Where the world looks brighter and happier again even though we have a questionable option to release the first bad guy and painter of color who destroys the dance party.
[easyazon_link identifier=”B07J5RGZGJ” locale=”US” tag=”boundingintocomics-20″]Captain Marvel #1[/easyazon_link] It has a lot more to it, despite some serious shortcomings. By comparison, this issue is unusual. It’s much better than anything that’s been done with that title in the past few years. If you take this comparison too far, it’s just a humble comic that serves as a useful start. She has some issues, but she has a heart and has a writer who clearly loves the character.
Let’s break down this Sergio Leone style:
Writer Kelly Thompson tends to take a few problems to her stride and it looks like this series will likely follow suit. Thompson did a great job with the first half of the story. It catches you right in the middle of the action as a giant Kaiju flushes crap out of Spider-Woman and midtown Manhattan, not necessarily in that order. Spider-Woman and Captain Marvel are longtime well-known friends, and Thompson puts on some excellent stand-up banter while sponsoring the business. The best part about this opening scene is Thompson’s attention to detail. Thompson writes about Spider-Woman the way Bendis wrote it and her voice is distinctly different from Captain Marvel’s. Kaiju isn’t much of a threat to Captain Marvel, but Spider-Woman has outdone him, and Thompson is so enjoying this that they even made a change to “Let me hold him for you while you get licked.” The part I’ve been waiting for comes near the end of the fight where Kaiju grabs a little kid and swallows him fully. Captain Marvel follows the baby into the open monster area without hesitation and completes the rescue while simultaneously eliminating the threat. It’s an act of heroism that we haven’t seen from Carol Danvers in some time.The middle part of the story is the obligatory run with Iron Man as Captain Marvel and Spider-Woman swing by while Carol juggles against an apprentice. Given the history of bad blood between these three characters, I think this is Thompson’s way of reaching a compromise. I’ll also forgive the awkwardly written scenes between Carol and Rudy that pretty much amount to, “Oh, you’re alive.” “Oh yeah, um sorry I didn’t call but you were like Maine in Maine killed your mom or whatever.” “Wow, do you want to have coffee?” “surely.” Because either Thompson doesn’t want to spoil the story with this or there’s a storm coming.
Carmen Carneiro does a solid job in this art. Their pencils are narrow and the characters are expressive and make it easy to tell who it is. It’s solid in backgrounds and dynamic modes, but its work here feels fast, especially the inks. There is a distinct lack of light, shadow, and depth to this problem which makes me think it would have benefited greatly from strong inking which was not the same. Someone like Paul Mounts would have really complemented Carnero’s work and would probably have made the terrible coloring less noticeable. (More on that shortly).
I’m not sure I would have gone with the third-level villain Fantastic Four as the big villain of the first premiere reboot arc with a multi-million dollar movie on the horizon, but given the crap Marvel usually draws, it’s kind of tame. I mean, I have the temptation, I do. Putting the first Marvel feminist icon against this idea must sound great Mahkizmo Nuclear Man, a hyperbolic daredevil behaving like a Miller Light version of one of John Norman’s Slavers of Gor, but in practice only a few Fantastic Four fans and a few remaining peeps who loved John Byrne’s She Hulk have heard of this guy. Not to mention caring for him at all. Mahkizmo was originally created by Jerry Conway as a counterpoint to a longtime Fantastic Four ally Thunder Excessive femininity, and to compare it to the world of Thundra giving up all female slaves, it’s just a stupid idea. Mahkizmo is taken out of context as well as anyone else who has tried to use that character the few times it has been tried, and Mahkizmo has come across as cartoonish and silly. So, good luck with Kelly Thompson, I don’t see this as one of your best story arcs, and if you’re trying to spew in some stupid statements about how all men are horrible evil pigs and delusions will always prevail. Their evil tyranny at the end, we got it, you woke up, but you’re so much better than that.
What the hell is with this cover. I really had to stretch the far frontiers of my sanity to come to the final conclusion that this was actually Amanda Conner’s cover. This is the same Amanda Conner who usually adds beauty, class, elegance, an unmistakable sense of design, and a sinister sense of humor to every comic book cover she makes. This cover looks like something out of a Minecraft nightmare with a central character that appears to be an evil zombie version of Captain Marvel built from regular and defiantly geometric blocks. Where did this cap come from, Marvel? I’ve seen Amanda Conner cheat graphics while not fighting sleepless and brutal hangovers that were better than this. But even after all that, the cover isn’t the worst part of Captain Marvel #1.
This honor goes to Tamara Bonvillian who spoiled the coloring of this issue so badly that it is a testament to the power of Carmen Carnero’s art that even this issue can be read. Her choice of soft pastels for the color palette of superhero writers is ironic, but it’s what you do with them that really spoils the art. Take a look at the double-page spread of the Kaiju monster, and tell me that coloring doesn’t turn what could be a stellar work of art into a sad mass of pastel clay. The colors on each page range from completely annoying to just distracting. A great colorist should be completely invisible to the reader. The colors should enhance the story almost fabulously without taking you out of it. Bonvillian knows it. She’s a graduate of the Cubert School and she’s a bloody well-know. They teach that out there, hell they teach that in high school art class.
It’s a first problem, and this creative team has the potential. I’m willing to give Kelly Thompson some trouble before I get out of this one. Ah, who am I kidding. Carol Danvers is definitely my favorite Marvel character and I’m not going anywhere. Most of you have already written off Captain Marvel as unsalvageable and that’s okay. Marvel has given you a bunch of reasons to do just that. As for me, I still hope the new creative team turns out to be at least something special like what’s currently going on in Mr. and Mrs. X. Until then, I can’t really recommend this to anyone but the hardiest of fans.
Comic Book Review: Captain Marvel #1
- The first half is good
- great art
- Tons of potential
- the lid
- Stranger outdated villain