After years of the Shazam family working as a unit, Mary Marvel has officially become the new champion of Shazam in a cute solo series. The series follows Mary as she navigates life in college and makes new friends all while being a superhero. A fresh start is in store for her, and finally, she will get the development and respect she deserves.
Mary Marvel has become a fan favorite among readers, having been introduced long before the extended Shazam family as a counterpart to her brother, Billy. She’d always been an extenuation of the family, with Billy Batson headlining their stories as the Champion of Shazam and leading them into the fight. As the eldest in a full family, Mary was always regarded as part of their unit rather than having the time to shine on her own. Now, with Billy trapped in the Rock of Eternity during Teen Titans Academy # 11 by Tim Sheridan, Rafa Sandoval, Jordi Tarragona, and Brent Peeples, Mary is chosen as the newest Champion to take his place. Her life in college just became a whole lot harder and Mary is at first reluctant to take on the task. But she may just have to accept that with everything hanging in the balance it’s time for Mary to make her own path without the rest of the family drowning her out.
While the Shazam family was always a powerful group, the number of people within the group never gave individual people the chance to develop on their own. Mary feels like she’s automatically placed in this position as the eldest sister, forced to take care of her younger siblings even if she doesn’t want to. Her identity was developed around being a sibling, and she struggles with her identity outside of the family. She’s given a new chance to figure out who she is in The New Champion of Shazam! #1 from Josie Campbell, Becca Carey, Evan "Doc" Shaner, and Brittany Holzherr. Finally going off to college, Mary will be able to become the person she truly wants to be.
Her insecurities and sense of self-doubt almost caused her to turn away from the offer of being the new Champion of Shazam immediately. College is too difficult and too important to give it up. After all, it’s a place where many students find themselves outside of their families and define themselves authentically. She wants to focus on forging new, meaningful relationships with like-minded people, which was something she never really got to do with her family as she was so focused on keeping them safe. Despite this, her kind nature and heroic attitude may just reveal itself to be a part of Mary she can’t escape from. College may just be the thing she needs to develop herself as a hero of her own without the influence of Billy or the rest of her family.
Finally able to spread her wings, Mary Marvel can break free of the roles placed on her and make her mark in the world as her own person. College and superhero-ing will be difficult to balance, but Mary is more than ready for the task. She’s ready to wipe the slate clean and tackle her challenges head-on. Becoming the new Champion of Shazam will push Mary Marvel to discover more of herself.
The New Champion of Shazam! #1 is available now from DC Comics.