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Captain Marvel #1 Review

4

Carol Danvers is back in the spotlight with her own series once again. It almost feels like all is right in the universe.

The Good

Let's face the facts, female comic book characters don't often have long running series. They may have a successful run but either sales or some sort of publishing political concerns result with the title coming to a premature end. Carol Danvers had an impressive fifty issue run from 2006 to 2010. What makes this even more impressive is the fact that she isn't exactly a household name. Those not immersed in comic book lore may know female characters such as Wonder Woman, Storm or the Invisible Woman. Ms. Marvel may have made her debut back in 1968 but she was never the star or costar of an animated or live action television series.

Carol is back and it's time for her to come to terms with who she is. She's never been a perfect character. By that, I mean she has her share of flaws. That's what separates her from some of the other female characters. She is capable of kicking the asses of the strongest villains but still lacks a bit of confidence deep down. It's a conversation with Captain America where the idea comes to take on the mantle of Captain Marvel. She feels she doesn't deserve it. After everything she's done and accomplished along with her connection to Mar-Vell, there is no better choice. And let's face it, "Ms. Marvel" is an outdated name.

We do get to see more of Carol as a person. This is an important factor to show she's not simply a female comic book character in a tight costume. There needs to be some depth to her and that is what Kelly Sue DeConnick sets out to do. We even get to see a bit of a flashback which is always great to see. Some of my favorite stories have dealt with flashback tales (especially the one with Logan and Ben Grimm).

I was surprised to see the $2.99 cover price. Often we see first issues carry a $3.99 price tag. It's wonderful to see Marvel is making an effort to not simply settle for the higher price. More and more we're seeing the higher price. I can only hope the slightly lower price will encourage new readers to give this book a try.

The Bad

There's always a little difficulty when the cover and interior art are so drastically different. It can almost be a little jarring when you open the issue. I also can't tell if she has short hair (as sort of seen on the cover) or if she's just pulling it back (seems that's more the case). There is an appealing look to the art and the opening battle looks good in a stylistic way. Unfortunately Captain America did look a little off, especially on page four (where he's throwing his shield). The shape of his jaw and the way he's colored almost makes him look like a Skrull.

It might be that I missed last week's comics due to being at Comic-Con but we jump into the series with Carol having her new look: a new hairstyle and a new costume. There isn't an explanation here where she got the new suit and what specifically its abilities are as we see it can change. She sometimes wears a mask and the costume can create one. Yet during the opening battle, she chose not to wear it.

Carol's waist sash is utilized here in a way we haven't seen before. Its purpose other than what it's used for here doesn't fully make sense since she mentions it's made from fabric Tony Stark designed (and is impermeable). Is it simply a fashion accessory or is there another purpose?

The Verdict

CAPTAIN MARVEL is off to a good start. Kelly Sue DeConnick is quickly becoming one of my favorite writers. After OSBORN and seeing her at the Image panel at SDCC, her charm and witty nature oozes out off the pages of this comic. Carol Danvers is a character that deserves her own title. It's great to see Carol's character get explored. This issue may be a little light on the action but this shouldn't and doesn't have to be simply another superhero slugfest comic. Carol is tough and can take on even the toughest villains. I may have missed the issue prior to this that explains her new costume but you'll easily get used to it. Her previous costume wasn't the most practical design and it's nice to see something more suited to what she deserves. New and old fans can easily jump in and be prepared for Carol's new direction.

Tony Guerrero is the Editor-in-Chief of Comic Vine. You can follow him on Twitter @GManFromHeck. He is overjoyed to see Carol back in her own series.

49 Comments
Posted by Hareil0079

I actually have high hopes for this solo series.

Edited by doordoor123

ACTUALLY female comic book characters DO have long running series (Witchblade, Wonder Woman, Birds of Prey, Batgirl, etc.) I think what you meant to say is that Marvel female comic book characters don't tend to have long running series.

I don't understand what you liked about it. I thought it was so bad I had to write a review about it. This didn't even feel like Ms. Marvel; character and all. It was almost a different character.

As Ms. Marvel, I think she can last another 50 issues, but I don't see this book lasting very long.

Edited by Vitality

I'm never really against change...but Ms. Marvel was my favorite female character. I also find it ridiculous that you would call "Ms. Marvel" an outdated name...and yet her new name is Captain Marvel...though I am obviously biased. To each their own I guess. I prefer the old Ms. Marvel...the character and the name.

Posted by broo1232

Hope this issue is good.

Posted by pspin

Did the last issue of Avenging Spider-Man deal with the costume change? The lack of information on that was just about the only bad thing about the issue.

Posted by EdwardWindsor

I thought it was pretty solid to. Story had depth showing history of character some interaction with other heroes and a splash of emotional material. Art was pretty good agreed on cap but for the most part the art on show is of a real high quality

Edited by RedQueen

I was worried there wouldn't be much/ any explanation of her new costume/ "new" powers.....has anything addressed this? I know Avenging Spiderman 9 didn't.....

But I have to admit the new costume is growing on me.

Posted by War Killer

"Ms. Marvel" is not an outdated name.

