Story by Kelly Sue DeConnick
Art by Dexter Soy
Letters by Joe Caramagna
Cover by Ed McGuinness, Dexter Vines, and Javier Rodriguez
$2.99 / 22 pages / Color
Published by Marvel Comics
Legacy is a hard burden to carry. Mantles are heavy, because, no matter how hard you try to separate the woman from the title, legacies and mantles are mired in expectations and the opinions of others.
Captain Marvel, the comic, has a lot riding it. At the time it was announced, Marvel didn’t have any female characters with ongoing solo titles. In a year mired in gender issues, from the number of women working at the Big Two to the over sexualization of female characters, the Captain Marvel announcement was a breath of sorely needed fresh air for fangirls. Carol Danvers was getting a new title, a fresh and functional costume design (courtesy of Jamie McKelvie), and one of Marvel’s top-notch female writers, Kelly Sue DeConnick.
I know these things shouldn’t matter, that when comics are truly good, things like gender aren’t a factor. I’m not saying a book needs a woman’s name on the cover, either in the title or the credits, for me to to pick it up. But it’s downright disheartening to see my gender so under-represented in a medium I truly love. And I think a lot of women who are into comics feel the same way. The big blogosphere campaign to make sure people went into their comic shops and pre-ordered this comic is proof of that.
Captain Marvel was going to fly in and save the day for women in comics. That’s a very hard thing to live up to.
In Captain Marvel #1 we see Carol Danvers struggle with those same issues of legacy. Donning her new costume (and new ‘do), Danvers and Steve Rogers are fighting the big dumb Absorbing Man at the Museum of Natural History. Even though Captain America is there, there’s no doubt that Carol is in charge of things. Since she’s already got a new look, Cap thinks it’s about time Carol drop the “Ms.” and accept the Captain Marvel mantle. But Carol knows what titles and legacies mean. So to clear her head, she
beats up spars with Spider-Man and takes a quick flight up to the edge of Earth’s atmosphere (like you do).
DeConnick’s Carol Danvers is a driven and determined woman. She’s constantly pushing herself to do better, to work harder, to “punch holes in the sky”. But she’s also kind and giving. Carol has the selflessness that truly good superheroes have. DeConnick has written some wonderful character moments in this issue. She very quickly establishes Carol as likeable and easy to identify with, even though she’s a superhero power-house.
The first half of the issue is a fantastic introduction to the character and the series. But the second half, which looks to set up the upcoming story arc, feels a bit disjointed–almost like two issues were condensed down into one. I think if each part had a bit more room to breath, we’d have a five-star book on our heads. That said, I’m definitely on board for issue 2 and am looking forward to the rest of this series.
Is Captain Marvel going to save women in comics? It’s silly to think that a single could accomplish such a hefty task. And to say that the issue didn’t meet those very high expectations would be a huge disservice to the comic. Captain Marvel does the very best that it can–it stands on it’s own as a great comic.
Story: 3.5 / Art: 4 / Overall: 4
(Out of 5 Stars)