Captain Marvel: Braver and Mightier #1

Writer: Jody Houser
Artist: Simone Buonfantino
Colorist: Erick Arciniega
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Review by Cameron Kieffer

Carol Danvers’ big-screen debut is just over a week away, so naturally Marvel is putting out a new book to coincide with the film’s release.  Unlike the new ongoing series that debuted last month, however, Captain Marvel: Braver and Mightier #1 is simply a one-shot, designed to present a one-and-done story that is perfectly accessible to new readers.  This turns out to be both the book’s biggest strength and biggest weakness.

Taking place on “Captain Marvel Day,” the story focuses on Carol preempting an alien invasion, while a pair of high school students prepare to interview our courageous hero upon her arrival.  Writer Jody Houser deftly switches back and forth between the two narratives, as our young protagonists struggle to decide on the “ultimate question” while the good captain fights off the alien menace.  It’s amusing to see the young journalists’ plight with something most might consider trivial, while their hero is having a much easier time by comparison.

Houser captures Carol’s voice well and establishes some very relatable characters in our teen “heroes.”  She’s got a good handle on the characters, keeps the pacing tight and the dialogue engaging.  Unfortunately, there’s simply not enough story here to really necessitate the book’s existence.  In addition to the current ongoing, Marvel’s been releasing reprints of older stories featuring Carol during her Ms Marvel and Binary days.  With plenty of options to check out Captain Marvel’s adventures, this one-shot doesn’t really stand out, except from a visual perspective.

The art by Simone Buonfantino and Erick Arciniega is fantastic.  From the opening panels in space, their depiction of Carol is spot-on, showing off both her beauty and bad-ass attitude without ever sacrificing one for the other.  Arciniega’s colors are vibrant, allowing our hero’s costume to really pop against the blacknesss of space.  Apart from a few awkward depictions here and there, along with some odd perspectives, this is a truly gorgeous-looking book. The lettering by VC’s Travis Lanham is solid as always and helps keep the story flowing.

The Verdict: Check it out.

Captain Marvel: Braver and Mightier #1 is a serviceable introduction to one of Marvel’s greatest characters, with a respectable, yet forgettable story and some gorgeous art to boot. There’s no shortage of material for new readers to digest. Had this been the start of a new ongoing or even a miniseries, this one-shot might be worth a look for seasoned readers.  Unless you’re a die-hard Captain Marvel collector or a new reader wanting to see what the hype’s about, you can probably save your $3.99 for something else this week.

Cameron Kieffer
Cameron Kieffer wears many hats. He is a freelance writer and artist, creator of the webcomic "Geek Theory" and is co-host of the Nerd Dump podcast. He lives in Topeka with his wife and increasingly growing comic book collection.

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