Captain Marvel may arguably be the most popular superhero in the world, but the universe doesn’t seem to like her at all. At least, that’s the conclusion Carol Danvers comes to while recovering from a close call with an avalanche. However, her angry rant at the universe is answered by an unlikely spokesperson: an artificial intelligence hologram of Tony Stark. It’s time for Captain Marvel to find out why some alien refugee children have been targeted for kidnapping and confess her regret over her actions of the past year. But with her powers out of control, can she handle the truth and stop a shape-shifting bounty hunter? We review The Mighty Captain Marvel #3.
The Mighty Captain Marvel #3 truly is a comic book of two halves, and that’s something which will either annoy fans or please them to no end. The first half is a smart mix of character development and exposition to further the plot, with a short battle against a snow monster thrown in just to liven things up. The second half is a bizarrely madcap fight-and-chase sequence where the presumed villain of the piece performs the stereotypical explain-the-plan routine (albeit in an intelligent way).
The two halves don’t quite match up, and the setting for the second half seems like an unnecessary joke which is out of place. That’s bad.
But the writing, as much as a great deal of it may be exposition or dry facts about DNA, is wonderful. The plotting may be a little ill-paced, but it’s a well-written piece of work. That’s good. Very good, in fact.
Captain Marvel has indeed been through many changes over the past year and looks set to go through even more given the shift in the MU landscape. While the boast that she’s the world’s favourite superhero in the printed pages here may be a bit of a stretch, there’s no denying that she’s rapidly achieving real world recognition, thanks to constant – but never heavy-handed – promotional placement from the House of Ideas. It’s fitting that the writing here helps to round out her character.
We know that her part in the last Civil War was a heavy burden for her, and here she gets to unburden her guilt to some extent, without ever apologising for the route she took. Likewise, for a character who has sometimes been portrayed as little more than a hard-ass powerhouse, here she’s given a great deal of depth thanks to the little touches. Add to that some great artwork and there’s a lot to recommend here.
Unfortunately, it’s that disjointed feel and the plotting which are The Mighty Captain Marvel #3’s biggest problems. For every great little touch, there’s something which just feels off. Like Captain Marvel who fears that her greatest enemy may be herself, the same could be said for the comic book as a whole.
The creative team are doing a wonderful job, but they need to get past this problem and I hope they do. This series deserves to be the best, and it isn’t that far off from getting there.