Captain Marvel #1 Review -

Captain Marvel #1 Review

Mania Grade: B-

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  • Book: Captain Marvel
  • Issue: #1
  • Written By: Kelly Sue DeConnick
  • Art By: Dexter Soy
  • Price: $2.99
  • Published By: Marvel Comics
  • Series:

Captain Marvel #1 Review

I was hoping a fresh start...

By Mania Staff     July 24, 2012



This week Mania’s columnist Joel and Chuck take a look at Marvel’s latest in carnation of Captain Marvel.  

I really wanted to like Captain Marvel #1. Since the announcement of the re-launch (Formerly Mrs. Marvel) and the reveal of her new costume and hairstyle, I was ready to dive back into the world of Carol Danvers. I stuck with the Mrs. Marvel book from a few years back for a little while, it was entertaining, but ultimately lost me. Mrs. Marvel shined much more brightly in the pages of Mighty and New Avengers, where Brian Michael Bendis kept the character interesting.

I was hoping a fresh start would lead to a book that felt exciting and effortless. A book that created new mythology on the back of decades of muddled continuity and made it feel vital. Unfortunately, after one issue, it feels a bit too much like comic book business as usual. It opens with a battle between Captain Marvel, Captain America and The Absorbing Man. What should be a slam-bang opening to hook us on what Captain Marvel can do instead reads like a typical comic battle from days gone by. The Absorbing Man is ridiculously stupid, and makes you wonder why it would take two top tier heroes to take him out.

The thrust of the book is Carol Danvers' struggle to accept the mantle of Captain Marvel, while realizing you have to take risks if you want to progress. These are nice ideas, and the book has a few scenes that do an interesting job of making good on those ideas, but a lot of the issue is spent with a muddled supporting cast and a very Green Lantern-esque back story. The bright spots give me hope that writer Kelly Sue DeConnick has enough interesting ideas to keep me picking this book up off the shelves every month.

The art by Dexter Soy is another matter. It feels exciting at first with its digitally painted panels, but the more you read the more the art doesn't feel like a match for the writing. Some shots are fantastic, but many panels feel incredibly bland and uninspired. The art also has a very dark and muted color palette which speaks to something much more somber than Captain Marvel.

This may sound odd, but the cover for Captain Marvel #1 keeps pulling me back in. It's the promise of what this book could be- Bold and in-your-face with a dash of attitude. Ed McGuinness' cover art coveys all of this- A book staking it's claim as a must read. I hope Captain Marvel can get there soon. 


Grade: C+ Joel Rickenbach - Comicscape


Sometimes, picking up a new book based on cover alone leads to getting burned on something that's all flash and no fun. Not so with Captain Marvel #1. Here is a rare case of the cover art (striking as it is) not holding a candle to what's contained inside. Dexter Soy's panel work is beautiful, appearing as if painted onto the page. Honestly, the artwork is so awesome that I'd recommend this book even if the story was weak. Luckily, Kelly Sue Deconnick proves herself fully capable of aptly handling the speed of combat and the weighty internal conflict of real life.  

Carol Danvers leaves her Ms. Marvel personal behind her in taking on the mantle of Captain Marvel. Her new costume exudes cool, with touches of colonial uniform stylings and some impervious material, kindly provided by Stark Enterprises. It's a full body uniform, leaving behind her antiquated bathing suit and thigh boots number,for something much more practical. 

The story expertly balances showcasing the guilt Carol holds over taking Mar-vell's place, her relationships with a Captain America and Spider Man, and what truly drives her forward. It's a personal story, well suited for a first issue that needn't work in an origin since Ms. Marvel has been around since the 70's. While this is a first issue, it's truly akin to Ms. Marvel #78, continuing where issue #77 left off.  This should not deter anyone interested in a well told tale and amazing art; if this is indicative of what's to come, you'll absolutely want Captain Marvel on your pull list.

