Tag Archives: comic books

Shazam! is another superhero movie that’s not like all the other superhero movies that aren’t like other superhero movies

Jesse

Jesse is a cofounder of SportsAlcohol.com even though he doesn't care for sports or alcohol. His favorite movie is Ron Howard's The Paper. I think. This is what happens when you don't write your own bio. I know for sure likes pie.

Shazam!, based on the DC Comics hero originally called Captain Marvel and originally not published by DC Comics, stars Zachary Levi, who once appeared in a Thor movie for Marvel Studios. Levi plays the hero; the bad guy is played by Mark Strong, who also played a supporting role (and unrealized future bad guy) in Green Lantern, based on the DC Comics hero, but unconnected to the current DC Comics movies. Shazam! also co-stars Djimon Hounsou, who also has a supporting role in Captain Marvel, currently in theaters, a separate character from Shazam, the former Captain Marvel, and based in part on the Marvel Comics hero originally called Ms. Marvel.

Shazam! is about a teenager learning to wield his superpowers responsibly, like Marvel’s Spider-Man; it’s also concerns the effects of those superpowers on family dynamics—sort of like The Incredibles, a Disney film which is not based on a comic book, but owes a lot to the Fantastic Four, whose movie rights were recently welcomed back into the Disney fold when Disney completed its purchase of 20th Century Fox’s film division. The end credits of Shazam! feature charmingly scrawled drawings of the main character’s superheroic antics, followed by a post-credits scene goofing on another superhero, both elements that recall Deadpool, an offshoot of the X-Men series, which was also recently absorbed back into Disney via Fox. Disney, of course, owns Marvel, and Captain Marvel, but not Shazam!, which belongs to Warner Bros., which owns DC, which bought the character from Fawcett, the company that originally published stories about Shazam, back when he was called Captain Marvel.
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Fantastic Four Achieves Peak Fox Marvel

Jesse

Jesse is a cofounder of SportsAlcohol.com even though he doesn't care for sports or alcohol. His favorite movie is Ron Howard's The Paper. I think. This is what happens when you don't write your own bio. I know for sure likes pie.

“Does it hurt?”

“Every time.”

That is an exchange from the first X-Men movie, which came out just over fifteen years ago. It’s a succinct example of why Bryan Singer’s film works so well, despite many superficial limitations. The question is posed by Rogue, a young mutant who has just met one of her own kind, the taciturn Wolverine. She’s asking about the metal claws that pop out through his skin, and Wolverine’s response, as played by Hugh Jackman, isn’t an emo lament. It’s plainspoken: sad but not whiny, and a little funny in its ruefulness. It conveys character through dialogue without exposition. Those handful of words (and the actors bringing them to life) say: Wolverine is a badass with metal claws, and every time he brandishes them, he feels a twinge of pain.
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So you finished watching Daredevil, now what?

Rob

Rob is one of the founders of SportsAlcohol.com. He is a recent first time home buyer and it's all he talks about. Said home is in his hometown in Upstate New York. He never moved away and works a job to pay for his mortgage and crippling chicken wing addiction. He is not what you would call a go-getter. This may explain the general tone of SportsAlcohol.com.
Rob

I have long loved Daredevil, the blind, Catholic lawyer/superhero. I was excited about the new Netflix series featuring the character and ready to love it  for just being better than the Mark Steven Johnson movie. I was not prepared for it to become a commercial and critical hit, but it’s now Netflix’s most popular show and the second most pirated show behind Game of Thrones . Reviews have been very positive, and it’s inspired a lot of great writing about gentrification and urban development. It’s a great time to be a fan of Daredevil.

I’m not one to quibble, but I’m lying I am one to quibble. Quibbling is what I spend most of my free time doing. This whole piece is born of quibbling. There is one  type of inevitable blog post that springs up around a successful comic book adaptation and I have found all the ones for Daredevil lacking: the recommended reading list. There isn’t a website around that hasn’t posted a list of Daredevil comics it thinks you should read. These lists are wrong. They are merely a compilation of google searches for well-regarded Daredevil stories. A character with a fifty-plus year history has tons of stories and not all of them will be relevant to fans of the TV show, even if they are critically acclaimed. I love the current Daredevil series written by Mark Waid, but it so tonally different from the show it could be a different character. Why would I put an origin story on the list when Matt Murdoch’s origin has been retold countless times and the show has maybe the best one?

Below I’ve put together a list of stories that embody different aspects of the show’s take on the Daredevil mythos and should appeal to people who watched it without feeling like it’s just drawings of what they just saw. Even this list is imperfect as I can’t find the better stories that highlight Karen Page as a solo character in print anywhere.

You can find most of these stories digitally either on Comixology or through Marvel’s great Unlimited subscription service, but I’m posting amazon affiliate links where available because it’s time we cashed in on how much I care about Daredevil.

So without further ado, the comics you will actually want to read if liked watching Daredevil on Netfilx:

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