Captain Marvel is back in action, though he’s no longer the Kree-an (that means a life form hailing from Kree) spy, sent to Earth to determine if humans were a threat to the empire, and incorrectly called “Captain Marvel” (his name was actually Mar-Vell) by the people he was spying on. He’s human, though admittedly fused with Kree Warrior DNA, and moreover he isn’t even a “he”.
No, this Captain Marvel is former Ms. Marvel, Carol Danvers, and she’s got a new haircut and costume to go along with her new alter-ego.
When we last saw Danvers she was facing off against long time foe Mystique, taking down baddies alongside The Avengers and forging an unlikely friendship with Spider-Man. At the start of this, the inaugural installment of the new series written by Kelly Sue DeConnick and illustrated by Dexter Soy, she and Captain America are in the midst of a battle against Absorbing Man (whom, she comedically quips, is angry and vengeful due to the fact that his name sounds like “a brand of toilet paper”). Naturally, our two military-turned-super heroes triumph –duh, if they didn’t there would be no more comics in this series– and return to Stark Tower, where Steve Rogers encourages Carol Danvers to adopt the “Captain Marvel” alias. After a sparring sesh with her old pal Spidey and a little life reflection on the Upper West Side, Danvers ponies up, quits being a spin-off, and dons the mantle of Captain Marvel.
Moving onto art, just how coy is this man Soy? Well, his sketches reminisce of the flat, bright tones of the 60s, all the while conquering the physically impossible. Anatomies. Um, hello Captain America’s biceps! Still, Soy colors with soft, earthy tones, creating a near unexplainably bizarre mix of fantasy and reality. So epic, even, that if you placed these people in half shattered chain-mail and gluttenous swords, Captain Marvel could’ve easily been the comic book adaptation of Lord of the Rings or — my favorite — Game of Thrones.
Sure, there’s been a decent amount of criticism regarding the inconsistent sizing/shaping of objects/people’s heads, but this Sister just didn’t find it particularly distracting. Blame it on the (lack of) rain!
Or, okay, the lovely color palate and DeConnick’s heartfelt writing.
This “epic” appearance is certainly fitting, and supportive of the author’s intended tone; Kelly Sue DeConnick has stated that Captain Marvel will be steeped in the legend surrounding the legendary superhero and its meaning to Danvers. Indeed, in #1, we see Danvers reflecting upon not only Mar-Vell, but also on her childhood hero, a pilot named Helen Cobb.
Now, while it’s not unusual to see a superhero, particularly of the Marvel variety, express anxiety over their super-ness, Danvers laments in loss of “risk.” Danvers always dreamed of setting flight records, like her hero Cobb, but since acquiring super powers — like she picked them off the 3-for-1 sales rack at Target — she can fly at speeds most pilots couldn’t even dream of, sans vehicle and without any risk to her personal well being. She will never get to even attempt those records she longed to set because, with her powers, she has already surpassed them. She is left to confront that ironic sense of loss that follows when you get exactly what you want; You’ve devoted so much effort to something that now is yours, and you’re whole life has changed, because that struggle that used to define you is gone.
At least, I assume that’s what happens. I will update you all on that one after all my dreams come true.
Now I would be remiss not to mention the delightful 2-page cameo of a clearly Andrew Garfield inspired Peter Parker. Not only does this Spider-Man have the same fabulous hair as the star of the recent film but, in a moment of charming comedic relief following a weighty exchange between Captain America and Ms. Marvel, he also comments on the ladyhero’s change of hairstyle . . . and just how much he loves it.
I’m with Spidey: Danvers new new do is definitely a “do”.
Sentimentality, a female lead who misses having to work hard to achieve a greatness, a sweet new costume and hairstyle and panels of people and scenery alike that are easy on the eyes? I’m certainly looking forward to the next issue (as is my neglected Marvel iPad/iPhone app).
The big question of course is, if this new Captain Marvel manages to garner some notoriety, might she be making an appearance on the big screen, be it alone, or amidst the likes of say, Iron Man, Thor and The Hulk?
All I’m saying, Joss, is while I, being a lady, appreciate all the man candy, Carol Danvers is kind of a babe — you can’t expect ScarJo to bear the burden of sex symbol status all on her own! Furthermore: Ladies like to see other ladies kicking ass.
And I have a good feeling that this new Captain Marvel will have no problem doing that, and then some.