(Spoiler: I am Captain Marvel)
I wanted to check out this issue of Captain Marvel after reading The AV Club’s always stellar Big Issues column two weeks ago. Since I was heading out of town today, and wouldn’t have time to stop by Matt’s to pick up any new issues, I got a copy of it along with last week’s Sex Criminals #3. By placing it in my file cabinet underneath a stack of student papers I wouldn’t be grading until yesterday, I managed to fight off the temptation to binge on it before this morning. After arriving at work and realizing I had returned the aforementioned stack of papers, my comic reward was revealed, and that stellar cover begged me to jump in.
Prior to this issue, I had only read the first few in Donnick’s run wherein Carol Danvers was adjusting to her new role as Captain Marvel after deciding to take up the mantle from her long-deceased alien mentor. At that time I found Donnick’s writing clever and found myself really enjoying Carol as a character, which I think the costume change had a huge role in. As Ms. Marvel, Carol rocked a unitard, sash and domino mask that was clearly designed to appeal to horny teenage boys. As Captain Marvel, Carol wears something more akin to a space patrol uniform that while form fitting, appears to provide some protection. She keeps the sash here though. In those early issues Donnick seemed intent on establishing Carol as a hero on the same tier of Iron Man or Captain America, fitting as Carol’s power set and personality easily put her on par with those boys.
Therefore it was great to see the changes that had occurred in the comic itself in my absence. While Carol has lost her memory and regained her powers, her fantastic supporting cast rally around her to get her through this recovery. In fact, in both big and small ways, the entire issue is about people coming in for a big assist to the hero who has repeatedly saved them from all manner of physical calamity. Despite some familiarity with the issue’s outcome, I still had to will myself to hold back sentimental tears when New Yorkers put their life on the line for a woman who fights for people whom she doesn’t even remember.
Of her supporting cast, it’s hard not to like the adorable Kit. The self-proclaimed Captain Marvel expert, Donnick dedicates a nice portion of the issue to the way Carol positively impacts Kit and her friends by showing that Carol’s presence gives Kit the courage to stand up for others. Somehow Donnick pulls it off without sounding like an after-school special and I gotta admit that I’m relieved to see a book with such a positive attitude in a comic landscape that seems to equate gritty with high quality.
Andrade deserves heaps of praise for the style and movement he manages to inject in ever panel. His inks make bring the wonder of flight back to comics in a way I haven’t seen lately as he accurately portrays the amazement anyone would have when flying in a great panel that shows Carol launching into the air with Kit in hand.
Read this if you need a comic you can share with anyone. Read this if you need to get your weep on. Read this if you have a heart.