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Avengers: The Enemy Within #1 - Part One of Five Review

5

Captain Marvel faces off against the Lesion of Doom! (I swear the book is better than that pun...)

The Good

AVENGERS: THE ENEMY WITHIN #1 kicks off a mini-crossover between CAPTAIN MARVEL and AVENGERS ASSEMBLE. The Carol Danvers-centered story focuses on her battle with a dangerous brain lesion that becomes even more deadly if she uses her flight abilities. Kelly Sue DeConnick, at the helm of both titles, has the ability to tell a real, serious story while still writing an action-packed comic...and cracking a few jokes (look for a delightful reference to the early 90s, among others).

And, oh my stars, does DeConnick have a VOICE for Captain Marvel. She's quickly becoming one of the most recognizable, relatable characters in the Marvel universe; even though Carol is a badass chick who's been gifted with superhuman abilities (and is an Avenger, to boot), she reads like such a normal person. She cracks jokes, she cares deeply about her friends, and she has tough things to deal with. She's stubborn, too, fighting against her no-fly prescription.

This issue starts the event with plenty of action -- kidnappings and lady wrestlers and dinosaurs, oh my! -- but leaves the puppetmaster of Carol's woes mysterious. We already know that Carol is going to have trouble fighting the urge to fly, and that she throws caution to the wind when her loved ones are in harm's way.

Jordie Bellaire's name is mighty big on the credits page, and it's for a reason; this lady is unstoppable. Her palette selection is perfect, and her coloring style is always exactly right for the tone of the book.

The Bad

I'm not entirely in love with Scott Hepburn's pencils. He makes some interesting stylistic choices that see some panels looking cartoony (almost to the point of caricature) while others play straighter. I don't dislike either style, but I'm a stickler for consistency, so the shifts bother me.

The Verdict

I have to admit, I saw this title and thought, "ANOTHER crossover miniseries?" but I've quickly changed my mind, and I'm in for the ride. Since DeConnick is writing both titles involved in the event, it's more like a natural expansion of CAPTAIN MARVEL into a Carol-centered arc of AVENGERS ASSEMBLE. Crossover-lite, if you will.

The dialogue is smart, there's no shortage of action (or dinosaurs!), and the mystery of the villain behind Carol's current predicament is intriguing. I'm fascinated by stories that look at the destructive sides of superpowers, and I can't wait to see how Captain Marvel is able to get past both the villains outside and the enemy within her own brain.

27 Comments
Edited by Nuec_Sol

A solid issue, and I enjoyed Spider-Woman's dialog too.

Edited by DH69

They must be picking bad artists on purpose, they can't honestly think people want to look at "artwork" like that.

Posted by MissJ

@nuec_sol: Spider-Woman was one of my favorites this issue! She's hilarious.

Staff
Posted by TheGwailo

I wasn't crazy about the book, but Spider-Woman was awesome. Also, I have to agree with @dh69 - that artwork was gross.

Posted by The Stegman

Nice cover.

Posted by Bokkie

Awesome read, wasn't to fond of the pencils though... -_-

Posted by Lightburst

ugh my eyes! the cover baits you in with "hey captain marvel doesn't look like she has a crazy hairstyle here"

then inside you get slapped by not only the poor choice of art but she has worse hair!

Posted by akbogert

With a few exceptions (people who just really can't stand the transition to Captain), I hear a lot of praise for DeConnick's Carol. Almost as consistently as I hear complaints about the artwork. Is Marvel incapable of putting a quality artist on the book -- one whose work isn't so divisive, at any rate?

I'm still on the fence on this mini; I've been considering starting the series but the way they've talked about this event and its repercussions (particularly on Carol & Jessica's relationship) has me hesitant to jump on board until I know I'm okay with it.

Posted by G_Money_Christmas

Is Filipe Andrade staying on Captain Marvel? He has a very sloppy style but I like it and I think it fits pretty well. I have yet to read this one. I have it but I just started reading Captain Marvel and I'm at issue 12 now.

Edited by xkoenig

I like this issue as well. A deceptively quiet beginning, but a lot of potential shown. I think DeConnick is a good writer, which bodes well for this event. As for the art, again they've gone for an unconventional artist with a very distinctive style in Scott Hepburn. I'm ok with that so far - let's see how Matteo Buffagni handles part 2. Still wish they would have just stuck with Dexter Soy...

Edited by Soupnazi

@g_money_christmas: Felipe Andrade will return after the crossover finishes. (If the series isn't cancelled by then, eep!) Personally, I've loved all of the art on the series, and I think Andrade is the best--his art is stylized and flashy when it needs to be, and a lot of his smaller stuff is weird looking, but he's clearly an incredible artist and when something needs to be detailed, he nails it.

I'm not a fan of Hepburn's art on this, however. It's similar enough to Andrade's that I can't help but compare the two, and where Andrade's stylized anatomy looks surprisingly natural and fluid, Hepburn tends to make the characters look squashed and it's just not as good as Andrade's while being in the same vein.

Fortunately, the writing is as good as it's been since issue 5 (the first four were kind of rough, especially pacing-wise). The number of different plot threads floating around boggles my mind, and I know it's going to be thrilling seeing it all come together.

Edited by gothicshieldagent

They need to stop mucking around with Ms Marvel,period. They change her name,her outfit,her hair,got different artists,now a brain lesion,what's next she dies and the book is cancelled? Sure,ruin a top notch character. She ISN'T Captain Marvel,she is Ms Marvel,Captain Marvel died,stop molding her to be like him.

