by Cynthia Finnegan
Something’s really off about all this, Freddy Freeman thought as he headed back to his newsstand. We all said our magic words and changed into the Marvel Family, so Billy should’ve been cured of that ‘slight case of pneumonia,’ but he wasn’t. In fact, he’s worse than he was at the diner.
And there is no way we should’ve beaten Black Adam that easily, not without tricking him into saying old Shazam’s name. Everything that’s happened today went down wrong, and I’m going to find out how… and why!
On the abyssal plain, a demoness peered into the flames before her, watching her enemies. The corners of her thin lips curved into a malicious sneer as she spied on them. It was just too bad that she couldn’t read their thoughts, as well. No matter; the pawn was in play, and no one was any the wiser. The spell was already working, and the souls of her father’s favorites would soon be hers for the taking.
“Perfect. Simply perfect,” she said, her voice thick with derision. “It all happened right under their noses, and the fools never even noticed. Did they, precious?”
And, bound to a stone framework, a familiar, black-haired, blue-eyed young man struggled against leathern bonds. He endured the first of what would become many beatings, magically rendered unable to say the one word that would save his family and win him his freedom.