ADVANCE REVIEW: Captain Marvel #1

Captain Marvel #1

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)


  1. Bravo! Great review! I think I’ll go pick up this comic after work today. ^_^

  2. I’m definitely going to pick this issue up, and I will probably give this series at least three issues to find its feet.

    I can’t remember if KSD said on Word Balloon if the first issue of Captain Marvel was originally 2 issues or oversized, but I know she addressed the issue on the show, as well as her writing process for an #1 issue. I’ll have to go back and listen now.

    • That definitely makes more sense. You can see where the first issue “ends” and the second begins.

    • The advanced preview awhile back showed her with a mask in some of the panels, I for one dig the punk like 80’s hair, throwback style costume, especially with the mask in the panels I seen from the interior art which look way better than that McGuinness cover.

  3. Something about the character’s new look doesn’t work for me.
    Not sure if it’s the lack of a mask or that she just looks old fashioned with that hair-do.
    Just doesn’t look like Carol Danvers anymore.

    • Well the McGuinness cover is notably awful. And they rephotoshopped the hair a few times. It looks a lot better when other people draw it like McKelvie who designed it or Dodsons.

  4. Thanks for the great review, Ali! I’ve been looking forward to this book, but the art has been putting me off. Your review has got me excited for this book again.

    Man, that uniform is cool. Much better than her originals.

  5. Great review, I wish we could see more reviews from you on here Ali! I’m picking this up as well because I’m a big fan of both the character and DeConnick, but the art is totally not for me judging by the previews we’ve seen. Hopefully I can look past the art because I really want to see this title succeed.

  6. looking forward to this

  7. Sorry for being contrary but this review dedicates less than 10 sentences to reviewing the actual comic and doesn’t even mention the art.

  8. Great review/article. I will definitely give this series a try.

  9. I really enjoyed this book. Glad to see that sash has a purpose though when not being used still feels like a little bit of an over design.

  10. I saw the great cover art..flipped it open..saw the interior art..and put it back. The art should have been touched upon regardless if you liked it or not.

    • Opinions obviously vary as I think the cover art is lame and like the rougher darker feel art on the interior, but yeah the art should be discussed to give a proper review and I noticed some think she needs a mask….she does wear one in the issue and I also think the interior art plus the mask make the hairstyle work way better than the cover art.