Captain Marvel #2 – Review

Captain Marvel 002 b

by Etienne Paul, CMRO Editor

Written by Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters with Art by Kris Anka and Matthew Wilson

Published February 2016

Captain Marvel 002 aSynopsis – Rise of the Alpha Flight Part Two

Boarding an alien vessel can be problematic, ask any Red-Shirt. But when your whole team is indispensable, it might be a risk too far.

I know I just made a Star Trek joke, but really, that is exactly what this series feels like. The whole space exploration thing has been done to death by something in the region of 750 episodes over 50 years and whenever I see it, that is all I can think about. This is not necessarily a negative comparison, just an unavoidable one.

To be honest, if I was looking at this as an episode of Star Trek, then I would be quite kind to it. The alien craft is mysterious; the action is frenetic and the dialogue is fun, all in, it would be a fantastic episode. However that does not make it a great issue of Captain Marvel. I get the impression that they do not know what to do with her; prior to Secret Wars she had had two series, both quite different and both with rave reviews from half the community and criticism from the other half. I thought the first arc of her first series was fantastic, the second half went down hill quite fast. The next volume of this title was utter garbage and this one is showing signs of improvement. The problem is, Marvel has no idea how to play her.

They have tried showing her softer side, they have tried her going solo and saving the galaxy and now they are trying to give her command (she is a Captain after all.) The problem is that all I get the impression is that Abigail Brand is both the one actually in charge and also the only logical choice to be in command. She has looked after S.W.O.R.D. for the last few years and seemed to do a darn good job, so why would this position not go to her.*

Overall, this is a mixed bag; there are parts of this I really like and parts that just don’t seem to fit. If this had been called ‘Captain Marvel and Alpha Flight’ then it would feel a lot more natural, but as it is the best parts come from the team and the focus on Carol feels forced, but perhaps it will grow on me in time.

Story – 7/10
Art – 8/10

* I know in the last issue they tried to explain it away, but it didn’t make sense.

Captain Marvel #1 Review

Captain Marvel (2016-) 001-000 b

by Etienne Paul, CMRO Editor

Captain Marvel

Issue #1

Written by Michele Fakekas and Tara Butters with Art by Kris Anka and Matthew Wilson

Published January 2016

Captain Marvel (2016-) 001-000 aSynopsis – Rise of the Alpha Flight:

Carol is off to space for two years to head up Alpha Flight leaving Rhode earthbound and pining for her.

Captain Marvel has been rather up and down for me in recent years. Back in 2012 Carol picked up the abandoned title and that was the start of my on-again-off-again love affair with this title. That initial series was fantastic as the writer Kelly Sue had such an understanding for the character.

However since that initial run, I have been much less positive about the title. The arc leading up to Secret Wars was almost unreadable with annoying side characters and the ‘flarkin’ cat being both boringly infuriating and the only amusing thing in the entire series.

So here I am again, a new start, a fresh face in the writing chair and me with a completely open mind; I have to say that Fakekas is off to a fantastic start because she immediately re-introduces two of my favourite minor characters – Puck and Abigail Brand. Puck stole the show in the last X-Force series and Abigail has the advantage of being introduced during my favourite run ever in comics, Astonishing X-Men 1-25.

To be honest, this is pretty much a fantastic start all round, with one exception (which also ends up being sort of a positive for me). I really dislike contrivance and the way the writer manages to separate Rhode and Carol is really rather warped. She agrees to go on a 2 year mission to the space station that now acts as Earth’s first line of defence, however she can fly in a vacuum and even says so on panel, but she explains it away by saying that she’s not avoiding him, she is just committed to the job. I have never understood their relationship, mainly because they are never shown in any intimate way in the comics, only as friends; for example, she doesn’t even kiss him goodbye! Hopefully this is going to be the end of this rather ‘loveless’ relationship and you never know what she might find in space.*

This issues does a fantastic job of setting up a lot of plot strands, even before the main asteroid related storyline. There are plenty of conflicts between the supposed team members and it will be fun watching them fall apart in the coming issues.

Story – 8/10
Art – 8/10

* Although given what happens in the comic, perhaps she shouldn’t hold out too much hope…