Review: Captain Marvel #1 By Kelly Sue DeConnick and Dexter Soy

Captain Marvel #1

Written by Kelly Sue DeConnick

Art by Dexter Soy

 

The short of it:

 

Carol, in her new costume, teams up with Captain America to take on the Absorbing Man. Creel is…a bit of a jackass belittles Carol repeatedly for being a woman, for being ‘Mrs. Marvel’, and really, just manages to piss her off. This leads to her taking out the behemoth in front of a crowd of people clicking away on their phones and reporters looking for a story. The new costume has people thrown off and not recognizing her (probably the lack of exposed skin), and Cap thinks it’s the perfect opportunity to rebrand herself and make that legacy her own. There’s some resistance at first but thinking about what she can do, and what all the women she idolized growing up would have killed to do…the decision isn’t a hard one to make. From there we see her taking care of a friend recovering from cancer, as well as honoring one of her fallen heroes. Nice character work to end the issue and establish her personality.

 

What I liked:

 

  • Just like with Avenging last week, Kelly Sue brings on the funny.
  • MOON POWERS!
  • The banter between Carol and Steve is as natural as the banter she had with Peter Parker in Avenging Spidey last week, which is really a great nod of things to come in my opinion.
  • I’m always a fan when a writer actually does their research, and while Carol’s friend isn’t someone I have familiarity with, my research has shown that Kelly Sue dug through Carol’s original series to find her. Respect.
  • Carol takes the new name on a dare. Awesome. Well, a dare and a trip to touch the stars.
  • Another week another Spider-Man by Kelly Sue that makes me want to read more of her Spider-Man.
  • You’ve got the human and you’ve got the hero and you’ve got a nice balance found in the middle of them. It’s a really nice touch that makes this book that much more engaging.

 

What I didn’t like:

 

  • The art is a bit over inked, and some panels aren’t overly attractive to look at, but the issue does clear up as it goes along. Really, I didn’t hate the art, but last week we had the Dodson’s drawing Carol. I was spoiled.
  • Not really something I don’t like so much as something I don’t understand, but how would having powers preclude her from earning records inside of a plane? It’s not like she can make them go faster from the pilots seat…can she?
  • Man, with all the military stuff going on this issue between Carol and Steve, I’d have expected Colonel Marvel, but I guess that’s not one they have a trademark on. Also, doesn’t flow like Captain Marvel.

 

Final Thoughts:

 

Years ago when Hal Jordan came back and they relaunched Green Lantern for him, Geoff Johns made a big deal about how Hal was a pilot and that’s what his personality was. That he was fearless because he flew jets, and that he had the coolest job in the world. The concept was sound, base his personality around his love for flying and job at Ferris. Or the Air Force, given the way the book went. Unfortunately, that didn’t last very long. Within two years Hal became Green Lantern full time, quit flying planes, quit talking about flying planes, and quit doing anything that didn’t involve his ring. He was a pilot in the Air Force with a steady girlfriend, and one fight with Sinestro and none of it was ever mentioned again.

 

So what does that have to do with this book? Kelly Sue takes Carol up a similar path, focusing on what makes Carol who she is, which, for years, has been that she’s an officer in the Air Force. With Carol it has never been a title tacked on to make her seem more important, that’s how she debuted. It’s how she has always been characterized, and it’s always left her a stronger character. So long as Kelly Sue remembers to keep focus on her job and hobbies, Carol isn’t going to wind up in the hole Johns dropped Hal Jordan into. The one where only the Green Lantern side of the character is interesting. With Carol we have one of the most dynamic females at Marvel, and the best way to keep her as such is to make Carol Danvers just as important as Captain Marvel, and not to lose the identity of the character to the name of the book.

 

The way the costume works is interesting, like, I love the look (hair is growing on me), but the mask is what stands out to me. It literally puts itself together on her face when she wants it, and it makes for a pretty awesome visual. Stark Tech? I’m going to assume Stark Tech.

 

The usage of the fictional Helen Cobb as a member of the not-so-fictional Mercury 13 was a really nice touch. Hook Carol directly into history by giving her a hero that, while fictional, is based on something real enough that it only further adds to her character arc. Her heroes were her dad and this record setting pilot that she wanted to grow up and be just like, whom she actually had the good fortune of meeting. Hell, the entire climax of the issue was Carol honoring the woman and reaching for the stars because of her.

 

The AR stuff in this issue was fun. It was nice to have KSD popping in to explain between the panels to me, especially on stuff like the Mercury 13 where I just flat out had not heard of it before. I love the idea of is being used like special features or a directors cut on demand…even if the app is way too slow to load.

 

There is no reason in the world why this book shouldn’t be on Marvel’s top tier. They lack a Wonder Woman, and you know what? This is the Mighty Marvel Version. Captain Marvel should be a prominent franchise at Marvel, as should be Carol. Combining the two is just the perfect handling of it, and she deserves a push right to the moon. This isn’t the kind of title that they can forget to keep promoting after the third or fourth issue and just let it sit where it is on the charts. This is a marquee book that needs to be constantly pushed as one. This book should be bigger than three quarters of their catalog, they should settle for nothing short of top thirty on the sales charts.

 

I’ve been a living hype machine for this book since it was first announced, I love books featuring strong female leads. The fact that Marvel had none in the wake of ending X-23 bothered me immensely because…well, I’m a Spider-Girl guy. I spent over a decade reading a female led solo title from Marvel on a monthly basis and labeling it amongst my favorite books. Not having one was just awkward, but given that this is what they’re giving us? I’m perfectly happy and content. This book has lived up to all of my expectations and I absolutely can not wait for the next issue.

 

Overall: 8.5/10

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