Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Captain Marvel #1: Love Her or Hate Her?

Captain Marvel #1
Writer: Kelly Sue DeConnick
Art: Dexter Soy
Cover: Ed McGuinness, Dexter Vines, and Javier Rodriguez
July 18, 2012

Before I dive in, I have to say that this is my first encounter with Ms. Marvel, now renamed Captain Marvel.  I know very little about her backstory, so the majority of my impressions are coming from this issue and from what I looked up on the internetz.  

 The writing is great, especially once you get into Captain Marvel's inner thoughts.  I love her desire for "higher, further, faster, more.  Always more."  DeConnick has blended high-flying action with down-to earth emotional moments seamlessly.  Captain Marvel is born to fight and fly, but she's also a caring and loyal friend, as demonstrated by her initial reluctance to take on Captain Marvel's name and her touching moment with an old friend.

However, I do hope that DeConnick lays off the constant references to Captain Marvel being a woman.  Women can be captains too; get over it!  All of the sexist remarks from other characters just drag us back into the Ms. Marvel of the past.  If she is going to be the strong female character of this day and age, why does she have to keep proving herself to misogynistic villains? 

The art in this issue is stunning--it's dark and gritty but it can also be clean and commanding in some great action shots of Captain Marvel.  The initial splash page is a major attention grabber; you're really thrown into the action with this one.  We're also introduced to her new mask about halfway through the issue.  It is awesome!  It's like a mix of Iron Man's technology, a flight helmet, and Maleficent's horns.

My only criticism of the art would be to say, "what's with the booty shots?"  There are at least three panels in which Captain America's derriere is the main focus.  You'd think that they could find a way to make her look fully clothed now that she has a costume that actually covers her whole behind, including a sash around her waist!

In response to my question in the title of this review, "Love Her or Hate Her", I don't think anyone could hate Carol Danvers; she is a very likeable character--she used to be a writer, after all.  Plus, who can't relate to feeling like "the Lord put us here to punch holes in the sky."  The question for me is going to be whether or not I end up loving her.  I'm on the fence at the moment.  If I can see less of her having to prove herself "because she's a woman" and more of her just being bad-ass, I might just love her.  I'm curious about where this series is going now--there doesn't seem to be much of a "drive" to this issue; it actually felt more like a "statement" issue, like there was a point to be made before any major plot points could be introduced. 

But for now, I'll just say, "when a soul is born with that kind of purpose.  It'll damn sure find a way."

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