway, best known for his work on DC titles like The Adventures of Superman, The Power of Shazam!, and Infinity Inc., rang in the new year by sharing a Shazam! sketch cover with his social media followers, dedicating it to the director and star of the upcoming Shazam! movie.
Besides having written and drawn dozens of Shazam! comics over the years, Ordway has been a go-to for Warner Bros. whenever the character gains visibility: he painted a cover and promotional poster for the Shazam!: The Complete Series DVD for Warner Archive when it was released on video in 2012.
Ordway's Twitter feed is a treasure trove of new and old sketches, eBay auctions, process art dating back decades, and more. Captain Marvel/Shazam! is a frequent presence in the timeline due to Ordway's long relationship with the character.
David Sandberg, who will direct the film, has name-dropped Ordway a few times in the run-up to production as an influence, or at least a creator whose Shazam! work readers should try. Much of Ordway's run on The Power of Shazam! is currently unavailable in print, although fans can buy digital copies on ComiXology, and physical back issues are likely inexpensive at most comics specialty stores.
Shazam! centers on Billy Batson, a child who can harness godlike powers and transform himself into an adult superhero by saying the magic word "Shazam!" and being struck by magical lightning.
Warner Bros. will release the Shazam! movie through its New Line imprint, which has called into question the extent to which it will cross over with the other DC movies. Sandberg has been working quietly on the film for a while, with star Zachary Levi (who will play the title superhero) beginning work this month and Asher Angel, who plays the young Billy Batson, coming along in February.
Shazam! is currently in production, aiming for a release date of April 5, 2019.