Captain Marvel #1
Artist: Carmen Carnero
Colorist: Tamra Bonvillain
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover Artists: Amanda Conner, Paul Mounts
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Review by Nico Sprezzatura
With her impending film debut, Carol Danvers is primed to go even higher, further, faster than ever before — and this week’s Captain Marvel #1 offers a brand new starting point for fans old and new. But does it succeed in that mission?
Despite Carol’s popularity with fans — which will undoubtedly grow even larger after Captain Marvel is released in March — her comics have struggled since Kelly Sue DeConnick’s beloved three-year run ended in 2015. DeConnick’s successors, Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters (best known as the showrunners of Agent Carter), showed promise upon taking over, but their run was abruptly derailed with a Civil War II tie-in penned by Ruth Fletcher Gage and Christos N. Gage.
Margaret Stohl (Beautiful Creatures) then followed with Mighty Captain Marvel, following Carol in the aftermath of her divisive role in CWII, which I didn’t love. But last year’s Life of Captain Marvel limited series ended her run on a high note, delivering a massive retcon to Carol’s origin by revealing her true half-Kree lineage that proved genuinely surprising. With a new outlook on life, Carol heads into Captain Marvel #1 with renewed vigor, that’s been missing from her last few adventures, and is all the better for it.
Writer Kelly Thompson (who co-wrote Secret Wars: Captain Marvel and The Carol Corps with DeConnick, her Marvel debut) has quickly become one of the company’s top talents since then, and Captain Marvel #1 is a great showcase for her superhero chops. There’s action! Banter! A requisite Tony Stark cameo! As a fan of her many other Marvel titles (e.g. Rogue & Gambit, West Coast Avengers, Hawkeye) she definitely feels like a natural fit for the likes of Captain Marvel. Plus, she gives us more of Carol’s relationship with Jessica Drew (AKA Spider-Woman), which has especially been lacking in recent runs.
The art is equally worthy of Thompson’s script. Artist Carmen Carnero is a new name to me, coming off a brief guest spot in X-Men Red, but she’s sincerely one to watch in the industry based on this first issue. Juggling blockbuster action with smaller-scale slices of life, Carnero is an ideal artist for the kind of superhero stories Thompson excels at. And that’s saying nothing of colorist Tamra Bonvillain, who continues her streak of top-notch coloring work here. I really hope this team remains as-is for the foreseeable future because they all work so well together.
The Verdict: Buy it.
With a mix of blockbuster action and spirited banter, a top-notch creative teams leads Captain Marvel into a promising new era ahead of her cinematic debut.