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The Power of Shazam!
Original Airdate - February 19th, 2010 (Online); April 2nd, 2010 (US Cable)
Batman teams with Captain Marvel, the superhero alter ego of the young Billy Batson, to battle Dr. Sivana and Black Adam, who wish to usurp the magic of Shazam that gives Billy his power.

Written by Steven Melching
Directed by Ben Jones
Animation by Dongwoo Animation Co., LTD.
Review by Andrew
Media by Warner Bros. Animation
Diedrich Bader as Batman
Jeff Bennet as Captain Marvel
John DiMaggio as Black Adam
Laraine Newman as Ms. Minerva
Jim Piddock as Dr. Sivana / Shazam
Roger Rose as Whiz Reporter
Tara Strong as Mary Batson / Billy Batson

Theme Written and Performed by Andy Strumer
Music by Michael McCuisition, Lolita Ritmanis, Kristopher Carter

Furthering the ongoing saga of the Starro invasion, this time the teaser gives us a bit more dramatic exposition to Starro’s impending arrival, without actually revealing anything more than what we already knew. This was both interesting, and slightly disappointing. I love the serial take on a continuing story, but what I would have liked to see in this is more exposition on who Starro’s herald is. We know he’s apparently very powerful; a seemingly undefeatable opponent, with no face, and maybe not much else is known. However, at least give us insight into his beginnings of becoming Starro’s herald. Maybe that will come later, though. For now, it seems that they’re coming to an end point with the teaser serial, as now it seems as though every hero on the planet other than the ones involved with the main story are now under Starro’s influence - and Red Tornado is dead. Again. Odd for his only season 2 appearance, and his only appearance since “Hail of the Tornado Tyrant,” which I felt was grating but certainly not worth killing him over. Although, it seems that being destroyed is something of a schtick for the character, and the episode’s writer has held a playful vendetta to destroy the gutsy, err, gusty hero for a long time. Overall, it was a well done addition to the Starro saga, but to use an antiquated quote, “who was that masked stranger?”

Shazam, or Captain Marvel as he’s only allowed to be called in comics, makes his first main story debut since being featured in the teaser of “Death Race to Oblivion,” at the start of the season. As per usual, this involves a dip into the debut hero’s origins and this quickly immerses itself quite deeply in them, but with a twist, as it’s not specifically the origins of Billy Batson getting the power of Shazam. Rather, we’re introduced to a mad scientist and his two very ugly children as they find a way to summon the original “Champion” of Shazam’s power: Black Adam.

To be honest, I have never found Captain Marvel to be an interesting hero in anyway, and always felt that it’s scraping the bottom of the barrel when he shows up. However, the way they use him throughout this episode, as well the introduction of Black Adam, and the fantastic brawl scenes between them, really made me reconsider. I’m still not a fan of him, but this episode was written in such a way that fan or not, it’s a highly enjoyable watch and must see if you have ever been curious about Captain Marvel’s origins. I was actually left hoping we see more of him. I have to note, however, that despite not being a fan of the character I was still vaguely familiar with the existence of his sister, and found the ending to be a bit too predictable, but heart touching nonetheless. Recommend!

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