Thursday, August 23, 2012

Captain Marvel #1-2

Kelly Sue Deconnick & Dexter Soy

I was a huge fan of Brian Reed's Ms. Marvel series from a few years ago, so this title had a lot to live up to for me.  I've since enjoyed Carol Danvers in the pages of the various Avengers books, and overall I just really like the character.  When Kelly Sue Deconnick was talking about this series at C2E2 this year, she got me really excited for this new series.  Deconnick has this enthusiasm that's really infectious, so it was tough to not get excited about it really, she just kind of inspires you to want to support her books.  And it's great to see a female creator take the reins of a major superhero title, especially one starring a strong female character.

Dexter Soy's art on this series was not what I expected it to be.  It's a rather dark style that looks almost painted, with a sort of bulkiness to the drawings.  And it looks really cool.  It's nice to see Carol as less of a waif of a girl and more like the strong presence she ought to be on theses pages, due in part to her cool design, and just how she's drawn.  No delicate softened lines for her, but hard, dark ones like other superhero books.  A girl could pick up this title and see herself in this character, instead of looking at the skinny, curvaceous girls of most superhero comics that portray them in proportions that are impossible.  She's a confident, courageous role model for anyone, with her faults, but brave and likable nonetheless.  And Deconnick has Carol interacting with her own role model in this book, a female pilot, which definitely underlines what she's striving for with Carol herself, someone for people to look up to, someone in comics for women to admire, a strong voice.  And to underline it further, the cover to number two is an homage to J. Howard Miller's "We Can Do It!" poster, featuring Geraldine Hoff, from the 40's.  Danvers is also independent, not pining over any man, and is holding her own fighting alongside Captain America, who insists that she's earned the mantel she takes on here.

I can't say I was completely sold right out of the gate.  The first issue was solid, but nothing that really excited me, but the shift in the story of the second issue grabbed me, drawing more cool female characters into the tale, a story that has Carol traveling into the past to see a group of brave wartime women in action.  The whole book has this classic, old-fashioned feel to it, not just because it addresses war heroes and iconic women from the past, but it just has that straight-forward, fun, adventure feel to it. Deconnick nailed the tone for this book and obviously has a vision for this title.  It's definitely the sort of book that female readers will gravitate toward and enjoy, but it's also just a great read for any superhero fan.

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