Captain Marvel 1

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Reviewed by 04-Apr-14

Carol’s back, and it’s going to be great.

I can’t say I’m a fan of these restarts that Marvel seems to enjoy. Cancelling a title and relaunching it with #1 when said title hasn’t even reached #20 seems a bit unnecessary. Will we be denied ever again a comic reaching #50, let alone #600?

I can say that I’m a fan of Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Captain Marvel. Rebranding Carol with a non-gendered codename, and putting her in a costume that, even if you don’t like it, no longer makes her look like a fetish model, were strokes of genius. The first series took a while to get going – I didn’t always like the art (and indeed the book never really settled on a regular artist), and I’d argue that it wasn’t until #7 (with a guest appearance of Monica Rambeau, a former Captain Marvel) that the writing really hit its stride. But the final issue of the previous run, #17, is full of some beautiful moments. Will Morgan is planning on writing about this series as something that got under many people’s radar, and I’m looking forward to reading that.

So, the new series keeps the same writer, but there’s a new artist, David Lopez (with colours by Lee Loughridge). I like Lopez’s work a lot.  It’s lovely and clean, and suits the book well – better than some of those from the previous series (I think Filipe Andrade is an interesting artist, but didn’t seem to me to be right for this book).

This is about all you get of most of the old supporting cast.

DeConnick does at least mark the restart with a new direction for the series. Carol is going into space, having been manoeuvered into the idea by Tony Stark (who is, as ever, a manipulative shit). This does kinda make sense – if you’re going to send an Avenger into space, then Carol might well be my first choice. But it does mean wiping the slate fairly clean in terms of the supporting cast. As Will will say in his piece, DeConnick had built up an interesting and engaging supporting cast (including Spider-Woman), and it will be sad to lose them, if only for a while.

But the loss of the supporting cast is, in a way, something of a natural consequence of events in the previous series, where Carol was stripped of most of her memories (yes, I know, again, but it was done as a noble act of sacrifice, that worked for the character), and so has lost her emotional connection to many of these people. One of the consequences of this is that Carol now has a new love interest, the Iron Patriot, who, it has been hinted, may well turn up in future issues.

My favourite line from this issue.

But let’s focus on what is hopeful about this issue. We see a little of the new supporting cast, to whom we will presumably get introduced in future issues. They seem potentially quite interesting. And DeConnick’s gift for warm, funny dialogue, developed through the previous series, remains on display here.

Of the four recently-launched female-led Marvel titles, Captain Marvel is not the best. In fact, it probably is one of the weakest, after Ms. Marvel and She-Hulk (now with added Hellcat – yay!). But it’s on a level with Black Widow (which is becoming a bit formulaic), and really, the standard set by all of these four titles is pretty damn high. If She-Hulk and Ms. Marvel didn’t exist, I’d be praising this comic to the skies.

Carol’s back, and it’s going to be great.

I couldn’t leave you without this, possibly the finest origin recap ever.

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One response to “Captain Marvel 1”

  1. Mike Teague says:

    Have to say I wasn’t overly impressed with this. I bought the first couple of issues of the previous run but wasn’t inspired enough to continue. #17 was nice (thank you for the tip off there, Tony !) but I don’t feel inclined to go any further.
    Ms Marvel is brilliant, of course; I am very happy when She-Hulk is given a great writer; and Black Widow is still very good, but I agree that it has lost a bit of shine. And Loki, who was a woman at one point, before he became a child – hmmm, let’s not go there.
    So on the whole, a lot of great new titles from New Now! or whatever it’s called. But sadly, I don’t think Captain Marvel is one of them.

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