DC's Future State relaunch has undeniably been full of surprises, but the pages of Future State: Shazam! have been something else entirely. The two-issue miniseries has turned the dynamic between Billy Batson and his adult superhero counterpart on its head, and the end result has had dark and fascinating consequences throughout the DC universe. After Shazam! left multiple bodies in his wake in the series' first issue, the second culminated with an equally-significant event. Spoilers for Future State: Shazam! #2, from Tim Sheridan, Eduardo Pansica, Julio Ferreira, Marcelo Maiolo, and Rob Leigh below! Only look if you want to know!
The issue opened with Shazam! being held captive by the Justice League of America, after they discovered that his dark mood has led to the murders of Johnny Thunder, The Creeper, and more. Unbeknownst to the team, Shazam! was operating that way after striking a literal deal with the devil -- in this case, Neron -- which would require Billy Batson to remain in Hell as its guardian, while Shazam! did Neron's bidding on Earth.
After escaping from their captivity, Shazam! was then apprehended by The Spectre, who took him to the JSA's headquarters and tried to get to the root of his problem. Spectre then tapped into Shazam!'s mind and was able to see the truth of his and Neron's deal, and also that Neron was manipulating Shazam! into seeing evil threats that weren't really there. Just as Spectre began to announce the truth, Shazam! stabbed him in the abdomen -- killing him with a shard of the Spear of Destiny just as the other members of the JLA arrived.
Even though The Spectre is just one of several deaths in the pages of Future State: Shazam!, it's still a significant one. For one thing, Spectre's corporeal form would theoretically make him way more difficult to kill, which makes Shazam!'s ability to do so all the more shocking. In addition, Spectre's death scene provides some pivotal insight into exactly why Shazam! has been causing so many people's deaths -- which only makes the events of the rest of the issue all the more heartbreaking.
What do you think of The Spectre's death in the pages of DC's Future State: Shazam!? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!