Posted by Reluctant_Hero

In Tony's review, he mentioned that we don't see how Carol obtained her new costume and how she transitioned into Captain Marvel. What issues do I need to pick-up in order to follow her transformation? I know she appeared as Captain Marvel in the recent Avenging Spider-man issue. What else is there?

Posted by Green ankh

this looks so bad. Anyone know how the Fantastic Four will be impacted by the NOW ?

Posted by Aiden Cross

@War Killer said:

"Ms. Marvel" is not an outdated name.

What he said. I still prefer that name actually.

Posted by KainScion

@Reluctant_Hero: nothing else so far

Posted by RedQueen

@Reluctant_Hero said:

In Tony's review, he mentioned that we don't see how Carol obtained her new costume and how she transitioned into Captain Marvel.

What issues do I need to pick-up in order to follow her transformation? I know she appeared as Captain Marvel in the recent Avenging Spider-man issue. What else is there?

Only thing I can think of is perhaps one of the recent Avengers vs X-men tie-ins...she was sent to Limbo by Magik...perhaps she picked it up there ;)

Edited by doordoor123

@Green ankh said:

this looks so bad. Anyone know how the Fantastic Four will be impacted by the NOW ?

probably a costume change.

My guess is a mix between FF costume and Fantastic Four.

Posted by shrmntnk62

Why the Hell is there a random Spiderman variant cover?

Posted by the_fallen11

Good review...although. I don't think that just b/c the cover art and the interioir art is diffrent should be listed as a bad thing. It happens all the time..I could understand if the art drastically changed in a limited series (I.e. X-Men Schism) that was jarring to read. But going from one page of cover art by one artist to 22 pages of interior art by a diffrent artist? I don't understand how that could be bad and or jarring.

Posted by zackattack529

@shrmntnk62: because this year is spidermans 50th anniverasry, basically Marvels most famous character..and mostly every marvel series is drawing their own spiderman variant AND Motion variant, in which you collect them all to make a big picture.

even tood mcfarlane did a va=ariant cover with spawn. check it out: Spawn #221

Posted by sethysquare

uhm. first issue already and theres a cameo from captain america?

Posted by themerman87

I have never been a Ms. Marvel fan and really had not heard of her until I started reading the beginning of House of M way back when. I am totally going to check this out though. Being a guy I like reading about strong, independent, complex, and witty women characters (ala my new obsession with the current run of Wonder Woman) so hopefully this will satisfy.

Posted by WWAJfan

Never read a Book with Carol as the main char. but this caught my attention, read it, it was good, this series is up to a good start, hope it continues like this.

Posted by fodigg

I haven't been this excited for a big-two comic book in a long, long time. I freaking loved the MS MARVEL title until the "Dark Avengers" storyline totally derailed it by replacing Carol with Moonstone. She totally deserves this title. Give us a Captain Marvel film starring Carol!

Posted by Planewalker

Never care for her before but decided to give it a go.

Posted by TheCommissar

I thought it was okay. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't that impressive either. Of course, it's only one issue. It may take one or two more before it starts to really take off. It does bother me how Ms. Marvel's new costume isn't explained (I'm hoping it'll be explained somewhere in A vs X, but that would be an odd story decision), and it seemed like Carol accepted becoming Captain Marvel a little too quickly. I also found it odd that suddenly both Cap and Spidey are against the name "Ms. Marvel."

I also really don't like the artwork. It's a bit too dark and gritty and seems more in-place with a post-apocalyptic or horror comic book series than something heroic like this, especially with the stark contrast of all the cover, as pointed out in this review. That's probably just my personal taste, though.

Posted by daedalus25

@Vitality said:

I'm never really against change...but Ms. Marvel was my favorite female character. I also find it ridiculous that you would call "Ms. Marvel" an outdated name...and yet her new name is Captain Marvel...though I am obviously biased. To each their own I guess. I prefer the old Ms. Marvel...the character and the name.

Vitality makes a great point here. Putting "Captain" in front of a name is about as outdated as you can get. At least with characters like Captain America, Captain Atom, and Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell) it made sense. Captain was their actual RANK. It makes zero sense with someone like Ms. Marvel.

I've said it many times already, but I'll say it again. I would LOVE to see another Ms. Marvel series. But this book tarnishes who she is, and I hope it ends quickly.

Posted by daedalus25

@TheCommissar said:

I also found it odd that suddenly both Cap and Spidey are against the name "Ms. Marvel."

I haven't read the issue, but if that's the case then it just makes Marvel look even more foolish when they end up canceling this book, giving the name back to Mar-Vell, and returning Carol to her Ms. Marvel monicker. What are Cap and Spidey gonna say then? "Well actually, Carol, we have no idea what we're talking about. I guess Ms. Marvel fits you better after all."

Posted by TwistedGamer

I don't see how anyone could hate this issue, thought it was great.

Posted by Mumbles

needed a better artist...

Posted by Jolt92

Think I'm gonna buy this, I really liked the Ms.Marvel series, but I don't know about this. But sure, I'll give it a try.

