As you probably guessed, yesterday's solicitation for TRIALS OF SHAZAM #10 was a joke at the expense of artist Howard Porter. I don't know if the blame lies at his feet for the delays in getting TRIALS OF SHAZAM to market, but I hope he has a sense of humor and that there are no personal issues or illnesses that are holding him up. If so, I apologize right now! Howard's artwork is the bright spot in the otherwise banal and insulting morass that is TRIALS OF SHAZAM.
No matter what the cause, it still remains that TRIALS OF SHAZAM is notoriously late. Sure, it's not as late as ALL-STAR BATMAN AND ROBIN, ULTIMATES, ULTIMATES 2, DAREDEVIL: FATHER or CAMELOT 3000 to name a few of the famous laggards, but it continues to be late by missing shipping dates and failing to show up in solicitations. By anyone's measure, it's unofficially a bi-monthly book. As it stands as of today, TRIALS OF SHAZAM #8 is scheduled for release Wednesday, August 8. TRIALS OF SHAZAM #9 is scheduled for release a mere three weeks later on Wednesday, August 29. If TRIALS OF SHAZAM #9 holds to the schedule then it will be at least two months before TRIALS OF SHAZAM #10 is released because as mentioned in my previous post that issue was neither solicited for the months of September or October 2007.
At this point, DC should hold the release of TRIALS OF SHAZAM #9 until at least mid-September to prevent an even longer lag between issues 9 and 10. These delays are, of course, a sshame for fans of the series because each new delay causes the title to lose momentum and traction in a fickle comic book marketplace. Regardless of what you think of TRIALS OF SHAZAM, it is the best selling title of the wave of titles that followed the wake of INFINITE CRISIS and washed ashore with BRAVE NEW WORLD. But it is slipping in sales, losing 4K of its readership with issues 5 and 6. If DC's goal with TRIALS OF SHAZAM was to bolster the popularity of Captain Marvel, it appears headed for failure especially if the readership decline continues over the next few issues.