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We Almost Had 'Say My Name - Shazam!' From Alex Ross and Geoff Johns

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COMIC LEGEND:

Alex Ross tried to reboot Shazam again following Infinite Crisis

STATUS:

True

As I noted in the first legend this week, even before he captured the imagination of the entire comic book industry with his Marvels miniseries with Kurt Busiek, Alex Ross had pitched DC on a revamped version of Shazam. Since Jerry Ordway was already in the middle of doing HIS own rebooted version of Shazam, Ross' version fell by the wayside.

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Well, over a decade later, Ross had another chance and he once again pitched DC on a reboot of the character! Ross relayed the story to the always awesome P. C. Hamerlinck in Alter Ego #75 from TwoMorrows.

As it turned out, Ross heard that DC was planning on turning Freddy Freeman into the new lead Shazam character, with Billy Batson becoming the new wizard. The idea was that Freddy would have to go through a series of trials before becoming the new Shazam.

Ross didn't like that idea, so even while he was finishing up his epic Justice maxiseries for DC, Ross came up with a pitch for a new series called Say My Name - Shazam!

The idea would be that Billy Batson would have to reclaim the various powers of Shazam from the various people around the world who had been given the powers following Infinite Crisis. Once he got them all together, he would become Shazam.

Ross did re-designs for Billy Batson...

and Shazam/Captain Marvel himself...

as part of his pitch.

The plan would be for Ross to co-plot the series with Geoff Johns, who would then script the series. Ross would design the characters and provide the covers and then another artist would actually draw the series.

One of the people who received the power of Solomon's wisdom, would voluntarily return the power to Billy and thus, as a reward when Billy became Shazam, he would share some of his powers with this guy, who would call himself Vulcan (as an attempt by Ross to add Black Vulcan from the Super Friends cartoon to the regular DC continuity. Ross was a huge Super Friends fan when he was growing up)...

For whatever reason (presumably because they were too far gone on their plans for what ultimately became The Trials of Shazam...

), DC didn't even actively turn Ross down, they just never replied to his pitch, so obviously he moved on with other things.

You should check out Alter Ego #75 to learn more about what Ross had planned, plus Ross' various thoughts about his designs for Shazam. It's always interesting to hear Alex Ross talk about design and stuff like that.

Thanks to Alex Ross and P. C. Hamerlinck for the information!

OK, that's it for this week!

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