PREVIEW: Yehudi Mercado’s SHAZAM! THUNDERCRACK finds the intersection of sports and superheroes

Comic News

The summer of Black Adam may be in full-swing, but his superheroic counterpart deserves some attention as well. DC Comics has released a new unlettered preview for Shazam! Thundercrack, a new middle grade graphic novel due out in November. The Big Red Cheese’s newest adventure, set in the continuity of the 2019 movie, comes from cartoonist Yehudi Mercado.

Here’s how DC Comics describes Shazam! Thundercrack:

Super-heroics are dangerous, but joining the football team is an even bigger problem!

Billy Batson’s never been a team player, and becoming the superhero Shazam didn’t seem to change that much. But his new strength and stamina will make football a breeze. After skipping school one too many times, Billy is offered a choice: football or detention. The Fawcett Tigers need a new champion—their last quarterback ended up in the hospital, and the coach is pretty sure rival team the Fishtown Atoms are to blame. 

Between football practice and superhero training, Billy’s muscles are getting bigger, but so is his ego. Will foster dad Victor’s wise counsel and memories of his own football triumphs help keep young Shazam grounded?

Shazam! Thundercrack is set within the movie timeline—showing Freddy’s vlog filled with superhero training montages, family pranks, and the new gig he took to monitor Billy’s football practices (the cheerleading squad really needed a new mascot!).  

Yehudi Mercado is a cartoonist best known for creating the Sci-Fu series of middle-grade graphic novels for Oni Press, as well as the Chunky graphic memoir series published by HarperCollins. Shazam! Thundercrack will be Mercado’s first work for DC Comics, though he has worked with the characters of the DC stable in the past as a storyboard artist on the DC Superhero Girls cartoon web series.

Shazam! Thundercrack‘s November release date puts it in readers’ hands just a month before the release of Shazam!: Fury of the Gods, the sequel to the 2019 movie that introduced audiences to Captain Marvel Shazam! (Zachary Levi), aka Billy Batson (Asher Angel), as well as Freddy Freeman (Jack Dylan Grazer), Mary Bromfield (Grace Fulton), and the rest of the extended Marvel Shazam! Family. The forthcoming new film adds Helen Mirren and Lucy Liu to the cast as Hespera and Kalypso, respectively, though details about the plot of the movie are still under wraps. San Diego Comic Con is next month, though, so don’t be surprised if a trailer drops either before or during that show.

Check out the preview of Shazam! Thundercrack below. The 160-page graphic novel is set to arrive in stores on Tuesday, November 29th.

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