Billy Batson huddled against the wall, shivering as raindrops pattered against his cardboard shelter. Again and again he cursed Big Dee, the 16-year old leader of the Tough Ratz, the local youth gang. He may have been orphaned and penniless, but at least he'd had a home. But the Ratz took it as a clubhouse, and so here he was, sitting in a cardboard box just off Main Street. He was still cursing under his breath when he saw the man.

He was wearing a long, grey trench coat which, along with his broad-brimmed hat, completely obscured his face. He stretched out a gloved hand and beckoned. "Who are you?" yelled Billy over the sound of the rain. I am your guide, Billy Batson, he said in a voiced that seemed to echo through the air, I have come to take you to the Wizard. "Why should I trust you? How do I know you're not gonna kidnap me or something?" You wish for a demonstration? "Hell, yeah I do!" Very well, watch closely. The stranger lifted his hand and pointed towards a nearby lamppost. He tensed his fingers and the bulb exploded. Billy ducked as sparks showered down on the street. He looked at the slowly melting pole, then shrugged. "Okay, where to?" They started walking. We must journey beyond space and time, to the Rock of Eternity, home of the Wizard Shazam. "Fair enough," said Billy, "but why are we going into the subway?"