Comic Vine Review

24 Comments

Captain Marvel #3 - Higher, Further, Faster, More. Part Three Review

5

Carol Danvers reaches her destination with passenger in tow, but the situation is more complicated than they at first seemed.

The Good

Superhero comics have always been great at taking a classic story and finding a new, modern way to tell it. Now the trend, both for comics and the big screen, is heading toward some very interesting genre mash-ups where "superhero" is actually secondary to the main story and tone. Prior to the last few years, when talking about mainstream books, the reader could be assured of some reasonably similar themes and tones from one book to the next. Now you could offer anyone looking for a superhero book anything from New Avengers to Black Widow to Batman and get VERY different stories. Captain Marvel still walks the line between a straight-up superhero book and a sci-fi one, but the WAY it walks the line, hewing much closer to superhero than sci-fi, actually makes it even more of a standout. Kelly Sue Deconnick has, in Carol Danvers, created an eminently likable character, but also a very unique one. She’s witty, but trips herself up. She’s smart, but has a tendency to act very instinctually. She’s ultimately one of the most flesh-out characters in all of comics, and because of that, and the general tone of whimsy and humor, Captain Marvel is one of the absolute best, easiest to recommend books on the shelf. This particular issue sees Carol saying farewell to the Guardians of the Galaxy after her refugee passenger, Tic, and her ship (plus cat) are recovered. She returns to Tic’s homeworld of Torfa to try and help them with the plague that ravages their population, as well as assist with the ongoing Spartax diplomacy. However, the Torfan leader quickly becomes skeptical, skewering one of my absolute least favorite tropes: the protagonist (usually white) swoops in and solves all the natives' (usually primitive, always non-white) problems, often while instantly adopting their culture (Avatar, Dances with Wolves, Last of the Mohicans, etc). I’m not sure if it was intentional or not, but Deconnick’s writing absolutely obliterated any notion of that happening in one deft, skillfully done page.

Part of what made that page, and so many others, amazing was the linework of David Lopez. His art perfectly suits the book as it brings a cartoonish sensibility to grounded, realistic imagery. The linework is generally soft and gentle without becoming placid or slow but when the action picks up the entire style actually shifts to a sharper, more kinetic feel. Lee Loughridge’s colors complement the style perfectly, with lots of warm, mellow pastel colors in the quieter moments, and dark, hard colors for the action-packed opener. The way the panels move is extremely cinematic, and I don’t just mean in the “widescreen, super action” way, but in the way it strategically zooms to give emphasis and simulate motion.

The Bad

We go from Carol getting her ship back to Torfa in one turn of the page. We’re told that it takes a week and a half and I REALLY would have liked to see that week and a half.

The Verdict

If the worst thing you can say about an issue is that you wish there was more of it, that says something all by itself. This is, bar-none, one of the most fun books on the shelf that still manages plenty of legitimate drama. It manages to subvert expectations of both genre and plotline by hewing closely to how they're expected to work before suddenly twisting in a completely different direction. Sounds like Danvers' flying style, now that I think about it.

25 Comments
Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

When are we going to be allowed to change Carol's in the Wiki from Ms Marvel to Captain Marvel? It's getting confusing that there is another character with a self titled book called Ms. Marvel.

Posted by CaptainMarvel4Ever

@jonny_anonymous: Why should we? a lot of characters have had that name, and it's not set in stone that she will keep that name.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

@captainmarvel4ever: I know you want it to change back but it's not going to happen. This is her name now and KK is Ms. Marvel.

Posted by CaptainMarvel4Ever

@jonny_anonymous: How do you know? she's had her name changed before. Also, if she has her own film, and they call her Ms. Marvel (which they should if they want to make it more successful) then the comic will almost certainly change to fit in with the film better.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

@captainmarvel4ever: How exactly would calling it Ms Marvel make it more successful? In fact it would make it less successful because some boys won't want to go to a film with "ms" in the title. Anyway there she has been going by CAPTAIN now for ages and has an ongoing called CAPTAIN, there is a totally separate character with called MS and she has an ongoing called MS.

Posted by CaptainMarvel4Ever

@jonny_anonymous: It would be more successful, because that's the name older fans would recognize, and it's also a very feminine yet feminist name, which would be a huge draw for the female audience. I also think it would be very easy for Kamala too get a new name, look at Monica, she was called Captain Marvel, and now she's Spectrum (which is a very cool name), and as I said, Carol's name has changed before, so there is no saying it won't go back.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

@captainmarvel4ever: The older fans will no who the character is regardless so that doesn't matter at all also the fact that it would be Marvel's first female superhero is all they really need without adding her sex to the title. It doesn't matter what has happened to other characters in the past, this is what these characters and there books are called now and will be for the foreseeable future.

