Primes, primes and more primes. Earth’s Mightiest Prime. Today we’re taking a look at Shazam! And Freddy Freeman, the Rare Prime set from the upcoming Trinity War set.
As far as Captain Marvel sculpts go this one is definitely one of the better looking ones. There have been some bad ones in the past. Using his Nu52 costume Billy’s got his hood up and his cape billowing out. There’s a streak of lightening as if he just called upon the power of the Wizard Shazam. The weird thing about this sculpt is that the lightening seems to be under his cape. I’m sure it was just easier for design purposes to have it be a part of his legs and back but then to put his cape on separately afterward makes for a strange appearance.
Shazam! comes in at 183pts for 8 clicks of health with the Wing Symbol, 3 Range, the Mystics Team ability and the named Fawcett City Keyword along with the generic Mystical keyword. He has a singular trait, Pure of Heart, which allows him to use Defend. This is an interesting choice of design considering for the majority of his dial he only has a 17 Defense which seems to just be the standard now. Granted his Defense never dips below 17 once he’s activated which might make that Defend more useful late game than it will be early on.
At the top of his dial Shazam! has what is often referred to as an activation click. Which usually results in small stats with little to no powers. Shazam!’s activation click has a 7 Movement with Neutralized/Earthbound – which keeps him from using his Wing Symbol – 8 Attack with A Gift from the Wizard for My Friends, 15 Defense with Combat Reflexes and 1 Damage with Outwit. The most intriguing part of this click is that Special Attack Power. Give Shazam! A free action and choose one adjacent friendly character. Deal Shazam! 1 unavoidable damage and modify that friendly character’s combat values until your next turn even if this power is lost (which it will be) What makes this so interesting is that it gets Shazam! off his activation click with a simple free action instead of two non free actions (pushing) while also giving a boost to one of your other characters. There’s no real downside to it, except perhaps for the fact that Shazam! Is one click closer to a KO.
On his second click we see a much stronger dial and power set, what is to be expected from a character like this. He has 12 Movement with Charge, 11 Attack with Quake, 17 Defense with Impervious and 4 Damage with Probability Control. After this one really impressive click he seems to lose all his mojo and his stats drop to average levels. His Movement plummets to an 8, with a small boost to a 9 at one point and finishes off with a 7. His Attack drops to a 10 with two random clicks of 9. His Defense stays somewhat steady at a 17 with some random clicks of 18 thrown in there. The only thing constant about his dial is that his Damage stays at 3 for the rest of his dial though again that’s really just become the average these days.
His power sets are only slightly more impressive than his stats which isn’t saying much. On click three Charge is replaced with Shazam!, a Special Power that gives him Flurry, Side Step and the Quintessence Team Ability. While it’s nice to get Quintessence to make up for his noticeable lack of Indomitable it’s paired with a set of powers that just don’t seem worthy of the title Earth’s Mightiest Mortal. With this he has Super Strength and keeps the Impervious and Probability Control. On the next click he keeps his Special Movement Power and switches back to Quake, Impervious becomes Invincible and Probability Control becomes Perplex. Next we see Charge return, paired with Super Strength and more Invincible and Perplex. His Special Movement Power returns paired with Super Strength but his Invincible drops to Invulnerable and we see a return of Outwit. This power set continues on with Super Strength switching to Quake once again. His final click has Charge (with a lacking 7 Movement) Regeneration and Probability Control. At least this can give you two chances to try and heal him back up.
Overall this dial comes across as lacking. He’s pretty hefty on the points for such low stats and the absence of any Justice League related keywords keeps him from getting any help from his friends (who seem to be really big on exclusive team building in this set) Between an activation click, a trait that doesn’t come across as useful, mediocre (at best) stats, unreliable and sometimes confusing powers (not a single click of Hypersonic Speed?) Billy’s falling flat on his face. I understand that this is the rebooted Shazam! (not even Captain Marvel anymore) that’s still learning to wield the powers of the Wizard but when you know his history, when you know that he got folded into the DC world after a lawsuit claiming he was a copyright infringement on Superman, it’s hard to look at this dial and be impressed or even satisfied. It’s hard to say until I see him play, just where he’ll fit in.
Next up we have the B version of this Prime set, Captain Marvel Jr. or as he’s known here, Freddy Freeman.
It’s almost a shame that the second time we get to see Freddy he’s the same sculpt as Shazam! But even then he’s looking much better than he did in Crisis. For the purposes of this Prime set the only difference is the paint job, putting Freddy in his traditional blue instead of Billy’s red. The pose and sculpt much like the a version is great looking but I’m still weirded out by the fact that the lightening bolt is in between him and his cape.
Unlike the other two Prime Sets we’ve reviewed for this set Freddy is actually less points than his a version. He comes in at 112pts for 6 clicks of health with the Wing Symbol, Indomitable, the named Fawcett City, Outsiders, Teen Titans and Young Justice keywords and the generic Mystical Keyword. He may be less points and slightly less health but when I think of a rookie Captain Marvel, a dial like this is definitely what comes to mind.
On his top click Freddy has 11 Movement with Hypersonic Speed, 11 Attack with Super Strength, 18 Defense with Impervious and 4 Damage. As his dial moves his stats lower but not to unreasonable levels, his Movement goes down to an 8 but at the end of his dial that’s not that much of a hindrance, his Attack never dips below a 10, his Defense never drops below 17 and his Damage only has two clicks of 2, yet at a time where his damage value doesn’t matter as much. For his following two clicks he has Charge instead of Hypersonic Speed paired with Super Strength, invulnerable and he gains Exploit Weakness. On his last three clicks he gets Hypersonic Speed back, gains Call the Lightening and trades Invulnerable for Toughness. His Special Attack power however is what’s going to make all the difference. This allows him to use Pulse Wave as if he has a Range of 9 (which basically becomes an Area of Effect of 5) After actions resolve you then heal him of 1 damage for each character hit character. Pulse Wave is already a devastating power but a Pulse Wave that heals you? That’s just epic, especially considering that he can easily get back up to his top click while using it.
Overall this is a nice piece, he’s low enough on the points to fit him into a lot of teams while being able to use him as a good primary or secondary attacker. He has a good splattering of keywords that can fit him into a fair amount of teams. He can’t be relied on for a sealed (only because of the chances of pulling him are fairly low) but he’ll be a good constructed piece. His appearance in the Meta game may very well depend on how well that Special Attack power performs for him.