Carol Danvers has had her hands full lately. The second Civil War tore the superhero community apart once again, while over in Jessica Jones she’s trying to get to the bottom of a conspiracy to eliminate all superhumans. To make matters worse, the new television show being made about her life as Captain Marvel has dreadful dialogue and could ruin whatever credibility she has left. However, there’s a real emergency going on, and one which can’t be solved by punching villains or switching off the TV. We review The Mighty Captain Marvel #1.
When a bounty hunter attacks an alien refugee camp and tries to abduct a young Kree child, Captain Marvel and her Alpha Flight team have to balance political ideals with the all-too-real face of innocent people caught up in war. But why is the shapeshifting bounty hunter after these Kree children, and how can Captain Marvel hope to protect everyone when the problem is so huge?
Marvel Comics has a long track record of telling real world stories in morality plays, but it’s been a while since one hit home this clearly. It doesn’t come across as too heavy-handed, nor does it offer any easy answers. It puts a human (or Kree, in this case) face to a familiar crisis as well as covering the politics, yet neither overwhelm the fact that this is still an engaging and entertaining comic book too.
Yes, rookie comic book writer Margaret Stohl has an uphill battle in trying to cement Captain Marvel as one of the top-tier characters. However, based on her incredibly solid writing in The Mighty Captain Marvel #1, she may just do it. The characters all have some level of depth or playfulness to them which is generally lacking in other titles these days, and credit has to go to Stohl for making them seem real. The story itself may not be the best of hooks to keep new readers, but it’s still a hugely promising start.
The writing is matched equally by some attractive art, with the story flowing so smoothly it’s like it’s on rails. Like the writing, it isn’t perfect and sometimes there seems to be a lack of physical weight or urgency to things, but that’s nitpicking to the extreme because there’s little else to criticise.
So why isn’t it getting a higher score here? It’s hard to say. Maybe it’s because it lacks that must-read feel to it, or just that the stakes don’t seem high enough yet. It certainly doesn’t do anything wrong; in fact, it does just about everything right. The Mighty Captain Marvel #1 is a great book which should please almost anyone who reads it. It just needs a little more kick to it.