Carol Takes (Alpha) Flight in ‘Captain Marvel’ #1 [Review]
Let's be real about something for a second: This is the third Captain Marvel #1 in 3.5 years (fourth if you count Secret Wars: Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps), and that can feel a little tiring. Especially from Marvel Comics, in this current strange period of comics publishing. I love Captain Marvel, and even I felt a little cynical about yet another relaunch.
But at the same time, it was impossible not be excited about a Captain Marvel written by Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters, the showrunners on my favorite Marvel TV show, Agent Carter, and drawn by Kris Anka, who became one of my very favorite superhero artists during his time on Uncanny X-Men.
Now that the first issue is here, I have to say that I'm even more excited for this series. There's a lot of table-setting in this first issue, but Carol's voice is pretty perfect and her narration moves things along nicely. This would also be a good starting point for new readers. Carol has a new home, a new job, and a new team, and the book is set up to let the reader get the hang of things just as she does.
As we learned in the preview, Carol's new team is Alpha Flight, who have moved from Canada to space and become Earth's first defense against cosmic threats. Puck, Sasquatch, and Aurora are all here, representing the classic version of the team. It's really a shame Northstar's not around, considering he's not on any of the current X-Men teams either, and Marvel is so short on queer characters right now, but it's still nice to see these three. Puck has the most personality (he kind of always did), and he makes a great supporting character for Carol.
The other cast member whose arc I'm interested in is Abigail Brand. Basically, the job Carol has now used to belong to her (although it was SWORD then, rather than Alpha Flight), and she's less that pleased about having Carol as a commanding officer. There are hints that the exact reasons for her attitude (aside from Abigail being a generally grumpy person) have yet to be revealed, and that interests me.
My feelings are quite different from Abigail's, in that I really like seeing Carol as a team leader. She says herself that what she's best at is punching things, so putting her in a position where that's never going to be enough should lead to interesting stories. There's a moment when a diplomatic argument is interrupted by an alert siren, and Carol grins broadly. That's Captain Marvel right there.
Kris Anka's artwork is phenomenal as always, and this book gives him a lot of room to shine. His slight redesign of Carol's costume goes great with her new position, with everyone around her in uniform, and her new haircut is fantastic. When we see Carol in her workout clothes, her muscles are as impressive as I've ever seen on a female hero, and completely in character for her. But for those who prefer more masculine eye candy, don't worry, Puck is in his gym clothes too.
The first story arc of the series really only gets going at the end of the book, but it sets up more than one mystery that has me wondering what's to come. Definitely aliens, maybe time travel. Whatever it is, I'm in for the long haul.