As production on Shazam! picks up speed, audiences are trying to prepare for the DC Extended Universe debut of the lesser-known DC Comics hero. Now, the film's director is offering his recommendations of what comics to read to get familiar with the titular hero.
After being asked by a fan on Twitter what titles they should check out to get ready for Shazam!, David F. Sandberg replied with a series of suggestions that cover the character's origins all the way up to Shazam's current incarnation. He also offers up a suggestion that fans should check out "Flashpoint," just to get acquainted with Shazam's alternate timeline version, Captain Thunder.
This one is a good sampler since you get the origin as well as various newer takes from Jerry Ordway, Jeff Smith, Geoff Johns & Gary Frank, etc. They’re not all full stories though. pic.twitter.com/75X0VEsC6n— David F. Sandberg (@ponysmasher) December 18, 2017
Sandberg's suggestions -- which other than "Flashpoint" are all trade collections of Shazam stories -- may help fans get a good understanding of who the character is ahead of, but could also give fans some insight as to Sandberg's take on the character. While the fan specifically asked for suggestions that wouldn't give anything away, the Swedish director himself had to do some reading to familiarize himself with Shazam as he said earlier this year that his understanding of Shazam largely came from the Justice League.
"It wasn't a character I grew up with," Sandberg said. "It was published in Sweden, where I'm from, in the '70s, so it's a little before my time. So, I only knew him from the Justice League. It's not until now that I'm getting into the comics and reading a lot of the old ones, the Geoff Johns ones, The Power of Shazam, and looking at a bunch of animation. So, I'm really getting to know the character."
And despite Sandberg suggesting fans familiarize themselves with the New 52 portrayal of Shazam and Billy Batson, the director has already made clear that there will be differences in how Billy Batson is portrayed in Shazam! In the New 52, Billy is a pretty terrible foster kid and Sandberg was clear on Twitter last week that Billy wouldn't be "a huge dickhead" in the film like he is in the New 52. It's an assertion that seems to fit with the "Big with super powers" comparison that the film has already received.
Shazam! currently has a 3.69 out of 5 ComicBook.com User Anticipation Rating, making it the 13th most anticipated upcoming comic book movie among ComicBook.com Users. Let us know how excited you are about Shazam! by giving the movie your own personal ComicBook.com User Anticipation Rating below.
Shazam! will open in theaters on April 5, 2019.
Justice League is now playing in theaters. Other upcoming DC Extended Universe films include Aquaman on December 21, 2018, Wonder Woman 2 on November 1, 2019, Cyborg in 2020, and Green Lantern Corps in 2020.