Grade: B+ Chuck Francisco - Shock-O-Rama


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FerretJohn 7/24/2012 12:39:19 AM

My main issue with it is the name.  There've been half-a-dozen Captain Marvel's running around Marvel Comics over the years, and several more from other companies, I don't see much of a point to adding yet another one.  And "Ms Marvel" was way too 70s/80s feminist era.  Personally, of all the names she's held I prefered Warbird.  They should've kept that one.

vitieddie 7/24/2012 2:51:51 AM

I liked the original ... the blonde ... who died from a disease or something ... maybe there were too many blonde male heroes running around or something so they never brought him back

macthorn 7/24/2012 5:56:58 AM

Yeah I agree with Ferret, the "Ms Marvel" name made me feel like I should expect to read lots of womens rights speechs. I think she should have just dropped the "Ms" and went by the name Marvel. Then in her comics they could have her doing battle with the lawyers of Marvel Comics.

I likded the original Captain Marvel too. I actually got teary eyed way back when the Graphic novel "Death of Captain Marvel" came out and I read it. I believe he had gotten a kind of cancer from the very bands that gave him power. 

stonedtodeath 7/24/2012 11:21:39 AM

Super Heroes should never die of cancer, it's too ordinary.  I didn't bother to even read this, as I am not a fan of Ms. Marvel or Captain Marvel.  I definitely think the art should reflect the character and writing style.  Getting my first look at it, it seems his style would better fit some of Marvel's darker charcters...Punisher, Ghost Rider, Wolverine, or Daredevil.  Marvel is pulling some weird crap right now...although I did kind of like Space Punisher...weird and campy in a good way.  I think I've stated on previous board's that I am not a big Avengers comic book fan.  I love Cap, but I rarely read any of the other Avenger's members' Comics.  I read Wolverine, but I really wish he would leave the Avengers, he seems neutered and out of place.

ObiWannaJones 7/24/2012 11:35:36 AM

Damn, I miss the Thigh High Boots and Camel Toe Bathing Suit  . . .  LOL 

FerretJohn 7/24/2012 1:40:41 PM

Stoned - You're right, cancer is far too ordinary a death for superheroes, and that was a big part of The Death of Captain Marvel GN.  The angst and frustration Mar-Vell had, all the battles he fought, all the near-misses and close calls, battles with Thanos, Korvac, Ronin, Super Skrull, Hulk, and dozens of other major heavy-weights,  and he gets brought down by this.  It wasn't right, it wasn't fair, and it sucked all to hell.  But that's life, and even superheroes are human (or close enough in his case).

InnerSanctum 7/24/2012 2:07:47 PM

 Um, last I picked up a Captain Marvel comic, they'd gone through all kinds of trouble to bring back the original from the dead and bound him with Rick Jones again.  It was the PAD run.  So, what happened to the male CM...again?  

FerretJohn 7/24/2012 2:35:06 PM

Sanctum - They've brought him back several times, usually as a spirit helping the heroes out on one of the nether-planes, the last time in the pages of Avengers vs X-Men where he was resurrected/cloned by the Kree in order to control the Phoenix Force.  In the end he sacrificed his own life, again, to save the Kree and the universe in general.  Danvers renamed herself Captain Marvel to honor his memory.  The Captain Marvel that was re-linked to Rick Jones was Mar-Vell's son, Genis-Vell, now semi-deceased (long story).

Dodgyb2001 7/24/2012 7:59:29 PM

I do like the Carol Danvers character, whatever the code name, but I'm not a big fan of the costume. It looks a bit too wonder woman with the v golden stripes. I would have preferred perhaps going back to the original costume sans scarf and with full leggings instead of boots. it's good that marvel is pushing her to the forefront more, I would have loved to see Carol kidnapped during the Avengers movie, experimented on and then showing up as Ms Marvel at the end, but that would have been too much in the mix I guess. Still, it suggests she might make a more prominent role in the movie universe given that Scarlet Witch is probably out due to X-men rights, and She-hulk is probably out as a knock off of Hulk (much as I love the character as she has been in recent years). It'd be good to have a female character who's able to hold her own as much as the boys.

InnerSanctum 7/25/2012 5:12:18 PM

 The cover looks like she has a sweet butch lesbian haircut.  

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