Captain Marvel #1 is the beginning of a new series by Kelly Thompson. I've been reading her recent Nancy Drew stuff, among others, and it's fair to say she might be an auto- buy author for me at this point? And she clearly gets the Marvel universe, which is not something you can say about everyone playing in Marvel's sandbox these days. This was an outstanding first issue, and especially so because I am not up on the latest Marvel happenings, so to come in on a long- established character like this, and feel right at home- that's an accomplishment for Thompson!
Carol Danvers, of course, has been around forever, and this series deals with the history well. It starts off with a nice little montage of all the roles Carol has played through the years- as a solo hero, an Avenger, even an intergalactic warrior. And then the story brings everything full circle at the end, when something happens and we get to see a new facet emerge, a new role for Carol, dovetailing with the montage flashbacks we saw earlier.
It's a very effective way to reintroduce Carol, paying homage to her past while setting things up very well for her present. And can I say the art is pretty fantastic? Not every panel, but the big moments- like the huge fight with a kraken that opens the story- look amazing. And this thing is chock full of guest stars as well, and yet they don't overwhelm the story, or take the spotlight off Carol. We get an appearance from Jessica Drew (aka Spider-Woman), and as versed in Carol's history as I am, I didn't know they were friends. Their banter throughout the kraken fight was hilarious.
Oh, and just as a tangent- why would anyone in the Marvel universe live in Manhattan? I mean you're just going about your business and a kraken eats you. And your dog. Thank goodness Carol and Jessica were around.
Okay moving on. So the kraken was very cool and I loved the scene where Carol tries to lift it so they can get it out of Manhattan- she's strong enough to lift it, but it's so unwieldy, as one can imagine with a many- tentacled monster. It's little things like this that shine. Or Carol's repartee with Tony Stark. Yes, he is here, too.
Later in the story Stark shows up as Iron Man, along with Captain America and Thor, to help Carol out when she's attacked by a guy called Nuclear Man. Yes, really. Also known as Mahkizmo (a little on the nose since his whole shtick is arrogant misogyny), I'm not really sure where that's going, but it all dovetails with the aforementioned thing that happens at the end.
Some other things I liked. Apparently Carol was in a relationship with Rhodey (aka War Machine), and that looks to maybe be re- igniting? Also Hazmat makes an appearance- she's a kid with radiation powers that are sorta out of control, and Tony's been trying to help her, but he thinks Carol can relate to her more. Carol as a mentor? Yes please!
Also a little nod to history, back when Carol was Ms. Marvel, not Captain Marvel- a reporter from Ms. Magazine comes along to interview Carol, at Stark's request. Nice touch, since Carol used to work at Ms. Magazine during her earlier comic appearances. Thompson clearly knows her Marvel history. All of this is to say- I loved this and can't wait to read more of Carol's adventures.
Last thing. I've noted before that my favorite thing about the Captain Marvel movie was that Carol never gives up. So imagine my delight when Thompson addresses this. "Always get up" is the theme that Thompson goes with here- yes Carol makes plenty of mistakes, as everyone does, but the thing is- she always get up. Thompson gets it.