Read Captain Marvel by Kelly Sue Deconnick. I’m serious. Pick up as many issues of this book as you can and read it. This book is criminally overlooked for the outstandingly fun ride that it takes you on. Carol Danvers, formerly Ms. Marvel and current Captain Marvel, is a truly fleshed out character in this book that you can’t help but adore the whole time you follow her adventures. This book is among one of the best out there today in my opinion and I am going to do everything outside of demanding that you read this fabulous title, because it deserves more people to read it.
For ages, creating strong women in comics has been a very difficult idea to achieve for whatever reason. In an industry dominated by male writers, it seems hard for them to make a strong woman that isn’t sometimes murdered and stuffed in a refrigerator. Sure, there are female superheroes around, but many of them don’t quite get as much acclaim as they deserve. Gail Simone’s Batgirl isn’t for me, but it appears to pioneer a strong path for Barbara Gordon. I highly enjoy Wonder Woman very much right now, and the New 52 has really helped her become a more fleshed out and interesting character in her new series. But Captain Marvel has always been the book that I look forward to reading each month. I say this simply because I find the book to be brilliantly written by Kelly Sue Deconnick, and she gives character to Carol Danvers that is so refreshing.
Captain Marvel isn’t your typical female superhero. She’s tough, badass, impulsive, and too headstrong for her own good sometimes. When people give her crap, she shoots back with a zinger. And if something bad happens to Captain Marvel, she doesn’t spend her time crying about it or letting it get her down. She keeps trekking forward and doesn’t let that stop her for even a moment. And most importantly, Captain Marvel is going to win whatever fight she’s in because she’s one of the most determined heroes out there and she doesn’t hesitate to do what’s right.
But what Kelly Sue Deconnick does the best with the character is that she allows Captain Marvel to be flawed. If you tell Carol Danvers she can’t do something, she’ll pretty much do it just to spite you. Sure, her head might explode if she flies, but Captain Marvel is going to fly anyway just to prove that she isn’t going to let that hold her back—even though it usually costs her. Carol is absolutely an act first and think later kind of hero, and that’s something we don’t see much of in a comic’s lead character, and villains exploit that cockiness greatly.
Captain Marvel started off with a beautiful look at who Carol Danvers is and what she stands for. The entire first storyarc is a time travel story, but it still manages to show off everything about the character. We get a sense of who Captain Marvel is and why we can connect with her. We know exactly what powers she has and how she tackles any problem—head on with reckless abandon and a witty line to attach. And most importantly, we find out at the end of the storyline what makes Captain Marvel tick and what defines her as a character.
The writing is subtle and incredibly well-thought out. I appreciate that a comic allows us to actually think for ourselves and draw our own conclusions on a character; it’s refreshing in a medium that is generally flashy whiz-bang action all of the time. The dialogue in the series is absolutely brilliant, and Captain Marvel’s wit will have you always smiling as you read through it. Not only that, every bit of dialogue seems like it’s been crafted tirelessly crafted to evoke the proper emotion from the reader. Nothing seems wasted in this book, and everything builds up to something– even if it’s not in the current storyline.
The stories are all so cleverly written that you can’t help but appreciate the detail put in. In particular, issue 9 is a street hero issue with Captain Marvel, a character who can box The Hulk. She should be too powerful to have to deal with low-level crime, but Deconnick is able to make it an incredibly enjoyable trip. Deconnick takes what should be pretty basic stories and adapts to Captain Marvel’s powers and personality in such a way that Captain Marvel is always challenged.
Watching Carol Danvers speak with her friends, fellow heroes, and civilians is a fun ride. With her excellent supporting cast, we’re always in a treat for some clever dialogue. Tracy Burke is a crotchety old woman who isn’t afraid to tell Carol what a blockhead she is. Spider-Woman, aka Jessica Drew, is her best friend and likes to screw with Carol for a laugh, trying to pick up her spirits when she’s down. Monica Rambeau is featured in a few issues as well, and she is quite the super bitch sometimes and rips on Carol for taking the Captain Marvel name. Carol also has Wendy Kawasaki, her pseudo-secretary with a knack for technology. She also has slew of quirky neighbors in New York, and most adorably a little girl named Lieutenant Trouble that is Captain Marvel’s biggest fan. All of these characters really flesh out and make Captain Marvel’s world amazing, and it brings such a fun dynamic to all of her stories.
Currently, the comic just finished up a crossover with another Kelly Sue Deconnick title Avengers Assemble. The story, titled Enemy Within, is certainly enjoyable and brings back a very old Captain Marvel villain that has his own plan to make the life of Carol Danvers miserable, and it all ties right back around to the first story arc of the series in a clever way. The way in which the story ends is so powerful and awe-inspiring, and we see why Captain Marvel is such a great hero that can stand in line with the rest of the Avengers.
Captain Marvel will have an Infinity tie-in two-parter starting this month that promises to be interesting as it features Hawkeye teaming up with Captain Marvel in space. I recommend checking that out, but I also urge everyone to check out all of the previous Captain Marvel issues or trades. Each one has been written in such a brilliantly entertaining manner. Captain Marvel is a highly underrated book that deserves more support than it receives, and I promise that you won’t regret giving the book a try.