Writer: Kelly Thompson / Artists: Carmen Carnero, Tamra Bonvillain / Marvel Comics
You knew it was coming, even if you didn’t know it was coming: The MCU is introducing Earth’s Mightiest Hero, Captain Marvel, to the big screen in March, so Marvel Comics was due to bring out a new Captain Marvel comic book. And right on time, I’ve got this number #1 in my hot little hands.
Kelly Thompson has really blown up in the last few years, proving she can write fun indie projects like Mega Princess,, fantastically addictive superhero action like (Kate Bishop) Hawkeye, and big-tent teams like Uncanny X-Men. All along, she’s perfected a particular voice for her women superheroes — confident, feminist, real. It is definitely one of the forces behind her fan base (of which many of us here at BNP are founding members).
In Captain Marvel, while Thompson writes, Carmen Carnero (DC Bombshells, Dragon Age: Magekiller, X-Men: Red) does the lines and Tamra Bonvillain (Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Rat Queens) the colors. Carnero and Bonvillain on the same book is almost not fair, they are so fantastic. Every color, every line, from big fights, to small missed kisses, are tight. Perspective, action, backgrounds, whew, I wish there was something to complain about here but there isn’t. These two could take a grocery list and make it beautiful to read. Luckily, they aren’t working with a grocery list, even if this intro issue has a few — I won’t call them predictable moments, I’ll call them throwbacks.
A #1 has to hit a few beats, to remind old fans of why they’re there, introduce new fans to the character and setting, and get the whole monster moving in the right direction in time for the “Hey Fans, send us letters” message on the last page. We hit all those beats and then some.
We’re reminded of all the important parts: Carol is a badass and she knows it. She has a best friend in Jessica Drew (Spider-Woman). Carol’s got a soft spot for little girls and teenagers, even if she’s not above threatening to punch them into space. She is an Avenger, and Captain America and Thor gladly take orders from her. She and Tony Stark barely tolerate each other (does anyone like Tony Stark, other than Tony Stark?). The one person Carol does like is James Rhodes, and I mean, LIKE like. The only thing she hates more than Tony Stark are misogynistic villains (big mood, Carol, big mood).
All of this is laid out page by page, bang bang. If you’re like me, even some of the layouts may look familiar — the opening splash big fight scene between Captain Marvel, Spider-Woman and the Kraken looks an awful lot like the Captain Marvel, Captain America and the Dinosaur opening fight from DeConnick’s first issue. Even as we tread through this ground, Thompson brings fantastic moments and demonstrates Carol’s real superpower — she doesn’t quit. By the time you get to the cliffhanger ending that sets up the arc, there’s enough that’s familiar to make longtime fans feel right at home.
What is special about this issue is the way Thompson and team show us the Captain Marvel we already love. If you’re looking to get to know Carol before she hits the big screen, this is designed to be the perfect place to start. If you’re a fan from the past, come on home. This is our Carol, through and through.
8.5 Canadian Supermodel Girlfriends out of 10
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