Or – “That Moment Where You Drop A Well-Written Title Due To Art.”

Captain Marvel is a book that I was quite excited about at its launch, only to find myself drifting away due to a growing dislike for the over-saturated, fully-painted art style, especially given how awesome the artists handling the covers were.  Having heard that the interiors are handled by a different artist, I thought I might check in on Carol Danvers’ adventures, to see if I might want to start picking it up again…  What’s the final tally?  Your Major Spoilers review awaits!

CaptainMarvel12CoverCAPTAIN MARVEL #12
Writer: Kelly Sue DeConnick & Christopher Sedela
Artist: Filipe Andrado
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Editor: Sana Amanat
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $2.99

Previously, in Captain Marvel: Carol Danvers has been a part of the Marvel Universe for decades, but her career as Ms. Marvel never quite seemed to get off the ground.  Now, she has taken up the mantle of the fallen Captain Marvel, and rejoined the Mighty Avengers.  In recent months, she has learned that she has a mysterious ailment that leaves her grounded by doctor’s orders, unable to use her flying powers for fear of exacerbating her condition.  Of course, that’s really going to suck when the Deathbird comes a’callin…

INTERESTING PARALLEL TRACKS…

The story this month follows two characters:  Captain Marvel, who has been dragged into combat with one of her oldest enemies, and her physician, Doctor Nayar, who is trying to figure out the strange lesion in Carol’s brain.  I have to say, although this book was recommended by a source that I trust, I was almost done as I read the in-character recaps on the “Previously” page, as Carol Danvers character still has the obnoxious edge that has made her so difficult to read since Kurt Busiek stopped writing Avengers back in the day.  Still, there’s enough interesting stuff going on that I was willing to give Cap a full issue’s due, and the characters grabbed me and roped me in quickly enough.  Nayar’s consultation with another doctor has two effective bombshells in it, as we find that HIS patient who had a similar condition has passed away, and that the patient was Carol Danvers’ friend and fellow pilot Helen Cobb!  At the same time, Carol has to try to battle Deathbird using a hover-cycle that she truly hates, fighting her own reflexes and urges to fly for fear of making herself sicker.

PAGING MS. FLUX, MS. ÆON FLUX!

The art this month is by Filipe Andrado, whose work reminds me of no one so much as Peter Chung of Phantom 2040 and Æon Flux fame, with long, angular figures and strange perspectives throughout the issue.  It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but when Deathbird attacks the Captain, it’s almost like watching two Slender Men battling, and a general lack of backgrounds is a noticeable flaw for me.  I will say, though, that I found myself in Carol’s corner by the end of the issue, worrying about her health and even understanding her frustrations in being told not to fly (something that is second-nature to her.)  As the issue wraps up, we are even introduced to the mysterious mastermind who has been targeting Carol’s family and friends, discovering one of her oldest foes behind it all.  It’s a satisfying reveal, linking back to 1968 or so, and ends the issue on a note that leaves me willing to check out #13 and dip a toe back into the pool of Captain Marvel’s life.

THE BOTTOM LINE:  ONCE YOU GET PAST THE ACERBIC MAIN CHARACTER, THIS HAS POTENTIAL…

The problem with this character is, for me, the same problem that plagues Hal Jordan since his resurrection:  It’s hard to deliver the “Maverick” that you want without dipping into “Iceman” territory, and too often both characters are written as utterly cavalier and obnoxious in an attempt to make them seem edgy and cocky.  Still, DeConnick delivers with plotting and dialogue that makes us Carol’s invisible confidante, seeing her weaknesses and making her relatable while staying heroic.  Captain Marvel #12 wasn’t a giant revelation, but it was a solid issue creatively, and went a long way towards rehabbing my recurring dislike of Carol Danvers when written poorly, earning 3 out of 5 stars overall.  It wasn’t enough to rocket the book back onto my pull list all by itself, but I’m at least willing to consider Captain Marvel’s adventures again (even though I still miss Monica Rambeau.)

Rating: ★★★☆☆

DID YOU READ THIS ISSUE? RATE IT!


Reader Rating

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (7 votes, average: 3.00 out of 5)

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The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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6 Comments

  1. SmarkingOut Adam
    April 21, 2013 at 8:14 am — Reply

    I checked out 11 and couldn’t handle the art. The story did grab for my attention, but the art kept distracting me so much, I couldn’t deal with it. This is a well written book about a character I like and I can’t read it because the characters often don’t even look human. Frustrating!

    • April 21, 2013 at 10:49 am — Reply

      The worst part of it all? I somewhat agree, and yet this art is better than the muddy painted stuff that drove me away with #4 or so…

      • SmarkingOut Adam
        April 21, 2013 at 4:16 pm — Reply

        This very talented writer has to be really frustrated–or at least I would be if I were him.

        • April 21, 2013 at 6:42 pm — Reply

          Kelly Sue DeConnick is a her, though I don’t know of how frustrated she might be… :)

          • SmarkingOut Adam
            April 21, 2013 at 8:28 pm — Reply

            I KNEW if I didn’t actually check that book would be written by a woman!

  2. April 22, 2013 at 12:32 am — Reply

    The inconsistent art direction has been a major sticking point with me since the series began. And while I didn’t personally mind the painted style of earlier issues, I can totally see it wearing on people after four to six months. This current one is at least livelier, but “two Slender Men” fighting is a very apt descriptor. Although I do think the artist now has gotten better than in previous issues.

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