Review: CAPTAIN MARVEL #1

Captain_Marvel_1_Cover

CAPTAIN MARVEL #1
Written by Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas
Art by Kris Anka and Matthew Wilson
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: January 20, 2016

It’s a new era for Captain Marvel as she finds a more stable home environment… orbiting planet Earth from the Alpha Flight space station.

This is the first official time Carol Danvers finds herself in her solo title, sans the creator that ushered her into her Captain title. While Secret Wars did have Kelly Thompson at the Captain Marvel helm, Kelly Sue DeConnick’s name was still officially attached to the series for plotting purposes. Now, the creative minds behind the Agent Carter television show have the reins and look to create a full and round picture for the Captain.

Much of the issue is devoted to established the pitfalls of Danvers taking over as the head of the Alpha Flight station. For those concerned that the new creators are throwing Captain Marvel staples away, such as her relationship with Rhodey, can breath easy. While Jessica Drew is missing in action from this issue, forgivable considering her rather pregnant state in her own book, Rhodey is the character that gives Danvers a “grounding.” It’s in this interaction that Anka’s art shows some of it’s weaker sides with awkward directions, stances and angles. However, any of those concerns are thrown aside in the copious amounts of action sequences. Matt Wilson’s colors provide an extra layer to these action sequences with movement and force that can you leave you staring at single panels looking to see everything that has occurred.

There is a deliberate pacing to this story that feels somewhat foreign to the comic book page. While many books have a few pages of exposition, several page of plot then lots a BOOM and BANG at the end; this book feels more like a television episode. Similar to the previous volume, the action is delivered right at the beginning with a backtrack to how Carol arrived at her predicament. In some ways, the establishment of the monotony of the Captain’s new role as head of the Alpha Flight station is almost monotonous to read. Rhodey’s concern and warnings drag on too long on the page and the pomp of Danvers’ arrival aboard feel like they drag the plot down more. What does work are the humorous one-liners and Anka’s facial expressions on the characters. They can keep a reader from giving up before we get back to the action.

The role of the new support cast is still unclear, with throw away lines and interactions potentially giving readers character establishing whiplash. There has been an attempt to provide a nod to previous fans of Alpha Flight, with some familiar faces as they’ve been upgraded to world protectors in space. Abigail Brand has been added to the cast with her regular uncomfortable and unfriendly characterization. Carol Danvers’ character does lack some of the warmth of her previous volumes. However, Carol is also surrounded by fellow warriors and strangers who do not need looking after or mothering.

As always there is a great mystery hook at the end to guarantee that you’ll be back for the second issue. Fans of the previous Captain Marvel series will not find themselves longing for a previous time. Anyone who is concerned that Captain Marvel has lost her punching the sky, feminist edge, can breath easy. Carol Danvers is still an all action-hero that makes no apologies for her act-first-ask-questions-second mentality.

The Verdict: 8.0/10

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