Captain Marvel 1 & 2

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Reviewed by 24-Feb-16

For comics novices, Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters do a good job.

Screenshot_2016-02-19-13-14-12_1Screenshot_2016-02-19-13-14-49_1Kelly Sue DeConnick’s runs on Captain Marvel are a hard act to follow. Though the first series was undermined by inconsitent artwork, the second benefitted from the work of David Lopez. As for the writing, after a bedding-in period, DeConnick consistently produced top quality superhero material, especially once she moved Carol Danvers into her natural environment, space. The final issues in each run are amongst the best, most emotionally affecting comics that Marvel have published recently.

Marvel have chosen to meet that challenge through what is actually quite a risk, by giving the writing task to Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters. These are part of the showrunning team for the excellent Agent Carter television series, so they have strong credentials for writing feminist adventure series centred around strong female heroes. But they haven’t actually written for comics before.

This is, of course one of many comics to pick up the story after Secret Wars and the refashioning of the Marvel Universe, but let’s leave that behind us, because frankly, I don’t care.

Screenshot_2016-02-19-13-14-34_1The premise of the new Captain Marvel series is that Carol is placed in charge of Alpha Flight, who are now, in the new Marvel Universe, Earth’s first defence against the aliens. (She’s also a member of the new super-team the Ultimates, and is being drawn into the revived A-Force, so she’s going to be busy.) Alpha Flight is based in a satellite that is in geostationary orbit above the Triskelion, which sits just off Manhattan. I can’t decide if this is because the Marvel staffers really don’t know how geostationary orbits work (they can only be above the Equator), or if it’s an elaborate in-joke, referring back to the JLA’s satellite, which was in geostationary orbit above Metropolis. In theory, Carol’s job is supposed to be a desk job – in practice she goes out and leads Alpha Flight in their space fighters against menaces, echoing the Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps series.

Anyway, for comics novices, Fazekas and Butters deliver a good script. I suspect they have had considerable help from editor Sana Amanat, who provides continuity from the DeConnick run. Fazekas and Butters capture Carol’s voice well, with the right level of banter, and set up interesting character dynamics on the station. Kris Anka’s artwork is rather lovely, perfectly suited to space vistas, and a worthy successor to Lopez. Matthew Wilson’s colours complement the art excellently. It’s not yet as top rate a series as DeConnick’s, but this is early days, and this series is definitely worth following.

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