Carol Danvers has been thrown back in time and into the Negative Zone to find an ongoing battle on a planet she doesn’t recognize.
Captain Marvel quickly discovers that she is witnessing an invasion of a planet by Annihilus, the Living Death. Thankfully, she is soon joined by her old friend and previous bearer of the Captain Marvel title, Mar-Vell of the Kree. The two join forces to fight off Annihilus and save the planet they find themselves upon.
I hadn’t actually read many stories about Captain Mar-Vell until this past year, when I was given access to a lot of Jim Starlin’s Mar-Vell material.
Honestly, I was quite impressed. This is an interesting hero with a lot of cool stories centered around him. Unfortunately, most modern comic book readers only know him as the legal excuse Marvel used to keep DC from calling Billy Batson’s comics Captain Marvel. That being said, I actually like the name Shazam more for that character anyway.
As such, it is really cool seeing this character return, even if it’s for only one issue.
Frankly, this comic isn’t the grand return that I was hoping for.
It’s not bad by any stretch, but it doesn’t do much wowing, either. Firstly, as cool as Annihilus is, Thanos was always the arch-rival of Mar-Vell, and he should have been the one for Mar and Carol to throw down with.
Secondly, it is trying to tell way too much story in far too small a space. It’s cramming in this whole narrative about Annihilus invading Negative Zone planets, a pacifist species, the reunion of the two Captain Marvels, and their defeat of Annihilus in an extended yet too small space. Text dumps are in abundance as a result, and it weighs down the narrative.
The art isn’t much to write home about, either, with odd outlining and pretty bizarre facial expressions being used throughout much of the issue. It’s not all bad, but, when is, it’s pretty damn bad.
However, Mar-Vell is done a fair amount of justice. He’s charming, dedicated, and stoic. He has this little bit of casual yet well-meaning sexism disguised chivalry, which is admittedly true to the period of comics he comes from. It serves to make him an old-fashioned if imperfect hero, and I didn’t dislike it as a quirk. It also adds some light friction to the relationship between he and carol.
Carol Danvers herself is in full kick-ass and take-names form here, and Margaret Stohl has done an excellent job of refining her take on the character in her time writing Captain Marvel. Her depiction of the two Captains is the biggest saving grace of the comic.
This is a flawed comic, but it’s still a fun read for the most part. The pacing is wonky, and the art isn’t great, but the two Captain Marvels are really enjoyable to read about. This one squeaks by a recommendation on its charisma and gumption. Give it a read.
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