Comic Book Review: Captain Marvel #1
No better book to pick up this year for Captain Marvel fans. With the world premiere of the movie right around the corner, this is probably one of the most important book debuts for the captain. After getting to know Carol Danvers more intimately after her latest mini story, I felt anxious to see what would come next when she goes back to work. When they hype this up as an oversized issue that marks the next 50 years of Captain Marvel? Its hard not to say that there are some expectations to meet.
This first issue gave us a solid welcome back into the world of Captain Marvel. How this creative team chose to approach Carol Danvers returning to Earth was great for the fact that there wasn’t anything to make you question what came before her return. It was good that there was an acknowledging of what happened during “The Life of Captain Marvel” and her adventure into space after, for those who have kept up with her story up to this point. With some books, you have to draw that line in the sand between new beginnings and continuations. This was satisfying since this is just another day returning to Earth and getting back into the swing of things that she missed while gone. Namely catching up with friends and saving the city. With that said, I did feel like the giant monster was a bit much for a first encounter upon returning. However, it was a worthy adversary to remind us of just how strong she is.
The only thing that will leave you wondering what you missed is what has happened with the Avengers. When you get around to how she continues to fit in that box, you begin to question some things that may have changed the the way this team works. That answer you can figure out for yourself, but it is more Carol’s reaction that pops out to you since this is one of those things that she also has to adjust to. Particularly as an icon. Making the rounds like this was crucial for the first issue. Even the other couple of people who she reconnected with was worth the pages given for the interaction. You want to leave no stone unturned, even if you might prefer that Captain Marvel continue as a solo act.
One of the biggest sells for me on this new run of Captain Marvel is bold choices made by Kelly Thompson using characters you don’t seen often, if not at all. One of those characters just so happening to be Hazmat. The writing for this character was on the mark and a treat to those of us who followed this character from Avengers Arena. The other sell was this other world that Carol would find herself trapped in with Hazmat and others. How Carol and company found themselves in such a situation was exciting because of the villain. It was creative to use a more classic villain who was also formidable in capabilities. There will be some readers out there who will no doubt complain that there’s some propaganda to the use of said villain, but none of his mannerisms hold any weight against the context of the battle that Carol is dragged into, or the thrill of the world she ends up in by the end of the issue.
Carmen Carnero and Tamra Bonvillain were perfect for the art team. Stunning work from start to finish for the way that they captured the fast life of Carol Danvers. She doesn’t live the kind of life where there are too many moments to slow down. As I said above, the size of the giant monster was bold choice for a first encounter. However, the unique design of this monster and the challenge it gave Carol made it visually appealing. More than that, I enjoyed the coloring choice for it as well. You can never go wrong with that alien shade of green, or the purple markings which overlay. Speaking of greens, said villain towards the end also had a green energy to himself that was great for the intensity that comes with radiation. The same could also be said for Hazmat when the larger audience is now able to see what she can do with her radioactive powers. Her suit brought back memories as well, though you could see small changes that made it look a bit more advanced. Last thing worth mentioning was the more down to Earth moments which stood out for the way that Carnero further creates that distinction between Captain Marvel and Carol Danvers. It makes a big difference to have those moments where she acts, reacts, and expresses herself like someone who appreciates simple interactions.
Captain Marvel #1 is a debut with so much potential for where Carol Danvers goes from her re-entry into Earth. To say that the life of Captain Marvel is a full plate is an understatement, but half the fun with this hero is following every obstacle and challenge which pushes her to stand tall. You can’t always get up if you aren’t facing real problems.