The Life of Captain Marvel #1
Writer: Margaret Stohl
Penciler: Carlos Pacheco
Inker: Rafael Fonteriz
Colorist: Marcio Menyz
Artist: Marguerite Sauvage
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Review by Greg Brothers
Over the last few years Captain Marvel has moved to the forefront of heroes within the Marvel Universe. Carol Danvers had a significant role in the Civil War II story line. Meanwhile, she has become the leader in many of the cosmic adventures recently. With a movie coming out next spring, it makes sense that Marvel is wanting to make sure that readers are familiar with Captain Marvel and her background. So, within that vein, this week we are presented The Life of Captain Marvel #1.
The series starts with a flashback of some summer fun with her brothers: swimming, fighting, and doing the types of things that kids do on summer vacation. Quickly, however, memories flood in of the abuse that her brothers experienced form their father, while her mother made excuses. Before long, the memories manifest themselves into Captain Marvel taking extra liberties and being super rough in taking down some supervillains. Some advice from a fellow Avenger leads Carol to take some time off to reconnect with friends and family, before an accident changes plans.
In a world of stories that have larger than life battles and consequences, it is rare that a comic like The Life of Captain Marvel #1 exists. It is obvious from the first panels that this story is not about world-destroying aliens, but is instead about humanizing Danvers. Part of that humanization is the mental health of Captain Marvel herself. It is a story that many readers will be able to identify with whether they were victims of abuse themselves or know of someone who was. The use of Tony Stark as a sounding board for Captain Marvel is smart as the two of them have been at odds much of the last few years. It is also a reminder of the parallels that both characters have dealt with. Relationships are also a huge part of The Life of Captain Marvel #1. It is refreshing to see a larger than life superhero enjoy time with their family, along with dealing with issues within the family. The dialogue feels real and relatable throughout, with some truly touching moments.
With two separate artists on the book, the differences between present day and the flashbacks is obvious. The light soft colors of the past give the panels a fuzzy feeling, as if it is a memory that could float away. The present-day panels, bright, bold and inviting, are based in reality, helping to ground the story. The present-day panels a refilled with great detail and the emotions of the characters are easily identifiable. One of the details that stands out is how similar Carol and her mother are.
Verdict: Buy it.
I have read a few Captain Marvel stories here and there, and, while they have caught my interest, few of them have gotten me invested in the character. The Life of Captain Marvel #1 takes the character and breaks her down to her core. Stohl’s humanization of the character makes her accessible to readers who may not have read many Captain Marvel stories. By the end of the issue I was hooked and wanted to learn much more about Captain Marvel and her family.