When Smallville started, people weren’t sure what to make of it. It went on to last ten years, and now we remember it fondly. Well, mostly. Then came Arrow, a show starring a character that the majority of people didn’t know about at the time, outside of some appearances in cartoons. Now, we have The Flash speeding in, and NBC’s Constantine, and FOX’s Gotham. That may seem like a lot, yet it really isn’t. Which is why we need another show, this one to be headlined by a character that truly deserves the spotlight after so many years of being held down.
So why Shazam? Honestly, there are numerous reasons I could tell you, but for sake of the length of this post, I’ll keep it brief. Now, to be clear, this isn’t just some random fanboy-crazy notion; I honestly want this, and I know other fans do as well (I’ve asked them). To that end, I’ve written scripts, and I’ve even had concept art made for this idea. You’ll see those posters below, and I’ll talk about my scripts. I hope that by the end of this article you’ll want it as well, and you’ll help me make this happen.
So, shall we get started? Good, let’s begin with the obvious question.
Well, it honestly comes down to the same reasons I believe Green Arrow was chosen for his own show: Potential and flexibility.
When you think of Green Arrow, you’ll eventually end up making ties to Batman. When you think of Shazam, you’ll (sadly) eventually end up making ties to Superman. Yet, as any fan would tell you, they’re entirely different characters.
I could list the differences, but that would take up too much time. Shazam especially has been hampered by the shadow of Superman for years. Only recently has he truly begun to emerge as his own character, thanks in no small part to Geoff Johns, who revitalized the hero as part of the New 52, and made him a truly epic character once again.
And just like Arrow has proved how awesome Oliver Queen is, I think Shazam! could show off Billy Batson in a way that will make it nearly impossible to compare him to the Man of Steel.
So the next question must be…
What’s the Hook?
As with any TV show, this one needs a hook. With Shazam! it’s honestly quite easy, at least in my mind. Unlike Arrow, and more than The Flash, Shazam! will be able to show off the fantastic characters that call the DCU home. And by “fantastic,” I mean the magical and cosmic characters. Why them? Well, because it kind of fits with who Shazam is now. He’s not just Earth’s Mightiest Mortal, he’s a pure being of magic. By bringing in characters of this ilk, you’ll keep the show (mostly) separated from The Flash and Arrow, and still be able to have some epic fun.
Now some of you are no doubt saying, “Uh, what about Constantine? He’s magic.” Very true; he is. But honestly? I think he should be kept out of the greater DC universe in his NBC show. He’s had an incredible run in his own title during its time under the Vertigo banner. It lasted hundreds of issues, had plenty of mythology, and rarely, if ever, crossed paths with the rest of the DCU. With Shazam!, though, you can have any number of magical/cosmic beings pop in, and no one would really bat an eye.
In my scripts, I highlight how magic is coming back to the world once more, after the wizard sealed it away as best he could. Fawcett City is soon going to be the magical crossroads, if you will, for a lot of interesting characters. And Billy is going to meet them all.
Examples? Well I think this pic should at least let you know two…
Speaking of characters, what’s a show without a main cast?
Let’s start with Billy. Now, there are two true incarnations of Billy Batson. The heart-of-gold version you often see in the shows and in the old comics, and then the teen angst jerk form we see in the New 52. Which one am I doing? Neither, and both.
My version of Billy has characteristics of both, yet has a few new wrinkles. I made it this way so that not only would we not be holding too strongly to the source material, but also that he would be different than Ollie and Barry in their respective shows.
Billy is seventeen years old. He’s been an orphan all his life, until a new family adopts him and things go right… and go wrong very quickly. He’s quite isolated at first, yet always knows what is right and wrong. Unlike, say, Ollie or Barry, his greatest fear is his own life, in that he believes he’s “cursed,” and doomed to be alone. Five very important people are going to change that notion.
The Family Comes First
This is probably the biggest difference when comparing Shazam! to the other shows. In Shazam! the family is just as important as Billy himself. With Arrow, they had to add family to interact with; with the exception of Iris, Barry has no family to speak of. Billy won’t have that problem. He’ll have Mary, Freddy, Eugene, Pedro, and Darla. Yes, the New 52 family. They are awesome, and they will be in the show.
They won’t be means to an end to drive the story; they’ll be just as involved as Billy, sometimes even more than they want to be. Each of them, from Billy to Darla, will grow because of the others. Their relationships to one another will evolve, become stronger, or more complicated. This is key to my vision for a Shazam! series. Because writing the family together has been awesome, and to make a superhero show that really focuses on a family is something incredibly rare and special. Oh, and as to who might also be getting powers. I’ll give you a hint…
Powers! Lots and Lots of Powers!
I need to give a shout-out to this one. Shazam! will feature characters from two very superpowered parts of the DCU. There will be fights, there will be wars, and there will be powers. And hopefully it’ll all look amazing!
I’ve got some truly epic battles written in my scripts (especially some with a certain individual from Kahndaq), and with the right budget, we can make this show shine like… shine like… lightning! (Come on, what did you think I was gonna say?)
Help Make This Happen!
So if you think this is an amazing idea and that this should happen (and I really hope you do!) there’s an easy way to do your part.
1. Spread the word!
Show other DC fans this post, get them on board! The more people we get on our side the better!
2. Let DC hear your voice!
Whether on Facebook or Twitter, let DC know you want this. I use the hashtag #ShazamTVSeries every time I post something about it. You do the same! If we can get this trending, who knows what could happen!
Shazam is my favorite superhero. He’s just awesome. If he wasn’t, I wouldn’t have written twenty-plus scripts about him. I really do want this to happen, it would be a dream come true to work on this. So, will you help me make this happen?
And if you have a favorite magical or cosmic DCU character, let me know in the comments section! I just might put them in a script! (P.S I’m serious!!! Both Gail Simone and Dan Didio have made contributions! Oh, and did I mention Marc Guggenheim liked the idea as well?)