If you are looking to read the Captain Marvel bronze age series but don't want to spend a lot of money doing it, then the DC Showcase Presents: Shazam! is for you! This compilation of Cap's comics from the bronze age is a wonderful resource which I highly recommend. Here's a brief review of this book to point out a few of the pros and cons.
Let me begin with the cons of this book.
- The first thing you'll notice is that it is in all black and white! The only color in the entire book is on the cover.
- Another con is that it does not collect the entire '70s series. It does collect 94% of them (#1 through #33), but it doesn't include issues #34 and #35 (the final two issues of the series).
- Also, a lot of the stories included in the '70s series were reprints from Whiz comics, Captain Marvel Adventures, The Marvel Family, etc. None of these reprinted stories are included, only the new stories written in the '70s are in this book. (That could be a pro or con, depending on how you look at it!) Keep in mind that some issues were made up completely of reprint stories (for example, issue #8) so you will only find the cover in the pages of this book!
- One final drawback is there are two glaring omissions. You won't find the cover for issue #25 (Isis) nor will you find the story of Cap and the Mighty Isis' first meeting from issue #25. It does print "The Bicentennial Man" story from issue #25, but for some reason it omits the one collectors would really be looking for with TV's Isis.
- The first benefit of this book is you get to read almost the entire bronze age series of Captain Marvel at a fraction of the cost it would take you to purchase the individual comics. For example, a copy of Shazam! #1 can cost anywhere from $18 to $60 . A copy of Shazam! #25 (Isis) runs $19 to over $250! A copy of Shazam! #28 (Black Adam) runs $100 to $500. Even a regular issue can cost you around $3.00 and that's not counting shipping and handling if you buy it on-line!
- Not only are Captain Marvel's '70s stories in this book, there are also Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel Jr. stories included as well!
- Convenience is a huge benefit of this book. You can have almost every story in one publication. You can read at your leisure and bookmark where you're at without having to go from individual issue to individual issue.
- One final thing that is a plus for me is the cover. The cover is by Bob Oksner taken from Shazam! #16 which is one of my personal favorites.
So there you have the cons and pros for the DC Showcase Presents: Shazam! I purchased a copy of this a few months ago on eBay and have really enjoyed using it to read through Captain Marvel's bronze age adventures. If you are looking for an affordable reader that gives you 94% of Captain Marvel's bronze age adventures (1972 - 1979) then I highly recommend you get a copy of DC Showcase Presents: Shazam! I hope you've found this brief review helpful!