Today's New York Post ran the first image of the new, "New 52" version of DC Comics' Hero Formerly Known as Captain Marvel, who we already know has been renamed "Shazam." Created in 1939 by artist C. C. Beck and writer Bill Parker, the character will make his post-reboot debut later this month in Justice League #7, in a back-up story by writer Geoff Johns and artist Gary Frank.

This image, pencilled by Gary Frank, is admittedly not the best look at the costume itself. Cap Shazam is wearing a hooded cape that obscures most of his face and costume, and the lighting and light effects on the art plunge many details into darkness. From what we can tell, though, the red, gold and white color scheme is still there, and the costume doesn't seem as dramatic as departure from his original duds as many of the "New 52" heroes' redesigns were. The belt, arm bands and boots all look metallic now, and the clasps of his cape are more ornate, but he seems to still be wearing a red union suit instead of a armor like that of his frequent sparring partner Superman. Unfortunately, Shazam's neck is in shadow so we can't see if he's sporting the high collar that has become Justice League-style. The cape now has a hood, as it did during his brief tenure as "Marvel" in the wake of DC's 2005 Infinite Crisis event series and 2006-2007 miniseries The Trials of Shazam. Hopefully he won't be wearing it all the time.

Shazam editor Brian Cunningham told DC's The Source blog that they've "removed the 'circus strongman' elements from his costume" and "Rather than a traditional cape, he wears a cloak with a hood. There's more of a mystical, magical, fantasy feel to that."

Mystical, magical and fantasy are notes writer Geoff Johns is planning to hit on the character, as well. Said Johns:

With SHAZAM! Gary and I will be focusing on the magic hero instead of the superhero. For centuries science has ruled the world, but now magic is returning. We're telling the story of the hero's young alter ego, Billy Batson, a foster kid at a crossroads in his life. The quesiton is, how does the emotional journey of this troubled teenager collide with the fate of the world?

Perhaps the most telling aspect of the image, however, isn't to be found in the costume itself but in the fact that this is the artwork DC chose to give the NYP as representative of Captain Marvel's new look and direction. Shrouded in darkness, angrily gritting his teeth and seemingly posed in a deep power crouch, it's not the most Captain Marvelous looking image.

Which is probably appropriate, given that he's no longer "Captain Marvel. "

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