As I mentioned a week or two ago in my Ms. Marvel #1 review, I hadn’t read anything Ms. Marvel/Captain Marvel related before then. Well, a day or two ago I finally got the new Captain Marvel #1, and I have to say, it was pretty damn good. I mean, I wasn’t expecting it to be bad, per se; Marvel, for the most part, is doing pretty well of late. But I was expecting it to be a bit hard to get into right away. After all, it’s not a new character; Carol Danvers’ previous ongoing ended in November, and she’s already well established in the Marvel Universe — unlike Kamala Khan. But though there are relationships I don’t really understand entirely, given my lack of familiarity with the history — I’ve never heard of Kit ” Lieutenant Trouble” Renner or her mother, for instance, and I didn’t know Carol lived in the Statue of Liberty or that she was (secretly?) dating James Rhodes, the Iron Patriot — the story itself isn’t too hard to follow. Granted, it’s only been one issue. But unless I’m very much mistaken, this is the start of a brand new story, opening in media res before jumping to the past for the start of a “how we got here” story.
So, of course, we’re left with a cliffhanger, because what good is a first issue if it doesn’t leave a reason for you to keep reading? New readers like me don’t yet know anything about Carol’s current situation, who Tic is, etc. But we are treated to an adorable crayon-drawn origin of Captain Marvel, attributed to Kit. It’s really basic and lacks detail, but it gives the crucial plot points — Carol goes into a cave, finds a machine from another world, gets zapped, BAM! Instant super heroine. I’m taking this at face value, because, as I’ve said, I don’t know anything about Danvers’ history.
As for writing, Kelly Sue DeConnick presents some pretty fantastic dialogue, which perfectly drives the story and presents the personalities of the characters quiet nicely. Iron Man’s appearance was particularly spot-on, and the couple of Star Wars references were nice touches. David Lopez’s art is beautiful, and gives a very nice contrast, as with Ms. Marvel, to the vast majority of the Marvel Universe these days. At least, the comics I’ve read, such as some of Superior Spider-Man and Thor: God of Thunder, present pretty grim color palettes. Nova is on the colorful side, too, though the vast expanses of space do tend to detract from the bright red, blue, and gold of Nova’s uniform. Now, I know, Carol’s heading out into space too. But if the opening sequence is anything to judge by, she seems like she’ll be spending more time planet-side than duking it out among the stars. Lopez’s original cover is gripping, and is part of what drove me to add the series to my pull list.
Though I couldn’t resist grabbing Lopez’s animal variant cover when I saw it this weekend. I knew it was awesome and adorable, but I hadn’t expected to see it in person! So in the ultimate display of nerdery I’ll have two copies with different covers, because the art is just that good.
All in all, I’d definitely recommend the series. Between Captain Marvel and Ms. Marvel, I think 2014 is shaping up to be an excellent year for women in comics. Time will tell if I’m wrong, but from their spectacular debuts, I think they’ve got some staying power.
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