Captain Marvel

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Ahead of the eponymous upcoming film, Marvel has bolstered its support for one of its strongest female characters with the relaunch of the Captain Marvel comic book. As a comic book giant, it’s done it bit of creating hype for the new film, with UFC superstar Ronda Rousey even expressing a desire to play the lead character. But would Ronda still feel the same after reading the new comic book series?

At the time of this writing, human society hasn’t quite reached its pinnacle despite all the leaps and bounds in science and technology, social imbalances still abound. Marvel Comics seems adamant that gender equality is an issue that deserves awareness, and it demonstrates this attitude by giving us a wonderfully powerful, courageous and badass Captain Marvel Carol Danvers. As a former US Air Force fighter ace pilot, Danvers is pretty much an alpha female, and issue 1 focuses on how she finds her feet as the new Commander of the Alpha Flight Space Station, and the ins and outs of what comes with the territory. I’ll give Marvel credit where it’s due, but apart from what I’ve just mentioned there wasn’t much else to applaud here.

While Rise of the Alpha Flight, isn’t the worst comic book of recent times, there were a few things in this maiden issue that felt flat, inconsistent, rushed and even unnecessary. Yeah, debut issues are supposed to leave readers curious about what’s to come, but in this instance, readers might find themselves questioning what’s actually going on within this book itself.

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Whether the editorial team made conscious decisions about the way this story was paced is open to discussion. On more than one occasion, writers Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters seem to have a little too much faith in their readers’ powers of deduction. It seems as though they opted for a number of unnecessary scenes, too little focus where it was needed, erratic changes of locations, and dialogue that doesn’t seem characteristic of the character speaking. This is supposed to be Marvel’s all-new all-different relaunch, but this book seems to be making a lot of rookie mistakes with nearly painful lapses in storytelling.

Meanwhile, if the issue’s mixed-gender shower scene is meant to demonstrate again what seems to be Marvel’s pro-alpha female attitude, it doesn’t seem enough to give this comic that special something to captivate readers. With respect to the artwork, there were moments where I second-guessed the art team’s decisions to colour outer space in hues other than standard black. It made me wonder how different things would have turned out if they’d opted for a more classic approach to the character depictions.

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Maybe I’m not the intended demographic for this title, in which case, Marvel seems to be targeting younger readers and those who don’t take comics too seriously. Maybe that’s where the money is these days. Will future issues answer questions that were raised in this one, such as why Lieutenant Commander Abigail Brand seems to have it in for Carol? Probably so, but one can only wonder how many readers the title will have lost before then.

 

Writers: – Michele Fazekas, Tara Butters

Artists: – Kris Anka, Matthew Wilson

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