Captain Marvel #1 is a High-Flying Return for Carol Danvers

Captain Marvel #1captainmarvelnew

Written by Kelly Sue DeConnick
Art by David Lopez
Colors by Lee Loughridge
Published by Marvel Comics

Captain Marvel #1 opens with its titular heroine and a motley crew of aliens trying to get a certain object and keep it away from evil aliens. This sequence sets up the premise of the book, which is “Captain Marvel in space”. However, Captain Marvel #1 also features the humor, punching, strong characterization, and bright colors that made Kelly Sue DeConnick’s previous run so beloved. DeConnick shows a Carol Danvers at her most vulnerable as she feels like she doesn’t have a place on Earth. Various supporting characters comment on this, and DeConnick balances the superhero action and alien visitor parts with some scenes that wouldn’t be out of place in a slice of life book. Artist David Lopez has clean line work, and his pencils work well in the outer space and fight scenes. He also zooms in on his character’s faces during particularly emotional scenes. Colorist Lee Loughridge uses plenty of bright reds and yellows along with some darker colors to give the comic an all-ages feel while not putting Carol’s issues on the backburner.

Captain Marvel #1 has the tricky problem of giving new readers a taste of what the book is like while showing Carol’s motivation for wanting to go into space. It pulls this off pretty well even though the opening flash-forward scene is only marginally connected to the main story. (There is a running Star Wars gag though.) But Captain Marvel‘s biggest strength is its characterization and witty dialogue. DeConnick gives the characters enough quips to relieve the tension from Carol’s angst and self-doubt along with a mysterious visitor from outer space. She also checks in with supporting characters from the previous Captain Marvel run, including Captain Marvel’s biggest little fan Kit and Tracy Burke, as well as giving Iron Patriot (James Rhodes) and Carol Danvers a nice “will they, won’t they” dynamic to go along with their desire to be the Avengers’ representative in space. The premise of Carol Danvers going into space actually makes sense in light of the events of Infinity and Guardians of the Galaxy and hopefully her “space crew” will be as well-developed as some of her friends on Earth. What makes Captain Marvel a good series is that Carol has a very down-to-earth and relatable personality while still being able to fly and punch out aliens. These character traits are intact in Captain Marvel #1.

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Though he doesn’t try anything experimental with panel layouts , David Lopez is a solid superhero artist. His layouts are easy to follow, his figures are expressive and have different body shapes, and his action scenes are dynamic without being super detailed. There are some awkward transitions in the comic, like Kit going from Captain Marvel’s apartment to her mom’s place, but Lopez captures Carol’s mix of joy and sadness from a scene where she flies in her fighter jet to a quiet flight alone. In pivotal scenes, Lopez zooms towards the character’s faces to show their feelings about their actions and dialogues. His art is colored by an excellent Lee Loughridge, who makes the explosions and flights throughout space really pop. He also provides little touches like giving Carol and Kit similar hair and outfit colors to symbolize their friendship. Captain Marvel #1 has all the elements that made the previous series great while setting up a new intergalactic adventure for Carol Danvers, who is also struggling personally with her purpose in life.

 

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