New 52 – Justice League #21 review

If you’ve been keeping up with the Shazam back-up stories from the start and love them then this is a must-buy. If you haven’t been reading those then I suggest you hold off and pick up the graphic novel when it goes on sale in a couple of months because it really has been a fantastic story. Otherwise, readers who are looking for the actual Justice League or any sort of prelude to Trinity War should look elsewhere. I recommend today’s Justice League of America #5 (Also written by Geoff Johns) for that. There are some very big revelations in that book that will undoubtedly play a major part in next month’s Trinity War event and the September Villain’s Month event, too. The solicits said that Justice League #21 would march toward Trinity War and that the other super heroes would play some sort of role, but that is incorrect. This issue keeps the story confined to Shazam’s world alone and I think it’s a better story because of that. Geoff Johns and Gary Frank basically treated these back-ups as their idea of what a Shazam Movie should be and if it actually were a movie I would watch the hell out of it.

Anything else I have to say about this comic will go in spoiler tags, but it really is a fun read that’s once again beautifully illustrated by Gary Frank and Brad Anderson.

As much cool as it was to see Shazam lend his powers to all of his friends, I felt that his own power should have been weakened more by all of this. Otherwise, when he finally does join the Justice League, what’s to stop him from giving some magic to every member of the team? Also, by being able to give out that power so easily (as long as he apparently performs the spell properly) it makes his own ability feel a little less unique. One of the only other things that I noted as a possible mark against the book was that the story cuts away from victory over Black Adam and the destruction of the town to a picturesque Christmas morning a tad abruptly. I was reminded somewhat of the conclusion to Man of Steel (spoilers for that here) and how after all that chaos things were fine and dandy one scene later. It’s definitely more forgivable in this story though… a lot of people died in Man of Steel. A lot.

I truly feel that this was the best possible ending that this story could’ve had. I am immensely satisfied with it and I don’t think there’s any way that someone who has enjoyed these Shazam back-ups all the way up until now could be disappointed with this issue in any way, shape, or form.


All of the key aspects of the Shazam mythology that you love are here. Issue #21 of Justice League may not feature any of the actual Justice Leaguers or add anything to next month’s Trinity war event but it does give Shazam fans the finale they deserve and it also serves as an exciting setup for an ongoing series.

SCORE: 10/10