Monday, 11 July 2016

#CBR8 Book 76: "Captain Marvel, vol 1: Higher, Further, Faster, More" by Kelly Sue DeConnick and David Lopez

Page count: 136 pages
Rating: 3 stars

Carol Danvers, who is apparently a hot-shot pilot and one of the Avengers, lives in the crown of the Statue of Liberty (you can do that?) with her sister and niece. When the Avengers find an escape pod from a spaceship with an alien refugee inside it, they decide that Carol be the one to return the girl to her homeworld, as well as take up a more permanent presence in space as a representative for the Avengers Initiative. As she returns the girl to her home planet, she discovers that they are in dire need of help, as much of the populace (already relocated from another planet) is sick and dying. Now the aliens are fighting another forced resettlement and Carol decides to help them.

Considering this is the first trade of a new Captain Marvel run, extremely little was done to explain who Carol Danvers is or what her powers are. At the end of the first issue, there is a brief one page explanation of how she ended up where she is (rendered as a child's drawing), but I really didn't think I learned enough to really feel like I got to know the character. She's brave, she can fly, she's apparently part alien. She likes Star Wars, she has a cat called Chewie (who may or may not be some sort of alien beastie that Rocket Raccoon really wants to murder) and she's a very good pilot. She was possibly in a relationship with Rhodey, the Iron Patriot, but decided to go off and live in space for an unspecified amount of time instead. I just don't think I was given enough to decide whether I even like this character or not.

This trade collects the first five issues of the run and I sadly found the story a bit too disjointed and confusing to entirely engage me. It starts with a dramatic action set-piece and then flashes back to several weeks previous. There is a guest appearance by the Guardians of the Galaxy (who I now care a lot more about because of the movie). I had trouble caring about what happened, even if there were quite a few quips and the art was well done throughout. I wasn't expecting a full and drawn-out origin story just because this was the first trade in an ongoing series, but a bit more back story would have been appreciated. As it is, I'm not sure I care enough about Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel to seek out further issues of this. I have enough ongoing comic books to follow as it is.

Judging a book by its cover: Fairly dynamic cover pose. Carol Danvers with a bit of a Natalie Dormer smirk pulling on gloves and looking bad-ass. I very much appreciate that unlike so many female superhero costumes, there is nothing gratuitous or exploitative about Captain Marvel's costume. It's functional and practical.

Crossposted on Cannonball Read

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