Magic and Monsters Collide when Shazam Makes LEGO Debut

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Shazam - Magic and Monsters

We saw this hinted at in the last LEGO BATMAN animated movie, FAMILY MATTERS. It was more than just an Easter Egg when Batman received assistance from a young boy named Billy Batson, as was revealed in the movie's after-credits scene that showed Billy boarding a mysterious subway car that whisked him away.

And now here we are with the introduction of Shazam into the DC LEGO universe, and it's more fun than it's ever been. In fact, if anything, LEGO nails the Shazam character even better than Warner Brothers did with the live-action movie! Billy (voiced by Zach Callison) is an orphan but an all-around nice kid. And it's because he's so helpful that the Wizard (Ralph Garman) takes notice of him, endowing him with the powers that turn him into Shazam (Sean Astin). LEGO even takes advantage of their traditional style of humor to poke fun at some of the convoluted history of Shazam. For instance, the wizard points out that Billy has to say the name "with purpose" in order for the magic to work -- otherwise he'd never be able to introduce himself to anyone! (This was an ongoing problem for Captain Marvel Junior, who originally changed from Freddy Freeman by saying the words "Captain Marvel.") And speaking of Captain Marvel, before Shazam's name becomes public, Perry White wants to pin a name on this new hero -- pointing out that his chin looks like it's been sculpted from marble, and proposes calling him "Captain Marble" before Jimmy Olsen interjects that the name has already been taken.

Shazam's activities bring him to the attention of the Justice League -- Superman (Nolan North), Wonder Woman (Grey Griffin), Batman (Troy Baker), Flash (James Arnold Taylor), and Green Lantern Jessica Cruz (Cristina Milizia) -- who want to induct him into their ranks. He's exuberant about the opportunity, until the three qualifications for membership are explained to him--the third being "Not A Kid." They then say they need to show mutual trust with Shazam, so they all unmask in front of him, except for Batman. Billy runs away without revealing his identity, because he is afraid to reveal to them that he actually is just a kid when he's not a superhero.

But when the evil worm Mister Mind (Jonny Rees) turns the Justice League members into children so that he can control their young minds, it's up to Shazam and Batman...er...Batboy to come up with a plan to save them! Batman learns he has to lean on Shazam -- if for no other reason than that his feet can no longer reach the gas pedals of the Batmobile. Of course, Shazam doesn't know how to drive at all, let alone a stick, so the clutch-grinding, start-stop, "just stay off the freeway" journey to the Batcave is one every parent with teenagers can relate to. Once at the cave, Shazam finally decides he has to trust Batman, and they bond over Billy's being an orphan with no family. Batman reveals his face, and Alfred mistakes him for Damian.

Working together, Shazam and Batman must override Mister Mind's mind-control and turn the League once more into adults. Shazam's magic is up to that last task, resulting temporarily in a Justice League of Shazams -- which they need when a monstrously transformed Mister Mind ends up freeing Black Adam (Imari Williams) from his prison in the Rock of Eternity!

SHAZAM: MAGIC AND MONSTERS is pure escapism -- lighthearted supehero fun with adventure and laughs. If you're a fan of the character, you certainly won't be disappointed in this release, no matter how old you are.

 

Grade: 
4.0 / 5.0