Carol’s life is complicated: there’s an alien refugee crisis on Earth, Alpha Flight has budget problems, and her life is now a TV show. Welcome to The Mighty Captain Marvel. Is it good?
The Mighty Captain Marvel #1 (Marvel Comics)
Carol’s life has gotten a bit weird since the events of Civil War II. Now one of the most famous super-heroes in the world, she’s dealing with the adoration of millions though privately, she’s basically alone, with only Jess and the Alpha Flight team left as friends.
When one of the Earth refugee camps is attacked and the attackers appear to be Army Rangers, Carol flies to the scene to rescue the target, a young Kree.
Is It Good?
This is a tough one. Ever since Kelly Sue Deconnick left the book, Marvel has struggled to find a writer who is able to either follow in the standard she set or carve a totally different path. Stohl is trying to follow the standard, and while this issue is stronger than the 0 issue setting up the series, there are still some problems that make the book drag a bit.
As she cops to in her reader letter at the end of the issue, this is Stohl’s first time writing a single issue comic, and it shows. The flow of the book is off; the transitions between scenes aren’t clearly denoted in either the writing or the art, so I struggled with what was happening where and when. The doesn’t help that the story is a bit all over the place – we have the TV show set up, the refugee issue and camp attack, and the threat on Alpha Flight. But none of these dilemmas are fully fleshed out, so the reasoning behind them doesn’t make much sense. How is the Captain Marvel TV show paying for Alpha Flight?
The art also has some issues. For example, if you are gonna make a joke about how the TV Cap’s suit is sexified, show the front of the suit for more than one panel and not in the background. I had to go back and look at every panel in that section to find it after Carol complains about it at Alpha Flight. The panel layouts are also very stiff and weirdly stacked, which doesn’t help trying to follow the action. Stiff is a good description for a lot of the art; Rosanas’ faces are not very expressive and many of the characters being so tall and thin makes their poses look, well, posed.
Women posing with hands on chins is the new laughing with salads.
Overall the coloring is good, though the palette Garland uses for the Earth scenes has a brownish tone that makes the panels look a little too dirty. The colors in the Alpha Flight scenes really pop, though. It’s a strange nitpick, but the placement of the speech bubbles also seemed a bit off – there were times I couldn’t tell which piece of dialogue went next. And there is a LOT of dialogue. This is another place where Stohl shows her inexperience; there are very few panels where the action is allowed to occur and breathe. It’s packed full of asides and thoughts and discussions.
Some clunky exposition here too.
There are times when you can see the work behind the writing, like Stohl is trying so hard that the writing feels a bit labored. There’s a lot of quipping and Carol talking about punching things, but there’s a distance to it, like the characters aren’t really connecting with each other.
Reading all this, if you are still with me, you might think that I didn’t like this book, which isn’t true. It’s fine. But that’s probably why I’m being picky – Captain Marvel is one of my favorite characters and I, like many members of the Carol Corps, have very high expectations for books with our girl. We need some strong stories so we don’t lose momentum before her movie in 2018, and while I’m glad they are moving her away from Events and giving her a unique storyline, I’m not sure this particular issue is going to hook new readers.