Review: CAPTAIN MARVEL #2

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CAPTAIN MARVEL #2
Written by Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters
Art by Kris Anka, Matthew Wilson, and Joe Caramagna
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: February 3, 2016

Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters, the acclaimed showrunners of Agent Carter, continue to deliver solid storytelling in their debut comic series. Carol Danvers is the new commander of Alpha Flight, which has been revamped as a galactic force orbiting Earth. Fan-favorite character Abigail Brand serves as lieutenant commander. Carol investigates a mysterious alien spaceship with teammates Sasquatch, Puck, Aurora, and new character Wendy Kawasaki. As we expect, the ship isn’t as abandoned as our heroes would hope.

Fazekas and Butters skillfully make each supporting character feel vital to the plot. The Alpha Flight members don’t just prop up a story about what Carol thinks or experiences. Wendy, who was introduced last issue, is particularly delightful: her earnest excitement at being on a field mission and her scientific expertise both shine through. Aurora’s no-nonsense personality contrasts well with Puck and Sasquatch’s sillier interactions.

Carol has often shown one of three sides to her character: loner (but a faithful, if aloof, friend), stern field commander, or team bruiser. Here, the creative team paints an emerging fourth picture of Carol: mentor and responsible, concerned coach. The way Carol cares about Wendy will immediately connect with readers. We also see a growing leadership struggle between Carol and Abigail Brand that teases some fascinating dynamics to watch.

Kris Anka and Matthew Wilson immerse us in Captain Marvel‘s tangible, distinct world. Wilson plays with how light fills a space, like the engine room where Puck and Sasquatch explore under a faintly eerie salmon pink glow. I like a panel where a green light beam shines on Carol, and the gold decoration on her blue and red outfit still manages to look metallic and believable. In the issue’s most haunting panel, we feel visceral pain at the deep, bright red cuts all over Carol’s body.

Anka and Wilson deserve praise for Alpha Flight’s uniforms. Aurora, Wendy, and an ensign assisting Abigail Brand dress in outfits that share a consistent color scheme yet have very individualized looks. Anka draws a wide variety of entertaining facial expressions, from Sasquatch’s frown to Carol’s teeth-baring grin. Joe Caramagna keeps the dialogue easy to follow by using italics for radio communications.

Fazekas and Butters deliver the superhero book we’ve been waiting for. I absolutely loved the first issue, and this second chapter is a worthy follow-up. Carol Danvers’ loyalty to her team — no matter the cost — makes Captain Marvel a winning story.

The Verdict: 8.5/10

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