Edited by fodigg

Agree with the pencils. There's a shot where we see Carol and Jessica from across the street and they look so cartoony. Especially Carol's hair. Suddenly she looks like a blonde Starfire.

They need to stop mucking around with Ms Marvel,period. They change her name,her outfit,her hair,got different artists,now a brain lesion,what's next she dies and the book is cancelled? Sure,ruin a top notch character. She ISN'T Captain Marvel,she is Ms Marvel,Captain Marvel died,stop molding her to be like him.

You crazy. She's great as Captain Marvel. As for bad things happening to the protagonist, that's called drama and it's necessary for a good story.

Edited by Avengers_4everXX

@gothicshieldagent: You're right, how dare they try and give Carol any form of character development. I know I personally would have much rather seen her stay Ms. Marvel and continue to be a static character

Posted by gothicshieldagent

@avengers_4everxx: Thank you for the reply,I appreciate it. I take you do not agree with my opinion,and that's cool,that's what makes it interesting and fun. As far as Ms Marvel having no character development,she has plenty,but it is clear her development now is headed toward making her like the previous Captain Marvel that is pretty obvious. A static character,I don't agree,but again your opinion.

Edited by Soupnazi

They need to stop mucking around with Ms Marvel,period. They change her name,her outfit,her hair,got different artists,now a brain lesion,what's next she dies and the book is cancelled? Sure,ruin a top notch character. She ISN'T Captain Marvel,she is Ms Marvel,Captain Marvel died,stop molding her to be like him.

???? She's still Carol Danvers, only now she's not the female equivalent to a dead hero, she is that hero, and without a costume that shows off her buttcrack too! And, what, you don't like artists changing? That's, um, kinda a fact of comics life. I also fail to see how having a brain lesion somehow changes her character; it's a plotline, like any other.

@avengers_4everxx: Thank you for the reply,I appreciate it. I take you do not agree with my opinion,and that's cool,that's what makes it interesting and fun. As far as Ms Marvel having no character development,she has plenty,but it is clear her development now is headed toward making her like the previous Captain Marvel that is pretty obvious. A static character,I don't agree,but again your opinion.

I don't exactly know much about Mar-Vell, but I don't really see how her character is being molded towards him. She seems pretty similar, personality-wise, to previous incarnations of her character, and even if she's different from how she used to be I don't get how it's because she's being molded into another character.

Edited by BreZeJ

I've been reading since issue 1 and I miss Dexter Soy on the book. Everybody got a pretty consistent rotation of artists since Marvel Now! I wish this book had a rotation that fit with how Dexter Soy started.

Posted by gothicshieldagent

Bottom line,Marvel started the Marvel Now to compete with DC's New 52,so they start reboots of all the titles,redesign outfits,etc to catch up with DC. I've no problem with new artists,that's well and fine,but if you cannot see how similar her Captain Marvel is to the old one then I don't know what to tell you,but your entitled to your opinion and agree to disagree with you.

Posted by Crimsonlord53

The change in uniform color was to stark marvel have to lose a color or subdue all of them (the yellow for sure) and the new uniform would look great.

Posted by Avengers_4everXX

@gothicshieldagent: I don't think she's being written very similarly to Mar-Vell. For me, her becoming Captain Marvel was about her finally stepping out of his shadow and proving herself his equal. I think her Ms. Marvel identity held her back from that. It has a very sidekick-y quality to it, in my way of thinking. I think it's also her way of honoring a man she loved and respected, and who was partially responsible for making her the hero she is today. Besides all that, I think she has way more right to the name than some of the other people who have taken up Mar-Vell's mantle

Edited by bradicalism

"YOU GET 5 STARS, YOU GET 5 STARS, EVERY ONE GETS 5 STARS!!!!" - Comic Vine.

Posted by umbrafeline

I read this issue at bells comics and cards in grove city, pa while waiting for the guy behind the desk to appraise my box of yugioh cards and when I read this issue I was disappointed in the artwork. never have I seen such shotty work since an early issue of wolverine and the xmen and Excalibur vol 1 37-39 [I think]. the artist who was in charge of this book should either go back to school or go to a rival publisher and work for them. this is marvel and marvel wants the best.

Posted by ClintsEvilTwin

How can you complain about the pencils and still give the issue 5 stars?

Posted by gothicshieldagent

@avengers_4everxx: What you say makes sense,and don't get me wrong,Ms Marvel or Captain Marvel,she remains one of my favorite characters. I think the artwork is good,it is just a preference ,I think we all like certain artists,it just seems they change more often maybe not,it's what you get used to. I always liked Mar-Vell's old outfit,his original one which,no,is nothing like any of Carol's. I never thought of her as a sidekick,and she is more than equal,in my opinion.

Posted by Soupnazi

How can you complain about the pencils and still give the issue 5 stars?

Five stars doesn't necessarily mean something is perfect. A five-mark system leaves a lot of room in between marks; for instance, a 9 out of ten would be counted as a five out of five when converted, even if it's not the highest.

Posted by MissJ

@clintseviltwin: The 5 stars mean that I truly enjoyed the issue. I'm not super keen on the pencils, but they weren't enough to take away from an awesome, fun story.

Staff
Posted by Teerack

This whole "I can't fly because my brain will explode" thing really needs to be done.