WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Shazam! #1 by Geoff Johns, Dale Eaglesham, Mike Atiyeh and Rob Leigh, in stores now.
When writer Geoff Johns and artist Gary Frank reintroduced Billy Batson and his alter ego, Shazam, in 2012's DC Universe New 52 continuity relaunch, everything began with a fateful ride on the subway. When Billy hopped aboard a subway train, a burst of electricity transported his ride to another plane of existence, a magical realm called the Rock of Eternity. Billy had been transported there by the wizard Shazam -- the last of seven wizards -- who gave him the powers of six gods to become his newest champion.
Therefore, it's quite fitting that, as the new Shazam! series launches as part of DC's Rebirth continuity, everything would, once again, begin with a train ride. This time however, it's not just a subway that leads to Billy getting the powers of a hero -- it's one that will lead all of his friends to a new world in the DC Universe: The Magiclands.
In Shazam! #1, all of the kids that make up the Shazam Family find themselves in the Rock of Eternity, their newly-christened headquarters. While they start decorating and setting themselves up, it isn't long before they discover a new passage that they have never seen before -- one that the Rock of Eternity has only just unveiled. This passage actually leads to an old timey train station, appropriately called the Station, that leads to a hangar housing multiple trains.
Inside the Station, the kids find a map of the Magiclands, the realm the trains lead to. As we can see from the map, the Rock of Eternity lies at the center of this new world, and the train tracks all lead to a different corner of this new land. Each spot appears to be marked by one of the symbols that once identified the other wizards of the Rock of Eternity, which leads us to believe that these destinations might be the various homes of the long-deceased wizards. There appear to be many mysteries to uncover on this map, from a carnival-like realm to uncharted forests and a rainbow castle.
There's no telling in what state these realms will be when the kids get to them, but one thing is clear -- this will undoubtedly become the driving force behind this new comic series. The Shazam Family has just discovered an unexplored magical world one no one knew existed. Now, a bold new adventure awaits them as they set out to explore a new corner of the DC Universe.