Captain Marvel #1 [Review]
Kelly Sue DeConnick finally brings Carol Danvers back in Captain Marvel #1, restarting, or really just continuing the absolutely beloved run last volume. Carol is every bit as likable and powerful as ever, but with a rather cosmic change of venue. Possibly in attempt to garner even more favor for the already extremely hyped-up Guardians of the Galaxy flick this summer, Iron Man approaches Captain Marvel regarding a year in space among the guardians, as somewhat of an emissary for The Avengers. We’ve all seen cosmic Marvel get pretty wacky, and this well-realized characterization of Captain Marvel has not only the flight prowess and determination to kick ass around space for a year, but the depth of her character’s caring and sometimes hilariously short attitude to make it a meaningful and entertaining ride.
The writing is as enveloping as ever, Ms. DeConnick making the ensemble cast of Tony Stark and Rhodey (former War Machine, current Iron Patriot and romantic entanglement) both full of expressive personality, entertaining both in themselves and Carol’s reactions. Of course, Captain Marvel’s self-proclaimed sidekick Kit remains crucial, focusing the reader in on the importance of Superheroes as moral compasses, even while flawed. This neat little trick brilliantly highlights and intensifies both faults and successes in Ms. Danvers’ career as an inspiring figure, with the added benefit of Kit being constantly adorable. Along with creating a beautiful setup with the context of these characters and their interaction, DeConnick does not sacrifice any intrigue in the plot. Captain Marvel’s powers are alien after all, so an arc featuring her on grand adventures through space feels almost sensible, while still keeping the excitement factor.
Integral to the adventurous feel of the book is David Lopez’s art. Clear and in your face, brightly colored and almost standoffish, the alien landscape and expressive characters familiar yet engrossing (you’re noticing a theme here?), and reminiscent of Star Wars, Saga, or really any lovable, galaxy-spanning work of intrepid science fiction. This is a landscape where readers feel at home, both in the outer space setting and the stripped down superhero dynamic, but with the all important feature that the creative team actually does it well. What seems like a simple decision of “Let’s put her in space!” or “Let’s give her a young ward to inspire!” actually manages to serve a deeper meaning and hold attention, crafting a gripping story with hints of familiar details.
This one’s a must-read, folks. Returning fans will have plenty of this exciting new prospect on established themes to enjoy, and new readers will have enough cultural context of science fiction to get it too. It is, after all, an extremely simple story, but this creative teams helps us realize how those always run deeper than we initially notice.
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