Shazam!

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Happy Harleydays, Jul 21, 2018.

  1. The Realist

    The Realist Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Personally, it doesn't seem to me that letting racists dictate how we handle our art and history is the best way to fight them.
     
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  2. matthunter

    matthunter Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Hey, quick comic question - have we ever seen whether Billy's lightning bolt is subject to the same rules as regular ones? It's magical (so it'll hurt Superman even if regular lightning wouldn't), but how much? If he squared off against a super with the power to control lightning, could they redirect the bolt? Or could an electromagnetic forcefield block it (if it was used offensively, which Billy has done in the comics by calling the bolt and then super-speeding out of the way)?

    I'm assuming it forms whatever distance away from Billy is needed to not actually travel "from the sky", since he can transform indoors, so I'm betting you couldn't lock him in a Faraday cage to prevent him changing.
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Hmm, I dunno about any of that, but it just occurred to me... One interesting thing about lightning is that the visible stroke of light is actually traveling upward from ground to cloud, following the cloud-to-ground ionization path that formed invisibly. So by analogy, maybe the lightning bolt that transforms Billy/Captain Marvel is actually coming out of him rather than going into him, which is why it works indoors.
     
  4. The Kai "the spy" Holiday Special

    The Kai "the spy" Holiday Special Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Not enough:
     
  5. YLu

    YLu Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Alex Ross has an amusing anecdote about this huge argument he had with Elliot Maggin about how the lightning worked. In Kingdom Come, which Ross co-plotted, Marvel zaps Superman with his magic lightning like in that video. Ross' intent was that he was summoning the lightning like normal but then using super-speed to move out of its way, so that it'd hit Superman. But Maggin, who was writing the Kingdom Come novelization, felt it made no sense for the spell to be able to miss its target and wanted to interpret those scenes as Marvel mentally willing the lightning in Superman's direction, like an extra superpower.

    The way Ross tells it, the two got into this ridiculous all-perspective-lost argument about it, two grown man roaring and fuming at each other about how magic lightning is supposed to work, dammit.
     
  6. White Chrimble

    White Chrimble Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

    How it works is going to vary by continuity and by writers in the same continuity. I recall a '90s guest appearance in The Flash in which Wally was trying to rescue Billy from being hit by the lightning, and the lightning followed them horizontally.

    I also recall a '70s Shazam! comic story in which Cap was transformed back into Billy by lightning generated by a supervillain...suggesting that any lightning would do.
     
  7. JD

    JD Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    How much did they alter it? Did they completely change it or just kind of censor out the offensive parts. Between altering the original or not rereleasing it, I'm honestly not sure which option is less bad. I hate to see stuff changed like that, but at least it is still being released.
    That is a good point I hadn't considered.
     
  8. The Realist

    The Realist Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It was typically an isolated panel or two here and there featuring African-American characters in minor roles. DC altered both the art and dialogue to be less caricatured and stereotypical.
     
  9. YLu

    YLu Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    So was the intended collection intended for general audiences as a tie-in to the film, or was it an archival project intended for the comic history buffs? Because I think that makes a difference.
     
  10. Skipper

    Skipper Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    This is from the 1978's comics Superman Vs Shazam!
    [​IMG]
    And, like the thought balloon says, Black Adam had already used this trick on Captain Marvel.
     
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  11. theenglish

    theenglish Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think the key for me is that this is not a release to public historical archives--is it? If a property like the cartoons or the old Captain Marvel comic is being released commercially then it is being released for profit. If it is being released into the public domain then it is being released to the historical record.
     
  12. Enterprise is Great

    Enterprise is Great Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That sounds like it could be a scene from an episode of The Big Bang Theory.
     
  13. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    It does. I doubt that DC is worried about fifty-year-old collectors and comics historians not understanding the historical context. They're probably worried about the book falling into the hands of unsuspecting kids and parents after it gets shelved at the local library with the other graphic novels or put on display at the neighborhood comic book shop.

    "Say, Jimmy. Isn't this the hero from that SHAZAM movie you liked? The Monster Society of Evil looks like good, clean, innocent fun . . . . OH MY GOD. THIS IS SO RACIST!!!!"
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
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  14. FormerLurker

    FormerLurker Commodore Commodore

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    I finally figured out what bothers me so much about this new film.

    The whole "Greatest American Hero" vibe of Billy/Cap/'Shazam' needing to learn by trial and error how to use his powers. The whole point behind the Wisdom of Solomon is that he shouldn't need to do that. I haven't even considered the idea that Billy here is a jerk, and therefore the opposite of what the wizard would want in a successor.

    I don't know that I'll see this before it gets to home video, and may wait quite a while even then, especially if it doesn't do well enough to generate sequel potential.
     
  15. Morpheus 02

    Morpheus 02 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In the early days of Marvel films I similarly dismissed Thor in the same way...

    I think it will be a mistake to do the same...and the updates will make sense in the context of the film
     
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I think you're confusing wisdom with knowledge. They're not the same thing. Wisdom doesn't mean knowing facts or knowing how to do things. It means good judgment and insight -- understanding how to do the right thing, and why it's the right thing to do. A character can be intelligent but lack wisdom (e.g. Dr. Frankenstein) or can be uneducated but have considerable wisdom (e.g. Jed Clampett).

    Besides, how interesting is a story where the hero instantly knows how to do everything and doesn't have a learning curve?
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
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  17. The Kai "the spy" Holiday Special

    The Kai "the spy" Holiday Special Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Watched the trailer again, and the whole "everybody picks flying, because heroes fly", and Billy failing in his attempt to fly makes me think he won't fly until the end of the movie.
     
  18. FormerLurker

    FormerLurker Commodore Commodore

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    I don't mind that. But the trailer makes it seem as if the learning curve is the story, at least until Sivana shows up. Unless that happens early on, making the learning curve steep and full of necessary intensity, I don't see the story as being engaging. I love the idea of Captain Marvel (I'll never call him Shazam, that's the wizard[Mentor in the live action TV show]) being light-hearted, but he should never be silly. That potentially talks down to the audience in a very insulting manner, especially if done wrong.
     
  19. Corpus Christi

    Corpus Christi Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It's a radical idea, I know, but I tend to wait until after knowing what the story is before judging it, including deciding whether I find it engaging.

    The first trailer to The Empire Strikes Back made it seem like Luke and Leia would be romantically involved.



    That's not a complaint, by the way, because that trailer is one of the greatest and most exciting trailers of all time.

    For one of the greatest and funniest parody trailers of all time, consider "Shining":



    No, not a real trailer, but in its extremes a nice illustration of how trailers can be utterly misleading.
     
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  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Any major movie these days has multiple trailers, each one focusing on a different aspect of the film. And the first trailer for a movie like this usually comes out before the VFX work is finished, so it has to exclude most of the big action/FX set pieces and focus more on just setting the stage. So no single trailer, especially an early one, should be assumed to be an accurate representation of the tone and emphasis of the entire film.

    For comparison, here's the first teaser trailer for Ant-Man:



    Most of the footage is from the first act, there are hardly any VFX shots, it's mostly serious with only a little levity, and it focuses almost entirely on establishing the characters and their situation rather than revealing the actual plot of the film. It's very, very unlike the final film. The first Shazam! trailer seems extremely similar -- showing footage that's almost entirely from the first half of the film, offering only the barest glimpse of the main villain or the crisis the hero has to face, and having virtually no visual effects shots because they haven't been finished yet. This is how trailers work these days. There are recurring patterns that can be learned with a little observation and memory.