Captain Marvel #1
It is so great to have a new series launching in connection with a big-screen movie that is so very readable and approachable! I knew that would be the case, though, since it’s written by Kelly Thompson (Jem and the Holograms, Nancy Drew, A-Force), who does a wonderful job modernizing concepts, particularly those revolving around female friendship.
And that’s what won me over here, that the opening fight, against a sea monster, teams up Captain Marvel with Jessica Drew, Spider-Woman. Their banter, along with a later conversation with Tony Stark, allows for a comfortable introduction to a reader who hasn’t been following Marvel history while emphasizing teamwork, achievement, and the best parts of the Captain Marvel character.
Artist Carmen Carnero does a terrific job with both the action sequences and expressive talking bits. I particularly liked the smart but leery side look Carol gives Tony while he’s trying to talk her into mentoring Hazmat, a young, smart-mouth, tortured (her powers are toxic) new hero. And then there’s the romance, with James Rhodes! I want to see more of these two, particularly given his recent changes.
Right before the cliffhanger, we even get to see the smackdown of a bigoted villain. Issue #2 has echoes of Fury Road, with female heroes in a rough environment teaming together to take down a guy who spots junk about weak women and the like. It’s a little on the nose, but it’s also great to see, superheroes fighting for justice with a modern struggle.
By focusing on relationships, Thompson mines the best of the character and her long history while providing an outstanding introduction with plenty of revelation, which is what a high-profile first issue should be.