Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam (2010)

superman shazam the return of black adam poster 2010 movie
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 7/10

Love Captain Marvel, James Garner's last role

Wish it was a feature length

Movie Info

Movie Name: Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam

Studio:  Warner Bros. Animation

Genre(s): Comic Book/Animated/Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s): November 9, 2010

MPAA Rating: PG-13

superman shazam the return of black adam wizard bill batson james garner

Billy, with great power comes great responsibility…or so I hear

Clark Kent has travelled to Fawcett City to write a piece on the kids of the city who have no parents.  His contact is a young boy named Billy Batson who lives by himself and struggles to get by.  When Billy and Clark Kent are confronted by a man named Black Adam who claims Billy possesses untapped power, Superman finds himself in the battle of a lifetime.  Meanwhile, Billy learns that he does have special abilities when they are released by a magician called:  Shazam!

Directed by Joaquim Dos Santos, Superman/Shazam!:  The Return of Black Adam is a DC Comics Showcase short.  The story is an adaptation of Superman/Shazam!:  First Thunder.

Captain Marvel (I still refuse to settle on Shazam! as his name) is one of my favorites.  Even as a kid, I watched the live action TV series and had the Underoos.  The reason that Captain Marvel has so much appeal is that he is what you want to be as child.  The character is the ultimate kid superhero…he gets to be an adult while being a kid.

superman shazam the return of black adam team up captain marvel

I’m seeing a team-up!

The story is an origin story for Captain Marvel.  While many readers might be familiar with the character, there are a lot of younger viewers who (at the time of this release) were unfamiliar with Captain Marvel, his origin, or his abilities.  Tie the origin story to Superman not only gives Captain Marvel a high profile costar, but it also allows the story to differentiate between Superman’s powers and Captain Marvel…and reminds viewers that Superman is subject to problems with magic-based enemies.  As wholesome as Superman is, the Big Red Cheese is even nicer.

Like most DC animated works, they do a good job with casting.  Jerry O’Connell plays the titled Captain Marvel while George Newbern reprises his role as Superman.  Arnold Vosloo is tapped as Black Adam (which is also good casting).  Danica McKellar has a small role as Sally and Kevin Michael Richardson plays the homeless man who is revealed to be the classic Captain Marvel character Tawky Tawny.  The film is also notable for being the last performance of prolific actor James Garner who portrays the wizard Shazam here.  Garner always brought fun to his roles and it would have been good if he had gotten a bit more screentime especially due to his distinctive voice.

superman shazam the return of black adam captain marvel

Did you make this a short, Black Adam?!?! You’ll pay for that!

Visually, Superman/Shazam!:  The Return of Black Adam is stylistically in line with other DC Comics franchises.  This means that it is better than a lot of cartoon that seem to pump out episode after episode, but not as good as a feature length theatrical release.

Superman/Shazam!:  The Return of Black Adam has a lot of good going for it.  It introduces one of DC’s best characters (or acquired best characters to be more exact) and it tells a decent story.  I just wish it had been a feature length movie like Captain Marvel deserved.  I normally don’t review something this short, but Captain Marvel always gets my vote!

Related Links:

Shazam! (2019)

The Power of Shazam

Shazam!:  The Monster Society of Evil

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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