Carol Danvers had quite the transformative year in 2018. After taking time off from the Avengers to spend time with her family, she uncovered a plethora of secrets regarding her own identity. Perhaps the most shocking secret of them all was that Carol’s mother was actually a Kree warrior herself. Thus, Carol’s abilities were a part of her throughout her life, merely waiting for a trigger. From writer Kelly Thompson, CAPTAIN MARVEL #1 follows up the transformative events of THE LIFE OF CAPTAIN MARVEL.

Now, Carol has, sort of, returned to her life with the Avengers, but with some bumps in the road.

This first installment in this new Captain Marvel saga brings unexpected challenges to Carol Danvers’ life, ones that set the pieces in place for an epic adventure.

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CAPTAIN MARVEL #1 page 4. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

The Return

CAPTAIN MARVEL #1 kicks off with a traversal of Carol Danvers career thus far. From a warrior to an intergalactic icon, Carol has lived quite the life. In this issue, Carol takes up a new title: revolutionary.

Why? Well, here’s what goes down.

The issue opens with Captain Marvel fighting alongside Spider-Woman, aka Jessica Drew, against a gargantuan monster. Together, they take the monster down. However, their celebration gets interrupted by Iron Man, who implores a meeting with Carol herself.

He asks her to rejoin the Avengers, but Carol is reluctant. Her time with her family through THE LIFE OF CAPTAIN MARVEL carried a lot of emotional weight. Thus, she is seeking more time in solitude. Tony tries once more, informing her of a young woman with literally toxic abilities. This woman, Jennifer Takeda, is in desperate need of guidance, or she will lose control of her abilities.

Carol agrees to do so, just before she runs into an old flame, James Rhodes. However, her time with James gets interrupted by the villainous Nuclear Man, an opponent who honestly does not seem so menacing until he opens a portal to an alternate time, a portal that entraps Carol.

Thus, the issue ends with Carol acting as a revolutionary in an uncertain time and an uncertain place.

CAPTAIN MARVEL #1 undoubtedly sets up an exciting new series from Thompson. However, I do believe it struggles to juggle all the “setting up” the issue comprises. Some aspects, such as the introduction of Jennifer Takeda, seemed too compacted into the overarching narrative of this story.

Therefore, I hope upcoming issues flesh out all the individual set pieces this issue brought forth in the manner they should be developed.

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CAPTAIN MARVEL #1 page 5. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

The Many Hues of CAPTAIN MARVEL #1

It is no surprise that the artwork of Carmen Carnero shines bright in this issue. Alongside Tamra Bonvillain’s colors, every panel encompasses gorgeous images. I find Carnero’s depiction of Carol to be incredibly emotive.

This particular installment does not comprise too much action. Thus, much of the narrative moves through dialogue-heavy sequences. Despite the level of dialogue though, Carnero establishes a dynamic image of Carol, one that lets us into her thoughts and reactions to becoming a part of the world once more.

Finally, I adore the balance of Bonvillain’s colors. She does not overdo the neutral tones nor the more colorful contrasts. Rather, she executes each and every shade with a high level of attention to ensure that every object Carnero pencils stands out against the page.

Thus, the artwork of CAPTAIN MARVEL #1 is undoubtedly something worth admiring.

What Lies Beyond

CAPTAIN MARVEL #1 is a solid work that maintains a few setbacks. The story tries to set up plenty of events that will surely prove to be significant in upcoming issues. However, at times, that “setting up” process feels clunky. Despite that, Thompson does a great job reintroducing Carol following the events of THE LIFE OF CAPTAIN MARVEL. She also does an excellent job in previewing an adventure that has the potential to be truly epic.

So, though it has its fault, CAPTAIN MARVEL #1 gives us a grand taste of a potentially fantastic Carol Danvers story to come.

CAPTAIN MARVEL #1 by Kelly Thompson, Carmen Carnero, Tamra Bonvillain, & Clayton Cowles
CAPTAIN MARVEL #1 may not be as vibrant of a start as one may expect, but it does set the stage for something truly eye-catching.
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