Saturday, April 4, 2015

C is for Captain Marvel

It appears that somewhere, someone in comics, decided that there is not enough variety in terms of who people can read about.

As far as I'm concerned, that's a good thing.

To help celebrate this push in diversity, +Google Play  and have a ton of comics on sale featuring leading ladies.

One of those I picked up is Captain Marvel. It's important not only because Captain Marvel is an older character whose have various incarnations, but also because she's been poorly treated. While she's been 'rehabbed' a few times, there hasn't necessarily been a definitive sticking point for her yet either. I probably better remember her from her time with the X-Men as Binary, a cosmic level entity.

Perhaps more important than who the character is, is who is writing Captain Marvel. In this case, it's Kelly Sue DeConnick. This is important, I think, for a major reason.

It's a woman writer.

All too often men think they know how to write women and pat themselves on the back for what outstanding jobs they've done.

Sometimes they do a good job.

Sometimes you just don't know what other people are capable of bringing to the field because no one lets the other kids play.

It is my believe that as we get more creators, illustrators, and people of color and different belief, that the medium will continue to expand just as it did with Milestone originally despite that line not having long lasting success (as many brands of the 90's didn't including many Image comics, Malibu, and others.)

By having actual different people at the creator's helm, things can move in a different direction that might not have even been bought first possible. It's a potentially good thing.

And if I don't like it? Move on! Plenty of comics out there. So so so so so many... hush Wallet!

I bought all three series. I figured at $2.99 a volume, it's hard to go wrong. Unfortunately, Marvel did go wrong. There's a tremendous cut off between volume 2, back to a NEW volume 1 (comics everybody!) which should have been included in that volume 2.

Another potential problem, and this again, is a standard comic problem, is the change of art styles. I don't know if that's in order to maintain the timing of the comic or artist issues or pricing. Often like with Avengers Assemble, Marvel with start with top notch talent to capitilize on something and then as sales die down, keep low balling artists and writing until the inevitible happens and the series is canceled.

For what it's worth, my favorite artist was .Dexter Soy. Deep rich colors, almost painted like panels. Reminded me a lot of Mark Texeira work on Ghost Rider back in the day.

Emma Rios was my least favorite. That style didn't match in tone, color, or well, anything. Very jarring as a matter of fact. But again, for $2.99 a volume?

One of the things that Kelly had to do, was bring in some new mythology for Carol. Part of that is done by going to the past. Part of that is done by showing her relationship with the other characters in the Marvel Universe.

To me, that's one of the blessings and curses of the Marvel Universe. Comics, at least to me, like Runaways, Young Avengers, Avengers Arena, and others, often do much better in terms of telling a more closed story, when they are somewhat isolated from the actual Marvel Universe.

Far too many series, like the original Secret Avengers, get their face smashed in over and over by the continual need for cross over events that lead to perhaps brief sales bumps, but also horrible impact in the story itself.

And in the second volume of this series, we do have a bit of that in that Captain Marvel, the original Mar-Vel, his old foe long gone for many years comes back and almost kills Carol but again, to be continued in another series!

The last volume, the new volume one, is an almost pick up series in that it happens after one of the other crossovers, this time, I believe Infinite. The good news is that it's relatively isolated, can be read in and of itself, and isn't a bad story.

The bad news? It wasn't a story for me. It had the problem is isolating Captain Marvel too much from the greater Marvel universe, despite some fun times with the Guardians of the Galaxy, who really ,are not that impressive outside of the movie and in comic time, are essentially a bunch of normal people running around. Let me know when Drax is back to being more than an assassin style guy with a Racoon shooter, another assassin, another shooter, and a tree eh?

For me, the series was okay. I recommend it at the $2.99 price point. I think that much work remains to be done with Carol though. She still needs a rogue's gallery for example. Personally, I'd have Epoch make a Marvel Version of the Green Lantern Corps with Carol as their tactical leader and Quasar as the 'heart and soul' of the team. If the universe needs protecting and Marvel wants to make Captain Marvel be something big, it doesn't get much bigger than that.