Last month Marvel relaunched its Captain Marvel series following the cancellation of the previous series and it marked an important change in direction for Carol Danvers, who had left her identity as Ms. Marvel behind to step into the shoes of the alien hero she had taken her name from, Captain Marvel. While the series enjoyed great success among fans, sales weren’t up to the mark and Marvel had to axe the series. But relaunch it soon after they did, and now the series is here, and it is here to stay I think.
The first issue last month proved to be quite a good read, and I was certainly impressed, given that I had not enjoyed Kelly Sue DeConnick’s first arc on the series when it was launched as part of Marvel Now back in 2012. It offered up some nice characterisation of Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers and it told a really interesting story as well, which was all fine with me. And the art was up to the mark as well, which was a relief, although it was problematic. The new issue takes things even further and now since Captain Marvel is an Avenger-in-space, things are really heating up, and in a good way.
The story in this first arc of the newly-rebooted series deals with Captain Marvel undertaking a mission to take a displaced alien back to her people, who are refugees following the destruction of their homeworld during the Infinity event by the Builders. Given all the recent trouble from space that the Avengers and SWORD have been facing, Tony Stark makes Carol an offer to be Earth’s liaison to the galactic power-brokers and basically represent the team out in space among the various heroes and villains and what not. Carol takes Tony up on his offer and with her own ship in command, run by an AI no less, Carol sets out on some new adventures.
But, she runs into trouble fairly quick and ends up with the Guardians of the Galaxy as her allies. From then on, this comic is one of the best I’ve read, largely because of how good the dialogue is for the various characters, especially when Carol and Rocket Raccoon are interacting with each other. This particular case was the highlight of the issue because Rocket takes exception to Carol’s cat, who he believes to be a Flerken cat that lays eggs everywhere and is basically an infestation. In fact, he goes so far as to blast his guns at the poor feline, making Carol scramble to save the little guy. The dialogue between the two, Carol and Rocket was absolutely spectacular.
There are lots of great action scenes in the issue and I loved each and every one of them because of the incredible variation that they offered. Kelly is definitely great at delivering those set pieces and its great to see her do them so well. If you don’t have a space battle in an issue where the hero is a cosmically-powered individual, then you are not doing it right! Fortunately, that can’t be said for Kelly Sue, and I’m really appreciative of all of that work.
Most of all though, I love that she got Rocket’s voice right so well, especially when he is blasting off at Carol’s cat. So hilarious and so much fun all the way. I have to say that the direction that Kelly Sue has taken with the new series is exactly what I was hoping she’d do with the previous series, in terms of the execution, not the content itself, which is ever-changing. She has injected a lot of well-placed humour into the plot and she has set up the various scenes together very nicely too.
On the art, we have David Lopez back for the pencils while Lee Loughridge handles the colours and VC’s Joe Caramagna does the letters. While the art overall was very good, especially Rocket in his various stages of disappointment and action all the way through. The weak point here was how Carol herself is drawn, because her facial features lacked consistency. That was the biggest stumbling block for the entire thing, and something I wish that Lopez had improved on since the previous first issue.
Overall, this was a fairly good issue, but could have sure used some more work. But in the meantime, I’m loving the jukebox tracks.
More Captain Marvel: #1.