Comic Review – Captain Marvel #1

Captain Marvel (2019) #1 Cover

With the long awaited Captain Marvel movie just two months away, it’s no surprise that Marvel Comics would decide that they needed to get a new Captain Marvel title out there for potential new readers to latch onto. What is a surprise is how utterly perfect this new volume by Kelly Thompson, Carmen Carnero and Tamra Bonvillain is. New readers will have no trouble jumping in with this issue, but there’s a lot of Easter Eggs that long-time Carol Corps members will enjoy.

On the odd chance that this is your first exposure to Carol Danvers, don’t worry. The opening pages run through the Cliff Notes version of her background, including the recent The Life of Captain Marvel mini-series. This tells us who Captain Marvel is, but the rest of the book shows us who she is with style.

Kelly Thompson’s script doesn’t bother with boring details such as how Carol Danvers got her powers, how she took up the title of Captain Marvel or anything that could be looked up in less than a minute on Wikipedia. Instead, we learn what kind of person Carol Danvers is. This is accomplished through a series of scenes, as we see Carol fighting a giant monster with her best friend, Jessica Drew (aka Spider-Woman), mentoring a teen hero called Hazmat, having an awkward conversation with her ex-boyfriend and taking a meeting with Tony Stark that she’d really rather not deal with. Through these scenes, we learn that Carol is funny, doesn’t suffer fools gladly, tries to give back to the world in little ways that don’t involve punching giant monsters and really dislikes Tony Stark.

Admittedly there isn’t much of a story to the issue, but that’s because Thompson’s focus is on the characters. For a first issue meant to attract new readers, that’s not a bad decision and it spoils little to say that the issue builds to a cliff-hanger that sets up a startling new status quo once we have our hero established, that promises big things in the next issue.

The artwork is a perfect match for the tone of the writing. I greatly enjoyed Carmen Carnero’s previous work on Adventures of Supergirl and Detective Comics and her work here is of comparable quality. Carnero’s style is animated and detailed, without seeming cluttered. The colors by Tamra Bonvillain are suitably vibrant for a big four-color superhero book. And VC’s Clayton Cowles delivers his usual stellar job on the lettering. 

In the end, Captain Marvel #1 is everything you could hope for in a comic book. The writing is excellent and the script adheres to the old Stan Lee rule that every comic book should be written as if it were someone’s first comic book… because it probably will be. The artwork is top-notch and depicts the action of the issue perfectly. I can’t think of a single negative apart from our needing to wait another month for Issue #2. Grab this book while you can, kids! It’s going to fly off the shelves as fast as Carol Danvers herself.

10/10

Captain Marvel #1 releases on January 9, 2019!

Written by The Critic The Internet Deserves, but not the one it needs right now…. Matt Morrison. He’s a smart-ass guardian. A sarcastic protector. A Snark Knight.

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