The Mighty Captain Marvel #0
Writer: Margaret Stohl
Artist: Emilio Laiso and Ramon Rosanas
Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Review by John Dubrawa
I have not read any of Civil War II but the general consensus is that Marvel has messed up the character of Carol Danvers in a bad, bad way. The Mighty Captain Marvel #0 represents a much-needed relaunch of the character, headed by young adult fiction writer Margaret Stohl. Stohl steps headlong into the perpetual minefield that is Captain Marvel’s actions of the last few months and comes out the other side with a surprising amount of optimism for the character moving forward. Carol is neither ignorant of what she’s done nor is she spending her days looking for forgiveness. Like a good soldier, she’s keeping her focus clear on the path ahead.
What that means in The Mighty Captain Marvel #0 is that this isn’t the clean slate that some readers might be seeking. Stohl places Captain Marvel back in space with her team of Alpha Flight cadets, and while she’s haunted by her recent actions, she’s also very much trying to keep moving forward to the next inevitable threat. I like that Stohl doesn’t succumb to what could have been an easy fix for Carol–comics have a way of ignoring canon or resetting characters at will. Instead, Stohl recognizes that showing a character through their good and bad moments is what helps make them truly great. For the most part that works here, though there are a few awkward tonal shifts that keep coming up throughout Stohl’s script, particularly when it comes to how the crew interacts with Carol. In one moment Carol is frightening them with her attitude and the next she’s signing a Carol Corps poster for an adoring Alpha Flight member. It’s a bit of an odd interaction to say the least.
Along with a brand-new writer, The Mighty Captain Marvel #0 also comes with a fresh art duo in Emilio Laiso and Ramon Rosanas. Both lend such a similarity clean art to the book that it was difficult for me to tell where one artist ended and the other took over. There’s a ton of personality to all of the figures Laiso and Rosanas draw, from the opening dream sequence involving many of Marvel’s female heroes to the aforementioned Alpha Flight crew, who seem to be unsure how to act around their commander. Rachelle Rosenberg’s colors only enhance the work even further with a warm color palette that imbues the book with a sense of cheer and wonder, both of which are much-needed in this title moving forward.
Buy it! As someone that hasn’t been keeping up with Captain Marvel except in reading many negative thoughts about how the character is being handled as of late, Margaret Stohl’s The Mighty Captain Marvel #0 feels like a step in the right direction. While her first attempt to write the character is not without its hitches, Stohl shows that to get the character back on track involves not only making Carol not only live with her past transgressions but also to move forward and show why she was such a beloved character in the first place. Here’s hoping Marvel allows Stohl the opportunity to do just this without tossing Carol Danvers into another event.