Parents' Guide to

Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam

By Danny Brogan, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Action-packed DCU animation has threat, positive messages.

Movie PG-13 2010 25 minutes
Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam poster

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Billy Batson aka Captain Marvel aka Shazam must be one of the most likable superheroes in all of the DC Universe. In Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam, we see the kind and compassionate young Billy transform into the amusing, can't quite believe who he is -- "I can fly!" -- Captain Marvel for the first time. It's a well-paced movie with Billy's personality quickly laid out before the crashing and banging begins. Of which there is a lot. We're even treated to a super-quick flashback sequence that fills in various gaps to Billy's backstory, which should prove helpful to those unfamiliar with the character's comic book origins. And all this in the space of just 25 minutes.

The story is a basic good versus evil, with little time spent on Black Adam's reasoning for his evil ill-doing, other than briefly mentioning that if he has the power of the gods, then why shouldn't he behave like a god. The dialogue is also so cheesy you can practically smell it. While the "magical negro" trope involving a man experiencing homeless who turns out to be Billy's guardian angel, along with the lack of female characters, are perhaps something the writers should have been more conscious of. But Billy's charm and the positive qualities he exhibits makes this an endearing addition to the DC Universe.

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