The Mighty Captain Marvel #0 Review

Written by: Margaret Stohl

Art by: Emilio Laiso, Ramon Rosanas and Rachelle Rosenberg

Publisher: Marvel

Captain Marvel has been one of the series I’ve long been wanting to get into but, never have. This is due to Marvel reshuffling the status quo and resetting the issue count every 6 months so I had no idea when a good jumping on point was or which volume one represented said point. Lucky me then for this #0 to show up, as these issues are classically designed to serve as a quick fire introduction to the cast, tone and story of a series or catch up session for previous readers. I will therefore be judging this issue mainly on how well I think it allows me to get a feel for the characters and how well it catches me up with what’s been going on. I am aware that this will be a hard feat for the book, especially just coming off of Civil War II which I didn’t read, however Uncanny Inhumans managed to do a perfect exemplary zero issue not that long ago so I have faith that it can be done.

The issue starts off well enough wit Danvers visiting a  therapist due to her suffering from a recurring dream where Iron Man bursts through a wall to fight her (oh boy does that have a lame conclusion but, spoilers). I quite like the idea of this setting and wish that it was used as a framing device for the full issue. Sure it would have been cliche but I think that zero issues often benefit most from a rigid structure that this would bring. It allows you to condense huge sections of story and periods of time down to just a few sentences in a way which doesn’t come across as jarring as characters doing a full exposition dump on the past year or so mid conversation, as if that’s how they always converse.

You do get a feel for Carol quickly, although I can’t say that the side of her character that is shown most is really all that interesting, although that seems intentional as what we get is a clear image of someone who has way too much on their plate and has become fixated solely on their job. We do see how the stress and demands of the Colonel’s work life affects her as she prioritises running alpha flight above all other things, including sleep and friendships, and we it’s brought home to us how severe this must be by the concern shown by her colleagues.

Now, without a rigid framing structure (such as the example above) there must be some kind of arc to this issue right? I mean for a zero issue to truly not be considered a misnumbered #1 it has to act at least somewhat standalone, at least in my eyes it does (if you have a different idea about what you think the difference is please let me know, and while you’re at it please do the same for #.1 issues).  I don’t really know what development we’re supposed to have seen here. I guess the mini arc was about Carol meeting up with Jess again? The problem is Carol not making time to see Jess since her pregnancy is only mentioned once at the start and that’s it. you could push this story to show Cpt. Marvel beginning to make more time for things other than punching space stuff but there doesn’t really seem to be a gradual build or revelation moment for her to make that decision. She spends most of the issue showing everyone that she’s more or less taken Uncle Ben’s advice to Peter Parker to an unhealthy extreme, then she sees a baby and decides to meet up with the friend she has been too busy to see for months. I just find this odd, especially since Danvers leaves right as her team begins sorting our and alien refugee crisis.

Overall though I think this is a pretty darn good introduction to a series, it shows off the main character pretty nicely and hints at the main plot threads to come, being the Captain confronting her personal problems and the alien refugee situation (including what caused it and the problems it creates). The best part of the book is the catch up of Carol’s pre-Marvel days which allows you to really get a feel for what motivates her and what’s at the core of her beliefs (if you are interested in the character this issue is worth this alone).

Last but not least I’d like to quickly mention the art in this issue. It didn’t exactly blow me away, the one action sequence was a bit underwhelming, Cap’s hair is just ridiculous at times and sometimes faces taken on this saturday morning cartoon style that feels out of place (looking at you, hearts-for-eyes-face). Aside from this, I can appreciate that this story didn’t leave much room for Laiso and Rosanas to really cut loose but you can see some nice, quality frames in there, the most obvious being the splash page where Danvers finishes recounting what her life was like up to becoming Ms. Marvel.

Overall, I’d say this book didn’t reach out and grab me by the lapels and there is certainly more thrilling stuff to read that’s out this week (I’m sure Chad has found some indie comic he’d love to recommend). But that’s not really the job of a #0, that’s what a #1 is for. Captain Marvel can be an interesting character and there are plenty of stories that she can fit into that I’d love to read, this book does a great job of introducing you to that character and hinting at what this story may be but unfortunately little else.