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Captain Marvel #1 Review

5 min read

Captain Marvel Issue 1 CoverSometimes you just gotta fly.

Creative Staff:
Story: Kelly Sue DeConnick
Art: David Lopez

What They Say:
As Captain Marvel, a.k.a. Carol Danvers, comes to a crossroads with a new life and new romance, she makes a dramatic decision that will alter the course of her life and the entire Marvel Universe in the months to come. It’s time to go HIGHER, FURTHER, FASTER and more in the most super-powered comic around!

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Carol Danvers has long been a fixture of the Marvel Universe and it’s going to be interesting to see how she becomes even more so in the years to come as her feature film gets put together. I spent a lot of time with the character originally back during the X-Men days as Binary and what happened there and kind of lost track of her after the 90’s. I read some of the previous series for the character, but the opening arc didn’t connect well for me with its focus on the past and I ended up falling out of it in a big way. With the first issue being offered up for free on ComiXology, I decided to give it a shot and see if they’ve found a hook that will work for me. With this issue, there’s a lot going on that may be off putting for new fans, but it also gets Carol back where she belongs by the end – in space.

The series actually gives us a few pages of her and the team she’s working with off on a planet called Ursor 4, where they’re in search of someone. That gives us a look at where they’re going to go, because the book actually wants to focus on the events of six weeks prior first. The forward look offers us the hook of the science fiction angle and being out on other worlds, and seeing who she’s going to work together with while not giving us a lot in the way of details. Normally, this might make the Earthbound flashback period that we get for the remainder of the book a bit more tedious as you just want to get to the story at hand. But what we get here is rather good, if complicated for new fans, as it clues us in to Carol’s personality well, her desires and needs and the kinds of relationships she has and what she’s willing to risk to figure out why she’s so restless on Earth.

Considering her past, it’s not a surprise. The story here gives us a taste of something that will make her going offworld important with the arrival of a pod from space that has a rapid-aging alien in it known as Nowalian, but that’s just setup for the next issue. The real focus here is showing how Carol interacts with those that she deals with, seeing the kind of relationship she has with Rhodey both as a man and as Iron Patriot, and seeing the way Tony as Iron Man can totally and easily manipulate her into what he wants. We get the nod towards SWORD in order to establish things more, but there’s also the push from Tony that’s made that they really need more of a presence in space for the Avengers, sort of a rotating position with the Guardians of the Galaxy for a year at a time in order to do what needs being done. It’s the kind of casual job offer that does work well.

The book does spend time with those that matter in her life, which helps to humanize her more and really brings out her personality and approach to people in a great way, but we also see how a lot of things on Earth just feel boring to her considering what she’s experienced in space. Mostly, we get that she really is a good person and will do a lot for people, but she’s needing to put herself first now and doing so means leaving all of them. I wasn’t aware of her relationship with Rhodey going into this, but it makes me want to go back and explore more of it to see what else there is as the two definitely click well. The opener for the series certainly hits a lot of good notes here and it sets up the why of leaving and the necessity of leaving for something that she really needs.

In Summary:
While what I read of Kelly Sue DeConnick previously for Captain Marvel didn’t click for me, the story beats and pacing here is much better and flows in a more natural way. This brings me closer to the Carol I know whole expanding and revealing more about her. It also helps that she has a top notch artist in David Lopez to work with here as he really brings Carol to life in a great way, in costume and out. The book runs through a whole lot of different locales and Lopez brings them all to life well, though I’m more looking forward to seeing him cut loose with the outer space side of it to see what he can do. I’d been curious about the Captain Marvel series since it relaunched and this has convinced me that it’s a must-read series – after I catch up on a few other things.

Grade: B+

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Marvel Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: March 12th, 2014
MSRP: $3.99

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