In celebration of Captain Marvel‘s release, Titan Books has unleashed Captain Marvel: Liberation Run, an original Carol Danvers novel by Tess Sharpe. The best part? It doesn’t require you to have watched the film, nor have much familiarity with the character, as it is its own beast and can be enjoyed as such.
So, what’s it all about? Much like the film, it follows Captain Marvel as she helps a group of people—simple enough concept. This time around, it’s the Inhumans (casual fans might remember them from the dreadful TV series that everyone laughed at) who are in peril. Joined by Ant-Man, Mantis, and Amadeus Cho, Carol and a young Inhuman named Rhi embark on a quest to help Rhi and her people. Naturally, it isn’t a walk in the park and the heroes encounter several twists and turns, as well as other obstacles to overcome.
From a storyline point-of-view, it’s the type of tale that’ll delight Captain Marvel fans. There’s a healthy dose of heroism, feminist ideals, typical Marvel banter, space, and end-of-the-world odds at play; pretty much the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) in a book format. It’s an easy read, too, which doesn’t get too bogged down by everything around it, preferring simplicity over heavy-duty descriptions.
Even with the simplicity, though, it still manages to bring in several Marvel alumni, adding another layer to the worldbuilding of this story. There’s always something special about seeing the rest of the Marvel Universe playing a part in proceedings, which makes you appreciate just how vast and expansive it truly is.
What Sharpe does incredibly well is she weaves her story into the sweet spot between canon and jumping-on point. Yes, it’ll appeal to old-school fans, but it also isn’t an intimidating read for newer fans of the heroine. Quite often, many prose novels based on comic book characters struggle to reel in both fanbases; however, Sharpe has balanced the boat perfectly to cast her net and capture everyone’s attention with an entertaining story.
On the negative side, Captain Marvel: Liberation Run is poorly edited. In the first few pages alone, you’ll notice how action tags are confused with dialogue. For example: “Guilty,” Carol smiled. Any good editor will know that this should be scrubbed. If it happened once or twice, you could forgive it, but it’s periodically throughout the book.
Coupled with this, there’s a feeling that this manuscript could’ve used a more thorough polish. There are certain sections that lead to nowhere. It’s the whole Chekhov’s Gun principle, whereby every element should contribute to the whole. There are parts here that don’t add to anything else besides the page count.
If you’re expecting Captain Marvel: Liberation Run to be in the running for any literary awards at the end of the year, you’ll be sorely disappointed. That said, it’s still an exciting tale that soars higher, further, and faster than its weakest points. Captain Marvel fans will eat this up and be begging for more come the last page.
Captain Marvel: Liberation Run
If you're expecting Captain Marvel: Liberation Run to be in the running for any literary awards at the end of the year, you'll be sorely disappointed.