One of Marvel’s premier superheroes in recent years and also a mainstay of various Avengers team-ups over the years, Carol Danvers aka Ms Marvel got a shiny new reboot in Marvel Now when Captain America asked her to take on the mantle of Captain Marvel. With the death of the original holder of that moniker, the position had been open for quite some time and for Captain America it was a logical move. Kelly Sue’s first arc on the new series dealt with this, as much as it did with new adventures for the hero. But it wasn’t something that worked for me and I stopped reading after the first arc. The rotating artist gallery didn’t help either.
And now, after all the events of Age of Ultron and Infinity and everything else, Marvel is relaunching the hero for her second series in the Marvel Now banner. Sales might have been the damning factor with the previous series, but whatever the reason, we have a new Captain Marvel series with Carol still firmly locked in that persona. It is now a very big change for Carol and this time she’s going to go all-out in space, having true adventures in the final frontier. Kelly Sue is still in the driving seat for the series, but now we hopefully have a steady artist in David Lopez, which would be nice, that he stick with the title for a while.
I was quite tense actually when I picked this up a few days ago. Kelly Sue’s first arc was a mess of storylines, largely because she chose to do a time-travel story that went all over the place. And mid-way through the arc we had a big change in artists, which contributed to why I didn’t like the series at all. I wanted to stick with it, but couldn’t really bring myself to. I just lost interest. So I brought all that baggage with me into this new series and thankfully, this is a far better issue than I had expected. I was expecting something mediocre, if I’m honest, and that is not the case.
The new #1, part of the All-New Marvel NOW! launch initiative, presents Carol with a situation where Tony Stark aka Iron Man asks her to be a part of the Avengers’ unofficial space division, i.e., he is toying with the idea of a permanent Avengers presence in space, someone who can liaise with the Guardians of the Galaxy for example. And handle some of the more… interesting problems that arise, such as a recent case we see where Carol and Rhodey aka Iron Patriot save an alien woman from death by rescuing her from her space pod.
As befits a #1, especially one that is part of a series relaunch like this, Kelly Sue keeps the story grounded in terms of its scope. She sets up all the things that she is going to develop later on, and focuses purely on the essentials. Which I liked. It made for a much better story because she wasn’t out to tell the story she really, really wanted to first and foremost before Marvel ended up pulling the plug on the title. If I remember correctly from a podcast last year, that was a reason mentioned for that time travel story in the previous first arc, I’ll have to check to be sure.
But yeah, what matters is that this issue portends a series for the character that I can get behind as a regular reader and I love that I finally have that choice. I definitely enjoyed this issue and I can’t wait for the second issue, which should arrive next week.
On the art side we have David Lopez on the pencils with Lee Loughridge doing the colours and VC’s Joe Caramagna doing the letters. The cover is by David Lopez himself, and I just want to say that it could be better. I love the pose, and the expression on Carol’s face, but it all just feels really odd. It is too… bright perhaps. With the internal art itself, he does a lot better. I loved his alien-world panels and the scenes involving the Avengers and members of Carol’s supporting cast. His pencils are clean, solid, and definitive. Lee’s colours can sometimes be a bit too… flashy and bright themselves, and in the earlier pages Carol comes across as a perfect-looking supermodel rather than a superhero who’s been on a mission for a while. But overall though, I liked his work, and I want to see more.
So what all that means is that the new Captain Marvel #1 is a great issue and that I do recommend it. If you’re not following any Captain Marvel comics, like me, then this is a good place to start.