Ms.Marvel is a way better name, Tony, you crazy.

Posted by TwistedGamer

Guess I'm one of the ones who loved the art :(

Posted by SuperStarKirby

I enjoyed the art as well as the book itself. I don't know why everyone's so against the name change, though perhaps Colonel Marvel would make more sense.

I see this book lasting longer than people expect, though.

Posted by rawr

Put me on the list of people who loved the writing and found the art middling. The faux-hawk cover is outright terrible.

I really enjoyed the way she was drawn in Avenging Spiderman and basically how they ignored the heck out of this faux-hawk/mullet nonsense in the concept design. The Dodsons even managed to make that wreck of an homage costume look decent. Its an outdated costume from a dead character, there was no reason to bring it back. Sure make her more pilot/Captainy but... argh.

The internal art wasn't as bad as the original cover made me worry it was going to be but... is magic changing hair now one of her powers as well?

I am sure a lot of people don't care about it but the faux-hawk to mullet to normal spaz attack is distracting to me, a female reader. Kelly Sue DeConnick and Marvel hoped to have more female readers with this title so it is a justified complaint in my book. Though I would like to think any reader male or female would want Captain Marvel not to butch out just to be more Captain-y. Carol Danvers was great as Ms. Marvel and that is what will make her great as Captain Marvel. No magic morphing hair required.

Posted by Blood1991

I'm not of fan of Carol, but I am getting this book in hope that Marvel will try more female ongoings "I demand a new She Hulk series".

Posted by Dernman

Don't like the name change. Don't like the costume change. The art wasn't right for the book. I like that she still has a friendship with Spider-Man. Most look at him as an annoyance. Didn't like creel making those jabs about woman it seemed odd. Especially with who he is in a relationship with. 

Posted by Sovereign91001

@TwistedGamer said:

I don't see how anyone could hate this issue, thought it was great.

This.

Online
Posted by the_fallen11

I love Dexter Soy's art..her hair will change. Unfortunately, when the first image of her in the new costume she had short hair...when the feed-back on her new look came back negative. They added the longer hair. I'm assuming Dexter had to go back and add longer hair to his interiors. I think that's why her hair looks a tad off.

Edited by Decept-O

Been interested in this when announced awhile ago here on CV as I'm curious how she will be written and executed in general. One complaint, though, and I know it's a stupid minor one but I just don't like the sash that well. She can still look female yet cosmic and slick without it. I don't mind the name change too much as it represents her new outlook, but Ms. Marvel still sounds cool. Good review as well.

Posted by Madame_Mist

I thought the art was gorgeous. But a really good start.

Posted by Kyle_Dornez

Actually I kinda liked her better in Avenging Spiderman O_o She was less, umm, depressed(?) there.

I don't have any problem with the art - lots of shadows gives some volume to the pages, and I liked that. What I didn't like was that half-mask - why is it so necessary? It looks ugly =___= If that's for "secret identity" then domino mask is classier, if that's for protection from wind at high altitudes then full mask is more effective... Anyway, that mask is bad

Posted by Duke_Nasty

I thought this was pretty bad. LOL at Peter looking like Andrew Garfield though. It was inevitable.

Posted by Danial79

I was neither impressed nor disappointed with this issue. It was just middle-ground for me. I agree with what others have said, in that it felt more like the Carol I know in Avenging Spider-Man than in this, which is a shame seeing as that is just a cameo. Also, I absolutely love Ms. Marvel's classic costume, so seeing her in this new one, especially without explanation, was a bit saddening. I might give #2 a shot, but if I'm not wowed after that, I'll be dropping it.

Posted by jloneblackheart

I'm disappointed all she has is the name. If she doesn't get the some nega bands and head off to space soon, I won't keep reading.

Otherwise, it was alright. I actually like the art.

Moderator
Edited by Hancock89

I liked it, it was alright for a first issue. I'm willing to give this title a chance.

I enjoyed Carol's interaction with Peter most.

Posted by LordRequiem

Just by looking at the artwork inside, I can tell I'll like this.

Posted by RioBravo

I thought the art was horrid. And the new costume is bland. This ranks up there with the worst of the new DC 52 redesigns as a truly awful reinterpretation of an established character who had nothing wrong with her in the first place.

Posted by TDK_1997

I wasn't excited that much for this and I didn't like the issue so much but let's hope for it to be good.

Posted by RedQueen

After reading it, I'm actually pretty excited for where this series is heading. Not going to lie: I enjoyed it. A lot. But I also agree with what G-man pointed out. The small mistakes in the art I can, for now, overlook.

Posted by Blizaga101

i found this book incredible such a touching end and i have so much appreceation for Carol now that i didnt have in other titles :D

Posted by intothetempest

I love the name Ms Marvel, I think it speaks to her femininity and power. Captain Marvel is fine, but her old name is by no means outdated. I don’t like her new costume, it’s a bit too colorful for me..... And not enough skin shown (not asking for it to be revealing but it’s skin tight all over) Anyway, I love Carol and I hope she can do really well with this

Posted by Zoch81

I liked it thought was good issue I also thought the art was gorgeous