Captain Marvel #1
Written by Kelly Sue DeConnick
Art by Dexter Soy
Cover by Dan McGuinness, Dexter Vines, and Javier Rodriguez
Release Date: July 18, 2012
Cover Price: $2.99
Carol Danvers, aka Ms. Marvel, is a B-list Avenger who Brian Michael Bendis has actually been able to make quite interesting over the last few years in the Avengers main book. She was an Air Force pilot who was inadvertently imprinted with the DNA of a Kree warrior named Mar-Vel, also known as Captain Marvel. Along with his DNA she of course picked up all of his abilities: super-strength, flight, near invulnerability, and energy manipulation. She gets another stab at a solo book here with Captain Marvel #1.
This new comic is set up to reinvent her and to bring the Captain Marvel name to the forefront of the Marvel U again. She has a new costume and a new hairdo to go along with the name change from Ms. Marvel to Captain Marvel. The story is actually really simple in this first issue. Captain America sets out to convince Danvers that it’s time she takes on the moniker of Captain Marvel, but she is reluctant to take on the now-dead Kree warrior’s name. Captain America has a simple but elegantly delivered opinion on the difference in the hero name and the real name that sets Danvers to considering it.
There’s no spoiler in revealing that she in fact does decide to take on the name due to the title of the comic book series. Sometimes it’s not the result of a journey that’s important, it’s the journey itself and that’s how this book is set up.
She gets fairly introspective as she considers taking on the name even complaining about being able to do the things that she loves to do without risk because the risk is why she loves to do them. Just before it all gets to whiny she turns a corner inside her own mind and figuratively and literally returns to Earth. The story that follows is almost quaint. It begins an arc of sharing what kind of person Danvers is based on the influences of her youth, a story not revealed about her before. There’s no evil to battle here, it’s just simple character development. The story is a quick read and it’s incomplete, purposefully so. While it’s a good starter for the book, I don’t know that this story from the new Captain Marvel’s past can sustain more than one issue.
The artwork is very painterly and beautiful to take in, especially in the digital medium on an iPad. The character design is meant to be more reminiscent of the classic male Captain Marvel and also reminiscent of a Kree warrior. Not only did Danvers get a tighter hairdo for the costume, she dropped weight all of a sudden too. Traditionally Ms. Marvel has been drawn as a more buxom sort of character, but the new design is pretty pixie-like. She feels vaguely anime inspired in costume in some of the panels too which is a bad thing. The previous character designs were actually better, just my opinion. Similar to the story I’m not sure if this art style can sustain multiple issues. In this dream-like story it’s perfect, but when the plot does eventually transition to tights and fights I don’t think this style of art will stand up as well as it does in this issue.
On its own, outside of any future installment considerations, Captain Marvel #1 is a nice easy read and pretty to look at. It’ll be interesting to see where it goes as it progresses. By the way, Susan Harlow’s concept art for the character at the end of the book is really the way to go!