Marvel has made the gutsy decision to rechristen one of their leading female heroes, Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers) by giving her the distinguished title Captain Marvel, a name that once belonged to her friend Mar-Vell, who died of cancer years ago. As Captain America puts it, “Quit being an adjunct. Take the mantle.”
The issue itself is more drama than action, but it does open with Carol in her new uniform, fighting the Absorbing Man alongside Captain America in downtown New York. The Absorbing Man’s motivation for robbing the museum proves humorous. After the battle, reporters ask Captain America who this new hero is – they don’t recognize her in the new suit. This give Cap the idea to suggest that Carol step up and take on the title of Captain Marvel. Spider-Man also gets a say as well as a comment on her new hair style. More on that later.
Carol thinks about one of her mentors, a female test pilot named Helen Cobb and comes to the decision to take the name. We then cut to her staying at her friend Tracy Burke whom she worked with at ‘Woman’ magazine back when she edited it in her first series. Burke is undergoing chemotherapy and Carol is there to help her out, when she receives some bad news.
I’ll start with the art, by Dexter Soy. Alas, this is another case where I can’t fault the artist’s skills. The story telling was fine. There was a certain fluidity to it, overall. But I personally just don’t like it. The blacks were just very heavy, weighing everything down. A few shots of Carol’s butt seemed gratuitous. There’s even a Captain America butt shot that seems forced! At one point, she removes the sash around her waist and it balloons to the size of a cape. (She does point out that it was made by Tony Stark, though, so maybe it does that.)
My biggest gripe – shared by Spider-Man – is her mullet! On the cover, drawn by Ed McGuinness, she has a sleek, stylish fauxhawk. In last week’s ‘Avenging Spider-Man,’ Terry Dodson drew it as sort of a spiky bob. In her own book, she’s ready to break into the “Achy Breaky” line dance at a moment’s notice. Please Marvel, PLEASE fix this!
And twice in this issue, she flies into space. When she does this, her suit generates a mask, I guess to protect her, except it’s just a mask. It doesn’t cover her mouth or the top of her head, so I don’t exactly get that.
As far as the story, I think Kelly Sue deconnick does a fine job of setting Carol up for the future, but like I mentioned, it’s more drama than action. It’s almost all set up. Maybe making this a double-sized issue would have been a better idea. That way, Carol makes peace with becoming Captain Marvel, then we could have gotten a little more action as a pay off. The dialogue is very nice though. I was especially charmed by Carol and Tracy’s relationship and a flashback of Carol meeting Helen Cobb. These are the types of female-to-female interactions you
rarely never see in super hero comics. So that was refreshing.
In general, there was no way I was ever going to not buy this book. I love Carol! But I loved her as Ms. Marvel. I didn’t see that name as negative or dated, as some people have called it. I liked her costume, even though it revealed a little bit of skin. I had high hopes for this issue, but it fell short just a bit for me. I didn’t care for the art and the plot was a tad slow. But I will stick around because there were a few nice moments in this and this was just the set-up.
CAPTAIN MARVEL #1
Written by Kelly Sue Deconnick
Art by Dexter Soy
Cover by Ed McGuinness