Captain Marvel #1 Review

Posted January 20, 2016 by Jean-Luc Botbyl in Comic Books

Written by: Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters

Art by: Kris Anka

Publisher: Marvel

As someone who hasn’t read Captain Marvel since DeConnick’s first run on the character, I’m pleased to report that this issue is an excellent jumping on point. Fazekas and Butters don’t waste time re-introducing the character, but they do make sure that they aren’t referencing events or characters from the previous run. It’s kind of refreshing, to read the debut issue of a Marvel series, and not feel lost because I didn’t read the last event to take place in the universe.

Anyways, as for the actual quality of the comic, I will say this: I was satisfied. The co-authors nail the characterization of Carol Danvers, and introduce a fairly interesting supporting cast, all while setting up future conflicts. The budding friendship between Carol and Puck, the rivalry between Carol and Brand, the banter between Alpha Force – all of this is exciting, and I can’t wait for more.

That being said, the book didn’t actually grab me. I could blame my issues with it on the fact that it is a first issue, and I should expect set up, and blah blah blah. The thing is, it felt like the parts I really enjoyed were squandered. There’s a cameo from another Marvel universe character that’s cool, but it takes up multiple pages and doesn’t really accomplish all that much.

The same goes for the overall plot of the book. There’s a confrontation here that easily could have waited for the next issue, in favor of establishing characters and their dynamics. Instead, it shows up in the middle of this issue, and it really drags. Sure, this could be by design – during this scene, Carol is about as bored as I was reading it. Regardless, I’m not sure that that’s an actual excuse.

If nothing else, Kris Anka’s art looks great. His faces are exceptional – half the characterization comes from expressions alone. Maybe that’s an exaggeration, but the visual cues in this book definitely go a long way. There are a couple panels that look a little bit awkward, but nothing was really distracting enough to actually pull me out of the experience.

Anyways, like all things, Captain Marvel #1 isn’t perfect. It has its issues, but all in all I would recommend it. There’s nothing here so glaring that it turned me off entirely. Sure, it probably could have been better, even as a debut issue, but I’ll be coming back for at least another issue or so, since I do like the cast. There’s still time to sell me on the plot, and the cliffhanger is at least somewhat intriguing.

About the Author

Jean-Luc Botbyl

Jean-Luc is a grizzled veteran of We the Nerdy. Most days, he just wonders why he hasn't been formally fired. Follow him on Twitter at @J_LFett to make him feel validated.

Captain Marvel #1 Review

Posted March 18, 2014 by Henry Varona in

I have long loved Carol Danvers. Ever since I saw her flying through the pages of House of M, I was hooked. She has so much confidence and power, it’s impossible not to be entranced. You look at her and you see the power of women at Marvel. Unfortunately, her on again/off again nature in comics also reflects women at Marvel. As Marvel aims to fix this problem in their line-up, they have once again relaunched Captain Marvel, keeping writer Kelly Sue DeConnick and bringing along David Lopez for the ride. This first issue is a bold new direction for the series and looks to keep everything that made the last one great, but with a more accessible approach to storytelling.

The issue opens up with Captain Marvel and some of her alien allies running an op in space. The op goes south fast, and Captain Marvel loses one of her allies in the mayhem. We flash back to six weeks prior, and we see the daily life of Carol Danvers. Superheroics with Iron Patriot, downtime with her make-shift family, and business matters with Iron Man. Tony Stark wants Carol to go into space with the Guardians of the Galaxy, and after some goodbyes to her friends and Rhodey, she decides to take the position. It’s off to space we go!

Kelly Sue DeConnick has been writing Carol Danvers for about a year and a half now. As such, it comes as no surprise that she really has a good grasp on the character. This really makes me happy, because if you look at her earlier work until now, you see that she has really improved and nailed it. DeConnick wouldn’t let you know, but Captain Marvel isn’t quite herself right now. Her memory erased, Carol needs to sort out herself and find what makes her tick. The way this is handled is so sly that it perfectly balances accessibility and continuity. Old readers will be able to continue the story they’ve been reading, and new readers have an easy access point.

David Lopez takes over the art direction for this book, and it’s clear that he is bringing his best work. His art is part Cliff Chiang, part Jesus Saiz, and part Francesco Francavella. It is a true joy to read. This is the kind of art this book needs to elevate it to a top character title. Lopez has long been a favorite of mine for his work on Hawkeye and Mockingbird as well as Brian Wood’s X-Men, and he makes that work look childish by comparison. His layouts are clean, his action even cleaner, and he seems to fit the tone of this book to a T. I hope that he stays on for the long haul.

Overall, this issue is a strong start for Captain Marvel. Stronger than her last series, DeConnick seems to have an easy approach to starting this book off. The art by Lopez will win over many who were divided by previous artists, and the tie in to Guardians of the Galaxy can only help both books. I hope that we get a clear villain soon, as that has often stood in the way of this series, and I hope that DeConnick is able to handle the cosmic elements while keeping characterization front and center. However, I have little doubt that she can. This is the start of a great run.