Captain Marvel #1 Review
Pros:Best work of Lopez's career, immediately relatable
Cons:No villainous presence
Captain Marvel receives a bold new relaunch that is sure to entice fans young and old. Solid characterization and gorgeous art make this a must read for any fan. Period.
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.