Zachary Levi's DCEU suit makes its way into the comics thanks to Jim Lee's Shazam #1 cover. The former Marvel star will soon debut as the newest superhero in Warner Bros. DC franchise, headlining the David F. Sandberg-directed movie, Shazam!. He's joined by Asher Angel who plays his human alter-ego, young Billy Batson, while Mark Strong will play the film's main antagonist, Doctor Sivana.
Warner Bros.' marketing machine is already starting to heat up for Shazam! with a little bit over a month left before it hits theaters around the globe. The much-anticipated second trailer even finally got a release date after months of speculations from fans. But DC is amping up its promotional activities for the movie to the next level with the unveiling of Lee's cover for Shazam #1, debuting Levi's big screen superhero suit on the pages of the comics.
Quoting Lee's original social media post launching said black and white cover with the Big Red Cheese's theatrical costume on his official Twitter account, Levi expressed his pleasure by captioning it with "Dream. Come. True." The legendary artist and writer who's worked for both Marvel and DC replied to the actor's post shortly after, offering a colored version of his creation to the delight of fans, adding that he can't wait to watch Shazam!. Most of the people in the thread congratulated Levi for this new milestone. Check out the image below:
It's no secret that Levi's costume stirred controversy back when photos from the set of the film leaked, providing the public's first look at him in the suit. The fact the official release of character portraits took a little while after that despite both images and even raw video making their way online certainly didn't help Shazam!'s cause. The actor also dealt with naysayers criticizing him because of his movie suit being padded, which is usually the case for comic book movie costumes. That being said, it doesn't mean that Levi didn't put the work in to make sure that he's physically fit to play a superhero. Fortunately, when formal images rolled out just before the first trailer debuted at San Diego Comic-Con, concerns about how he'd look like in the red suit were quickly squashed.
With the nearing release of Shazam! in theatres, it was a great marketing move for Warner Bros. and DC to do a cross-promotion like this. This way, both the movie and the comic book can generate buzz that will help their separate causes. This is particularly important considering that while the film, TV and movie formats of these stories thrive, earning billions of dollars, their print sources aren't exactly doing well, with comic book shops struggling with a decrease in sales and dwindling patrons. Perhaps after fans see the upcoming DC film, they'll be motivated to learn more about the character and dive into his comic book history.
Source: Zachary Levi
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