At the Geoff Johns Spotlight panel at Comic-Con International at San Diego, the writer revealed that he will be writing a long awaited Shazam monthly ongoing series for DC Comics with his former Justice Society of America collaborator, Dale Eaglesham.
The new series, which will debut this November, will finally pay off the introduction of the new Shazam and his "Shazam family" that Johns set up early in his Justice League run back in the New 52 in 2012.
Johns described the new series as "It'll continue the story we started in the New 52." Johns explained that The Shazam family will try to unlock the secrets of the Rock of Eternity and take its cues from classics like The Phantom Tollbooth. "It's kids with superpowers but no manuals. They have the powers but they don't really know how to use them," Johns said. The book will feature classic villains like Mister Mind and will feature an appearance by the classic Shazam supporting character, the anthropomorphic tiger Tawky Tawny.
The modern version of Shazam sort of made its debut in an odd little "sign of things to come" during the DC Comics event, Flashpoint, in 2011, when Barry Allen went back in time to prevent the murder of his mother and inadvertently altered the DC Universe. Now, Billy Batson, Freddy Freeman and Mary Batson (the original Captain Marvel, Captain Marvel Jr. and Mary Marvel) were joined by three other kids, Eugene Choi, Pedro Peña, and Darla Dudley, who all say "Shazam!" together and turn into Captain Thunder. At the end of Flashpoint, Barry went back in time again and allowed his mother to die, but some sort of outside intervention led to the creation of a rebooted DC Universe known as The New 52.
In the new revamped version of the Shazam mythos that debuted in Johns' Justice League run (along with artist Gary Frank, who designed all of the characters for the reboot), Billy and the others are all foster siblings. Billy is a bit more cynical than past depictions, but in his heart, he is still a good kid. Thus, when he meets the Wizard, he is still granted the powers of Shazam. When Black Adam shows up and tries to get the power for himself, the villain kidnaps Billy's foster siblings and threatens to kill them if Billy does not give the power of Shazam to him. Instead, Billy realizes that his foster siblings are his true family and shares the powers with them instead, creating the Shazam Family. Each one of his siblings has a piece of his power now.
We will see the group in action in the ongoing Shazam series, which will drop on November 21st.