Review: CAPTAIN MARVEL #1

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CAPTAIN MARVEL #1
Written by Kelly Sue DeConnick
Art by Dexter Soy
Release Date: July 18, 2012

I should start off by saying there’s a lot riding on this book for me as a comics fan. It’s been years now since I’ve collected more than one or two Marvel Comics titles at any particular time. So many books have seemed completely impenetrable to me that I’ve all but given up on the universe. However, the announcement of a new female-centered title (the only one until October’s release of Red She Hulk, in fact) starting with a fresh #1 was incentive for me to give it one last try. If Marvel could prove to me that a book — any book — could be an easy entry point AND feature a woman in the title role, I’d give the entire MU another shot.

Well, congrats Captain Marvel. You succeeded.

This issue is indeed the brand new start I was hoping for, but DeConnick doesn’t treat Carol Danvers as anything less than a stalwart, long-time Avenger. She’s confidant, a bit witty, a little introspective, and seriously kickass. This initial story doesn’t seem to thrust the Captain into much of an exciting adventure, but it does a good job at setting up her status quo and introducing cast members without seeming perfunctory. You get enough of her origin to roll with, but for the most part, the issue ends with quiet moments that tell you more about personality than power set — brains over braun.

Soy’s artwork is bound to be controversial here. Carol at her most bombastic is not represented well by the heavy inks and dark shading, as they seem to weigh her down when fighting on the ground. When floating in space, however, where gravity is negligible, Soy’s art has a beauty that is unmatched. Captain Marvel glows against the vastness of space, but against a more conventional backdrop, she seems almost somber. In some scenes it works, others less so. Time will tell if it marries well with the story DeConnick has to tell.

All in all, Captain Marvel is an excellent start to what I hope will become a core title for the publisher, one which reflects its mighty history, but charts a new flight path for its future.

Verdict: 8.0/10

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