Comic Book Review: The Mighty Captain Marvel #0
Carol Danvers has not had a good year. Since becoming a favorite among female readers, she spent almost all of 2016 becoming incredibly unlikable in “Civil War II”. She was once a character a lot of people could relate to but quickly became militant and wanted to trust uncertain visions in order to punish potential criminals. This is what event comics do to great characters and now it is up to writer Margaret Stohl to right the ship and make us like Captain Marvel again. “The Mighty Captain Marvel” #0 is a successful start to returning Carol to form and should make fans hopeful for her future.
“The Mighty Captain Marvel” #0 returns Carol back to space, leading the Alpha Flight program. She’s protecting Earth and helping alien refugees get through easily. She’s also suffering from nightmares and insomnia caused in part by the events of “Civil War II” and the added stress of leading Alpha Flight. She now has to find a way to move on from all this and try to fix her relationships with other heroes.
What really works about “The Mighty Captain Marvel” #0 is the way Stohl combines what’s happened in “Civil War II” with what came before the event. Instead of a big status quo change, Captain Marvel is returned to her old post but dealing with a changed world and internal changes. Stohl writes a story that illustrates just how imperfect Carol is as a person and how she tends to let the universe’s problems fall on her shoulders. She has to fight the things that can’t be beat with physical powers and learn things about herself while still continuing to do good. Unfortunately this issue slightly ignores some of the bigger things that Carol did and was involved with in “Civil War II” and it is a sign of a bigger problem at Marvel. We get these huge events every few months written by writers who don’t have a grasp on certain characters and then we’re thrown right back into their solo series with some things ignored. It’s all for headlines but that’s not the fault of “The Mighty Captain Marvel” #0. Anyone who was anxiously waiting to get back into reading Captain Marvel’s adventures will not find much to dislike here. Stohl covers the bases from a writing standpoint and infuses enough drama and action to separate this from a lot of other superhero titles.
The art is split between Emilio Laiso and Ramon Rosanas but this split isn’t distracting. “The Mighty Captain Marvel” #0 has a very playful look to it from start to finish. I keep mentioning that this feels like a return instead of a reset and that’s apparent in the art as well. Laiso and Rosanas capture the spirit of this character in design and movement. This is “punch the sky” Captain Marvel at her finest thanks to their beautiful action sequences and emotional flashbacks to Carol’s childhood. Stohl’s script has some humor in it and these two artists rise to the occasion with excellent, emotive characters. However, it’s Rachelle Rosenberg’s colors that stand out the most. “The Mighty Captain Marvel” #0 is a gorgeously bright comic book. This feels like a superhero title that wants to return to its glory days. Rosenberg’s detailing in color on the costumes in contrast to the vastness of space makes each one of them pop. Our attention is always drawn to Carol but everything in each panel has a spark to it. The station itself feels cold but not in a desolate way which is the right tone to strike with something like this.
“The Mighty Captain Marvel” #0 is a return to form but has a lot of room to grow. I’m eager to see these plot points expanded upon and particularly interested in how Carol handles all that she’s dealing with. This has potential to be something very special.