I have always had a huge crush on Carol Danvers.
When I first discovered her in the pages of The New Avengers, there was just this spark to her. She was always interesting to me, he had tons of value to the team, and above all, she was a POWERHOUSE. Call me crazy, but there is something so sexy about a woman that could crush/vaporize me without a breaking a single bead of sweat. The other thing that drew me to that character was this avoidance of using her sexuality as a plot point in The New Avengers; she was a capable, intelligent, and respected woman among a team of some of the biggest names in the Marvel universe and she never once felt like baggage or just another sexy girl on a super team.
So, needless to say, upon the announcement of Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Captain Marvel title, you can guarantee that I had a copy pre-ordered as soon as possible.
The comic, which I will discuss in a bit, is wildly important, whether it means to be or not. In this current climate of comics, women characters, as much as it pains me to say, are getting the short end of the stick. DC Comics, with The New 52, have REPEATEDLY delivered blow after blow to the portrayal of women in comics with Red Hood and The Outlaws’ horrifying retcon of Starfire and their wretched Catwoman series, not to even mention the sweeping under the rug of Batgirl Stephanie Brown, so if there was ever a time where we NEEDED a character like Carol Danvers, it’s now. DeConnick, a supremely skilled writer, seems unfazed by all this and delivers a tight, action packed intro to Danvers and her new universe.
We see Carol as a woman struggling to find a place in her world, but confident enough in herself to know that she deserves this title. As Captain America tells her as she balks at the idea of taking the name Captain Marvel, “You have led The Avengers, you have SAVED THE WORLD. Quit being an adjuct.” People have compared this issue to the opening issues of Geoff Johns’ Green Lantern run and they aren’t far off. DeConnick smartly grounds Danvers for most of the issue balancing the high flying action of the opening fight scene with The Absorbing Man and subsequent Call To Adventure with Cap and Spider-Man, with a beautiful sequence in space in which Carol decides to take the name in the coolest possible way.
DeConnick then fleshes out Carol’s background by introducing Helen Cobb, a mentor of Carol’s and Mercury 13 test pilot. We are introduced to her via her obituary and then through a flashback, but through these final scenes, we see Carol Danvers, not JUST as the superhero, but as the pilot, the dreamer, and, most importantly, as a capable and independent woman who doesn’t have to contort her body in horrifying ways or wear next to nothing to be considered a major player.
My only complaints with the issue is that the opening fight scene banter between Danvers and The Absorbing Man felt a bit forced, in that every line out of Creel’s mouth is misogynistic and it just felt too on the nose to me as a read it. Also, Dexter Soy’s artwork, while great, doesn’t mesh fully with DeConnick’s script. The cover writes us a big, bright, and bold check and Soy’s pencils fail to deliver, instead they give us a muted, almost sober color palette that works for the sequences in space, but not for the stuff closer to Earth.
To be completely honest, I am beside myself excited to see where this monthly goes. This is a bold step for Marvel. DeConnick is a great writer and I think Carol is in amazing hands. Marvel New York has a new crowning jewel and I can only pray that this is the start of something brand new in comics.
Long Live The Carol Corps,