(The) Trials of Shazam – 12

General Info

Issue No:
12
On Sale Date:
April 2008
Cover Date:
May 2008
Era:
Modern Age
Story Title:
Verdict

Creative Team

Cover Artist:
Mauro Cascioli
Writer:
Judd Winick
Penciller:
Mauro Cascioli
Inker:
Mauro Cascioli
Letterer:
Rob Leigh
Colourist:
Mauro Cascioli
Editor:
Mike Carlin, Tom Palmer, Jr. (associate)

Characters

Main:
Captain Marvel (Billy Batson), Shazam (Freddy Freeman)
Heroes:
Justice League: Black Canary (Dinah Lance), Batman (Bruce Wayne), Black Lightning (Jefferson Pierce), Flash (Wally West), Hawkgirl (Kendra Saunders), Green Lantern (John Stewart), Red Arrow (Roy Harper), Red Tornado, Superman (Clark Kent/Kal El), Vixen (Mari McCabe), Wonder Woman (Princess Diana)
Shadowpact: Zatanna Zatara, Blue Devil (Daniel Cassidy), Detective Chimp, Enchantress (June Moone), Nightshade (Eve Eden), Nightmaster (Jim Rook), Ragman (Rory Regan) Zauriel
Villains:
Sabina De La Croix, Merlin, Council of Merlins
Olympians:
Zeus (Zareb Babak), Hercules, Apollo (Alonzo), Mercury
Amazons:
N/A
Other:
Solomon (Rachel Zallman), Achilles (Lt. Alvarez)
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Synopsis

Sabina and the Council of Merlin approach their ancestor, the power sorcerer Merlin. They convince him to aid their quest of finding the final godly benefactor to the power of Shazam, Zeus, and forcing him into giving his power to Sabina. They open a portal into Las Vegas, and a horde of magical magical monsters begin the invasion. The monsters are instructed by Sabina to ‘take’ everyone they see, until one million people have been transformed into the same sort of monsters, as that number of souls is required for the spell that would compel Zeus into giving up his power.

Freddy Freeman, Marvel, the Justice League and the Shadowpact appear on the scene, and start fighting off the monster army. Freddy assaults Sabina, and takes a beating while she gloats about how she has won, and how meaningless Freddy’s efforts were in the end. Freddy reveals that his plan, allowing himself to almost get beaten, works, since that gives him the opportunity to launch both of them into the portal Sabina and her demon horde had exited before. He explains that when beings as powerful as the two of them re-enter a portal only meant to be exited, the portal will collapse and sever the monster army’s connection their world, the two of them will die and the power of Shazam will be lost. Freddy considers this to be an acceptable sacrifice as long as it means that Sabina will never wield the power of Shazam. Zareb Babak, who has been guiding Freddy in his trials until now, reveals his identity and transforms into Zeus, king of the gods of magic, and final gatekeeper of the powers of Shazam. He pronounces that Freddy has been judged worthy of the power, and tells him to speak the word. When Freddy does, he transforms into the fully powered Shazam, saving himself while Sabina collapses the portal. The monsters withdraw, and the humans who had been transformed into monsters revert back.

Zareb/Zeus later explains that Freddy’s trials weren’t just about proving himself worthy, it was also about the king reclaiming his terran province, and return to his full power. Zeus also explains that for Freddy, fighting criminals would have to take a back seat as keeping the magic of the world in balance would have a higher priority. The story ends with Freddy transforming into Shazam.