Posted by The Stegman

I heard somewhere this is a mini series, it's not is it?

Online
Posted by CaptainMarvel4Ever

@jonny_anonymous: They don't need to but they should. If they're big push is that's she's the main female of Marvel, then she shouldn't be ashamed of having a name that shows she's a woman. The way comic vine works is that if a hero has an identity that has changed or is shared, then they only use there name. There's no good reason for it to change.

I heard somewhere this is a mini series, it's not is it?

No, it's not.

Edited by Jonny_Anonymous

@jonny_anonymous: They don't need to but they should. If they're big push is that's she's the main female of Marvel, then she shouldn't be ashamed of having a name that shows she's a woman. The way comic vine works is that if a hero has an identity that has changed or is shared, then they only use there name. There's no good reason for it to change.

@the_stegman said:

I heard somewhere this is a mini series, it's not is it?

No, it's not.

Spider-Man has been changed and shared, should he not have his?

Posted by CaptainMarvel4Ever

@jonny_anonymous: That's something I think Comic Vine should consider, changing Spidey's article to Peter Parker. Of course, Spider-Man is an S-Level hero, so that may be why he gets special treatment.

Posted by GraniteSoldier

This title has been great for awhile. Carol is both a heartwarming and funny character while still maintaining a level of badass and dangerous at the same time. DeConnick, even as far back as her last Captain Marvel series before it was renumbered, has written Carol the best in a long time. I always look forward to this book and recommend it to anyone.

Posted by Maddpanda531

My favorite part of this comic was the random Cthulhu statue way in the background of one of the panels. Also, the writing and art was top-notch.

Posted by Child_of_the_Past

@captainmarvel4ever: You really seem to have a problem with Carol being Captain Marvel. This is like the 4th article I've seen you in where you have complained about it. I understand you have your reasons for not liking it but arguing on Comic Vine is going to change it.

Posted by CaptainMarvel4Ever

@child_of_the_past: It's not really arguing so much as it is discussing. It also helps, most people think that others who want her name changed back are blind fanboys who hate change, but by opening dialogue with others, I can show them there is reason and genuine thought behind that. So I think it does help. It defiantly feels better then doing nothing.

Posted by MannEffest

Ahh… I love this comic so much :p

Edited by Child_of_the_Past

@captainmarvel4ever: I guess understand where you're coming from as I personally hate what DC is doing to Nightwing.

Edited by CaptainMarvel4Ever

@child_of_the_past: You shouldn't, this is actually going to be one of the best things for Dick Grayson. He'll get a chance to really grow as a character. Honestly I think this is DC showing how much they love Dick. Plus I think we all know he'll be back to his old life eventually. So I say sit back and enjoy the ride.

(not that I don't understand where your coming from)

Posted by Child_of_the_Past

@captainmarvel4ever: If they just end up returning things to the status quo, then the whole thing makes even less sense to me, honestly.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

My favorite part of this comic was the random Cthulhu statue way in the background of one of the panels. Also, the writing and art was top-notch.

haha yea I lol'd at that

Posted by xkoenig

The only problem I'm having with this series so far is DeConnick is being so gentle with Carol. This story is almost too easy for Carol. I really loved what she did in the previous series - the time travel and the fight with Yon-Rogg. Here it's getting a little too far into politics etc. for a comic series. Anyway, I trust Carol's in good hands if this survives long term.

Posted by CaptainMarvel4Ever

@child_of_the_past: That's a good point. Still, look at Superior Spider-Man, people thought that would be stupid, and now people miss Spider Ock. I'm curious to see how Dick will go through all this change. As long as he doesn't end up making a deal with the Devil in the end :)

Posted by MPScrimshaw13

@captainmarvel4ever: Don't see how that would make it more successful, as a lot of people see the whole "Ms. (insert male superhero name)" thing to be a little derogatory toward women and all.

"Ms. Marvel" supplanted Captain Mar-Vell decades ago, and yet she still had a name that suggested she was his sidekick. Marvel (comics) lucked out on this one, getting one of the best characters on the stands right now out of a goofy attempt to keep DC from using the name "Captain Marvel".

For the first time since the name was created, Marvel (comics) finally has a Captain Marvel that exists not only to hold the trade mark, but because they are a fantastic character as well.

Edited by CaptainMarvel4Ever

@mpscrimshaw13: How is it derogatory to women? if any thing shying away from that name may be more offensive to women.

Also, how does the name "Ms. Marvel" make her a side kick? if her name was "Mrs. Marvel" then there would be an issue.