Being a college student is tough. You have to think about your homework, your social life, making money, and the superhero living in your head. Your Major Spoilers review of Captain Marvel #2, awaits!
CAPTAIN MARVEL #2
Writer: Alyssa Wong
Artist: Jan Bazaldur
Colorist: Bryan Valenza
Letterer: VC’s Ariana Maher
Editor: Sarah Brunstad
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: November 22nd, 2023
Previously in Captain Marvel: A new enemy known as The Omen has her eyes set on a Kree artifact known as The Nega-Bands. These bands though have become the possession of a thief named Yuna, who in stealing the bands formed a bond with Carol Danvers AKA Captain Marvel, who has found herself trapped in another dimension.
Captain Marvel #2 opens with Carol exploring the empty world she’s been trapped in while trying to strengthen her bond with Yuna Yang. It’s revealed then that Yuna is in the middle of class. Her friend, study partner, and current crush Leonore comes down on her for being spacey and unreliable. Yuna tries to secure a date with Leonore but before she can get an answer a resurrected Genis-Vell, under the control of The Omen, attacks. Using the Nega-Bands Yuna is able to swap places with Captain Marvel, who brings the fight to Genis-Vell. During the fight, she uses a lot of energy which shortens the amount of time before she swaps places with Yuna again. Unable to finish the fight, Captain Marvel heads to a place that Yuna is convinced will be able to hide from whatever method The Omen is using to track Yuna down. Carol only recognizes the location at the last minute before she swaps places with Yuna, leaving her to deal with the dangers inside on her own.
ALL ABOUT POWER MANAGEMENT
Captain Marvel is one of those heavy-hitter characters, like Superman or The Hulk, that can be problematic sometimes. So often it’s difficult to make anything a threat to her and this then leads to some increasingly absurd ways to make villains an actual problem for her. But, here in Captain Marvel #2, the creators have managed to find a way to nerf her without actually making her weaker or presenting her with a massively powered villain, and it’s just a matter of giving her a time limit. It’s a solution that’s eloquent in its simplicity: Use too much of her power and she gets swapped with a normal human, if that person dies, Carol is trapped forever. But a clever mechanic is only as good as the story it exists in and in that regard, this issue does pretty good too. While this is more of a setup issue than a plot progression issue, what is set up here is well done, especially with Yuna as a character. Plain and simple, Yuna is a kind of a jerk on multiple levels. She doesn’t take the situation she’s in with Carol seriously, she seems only interested in hooking up with her classmate rather than actually helping with the homework, and she’s still a thief. But she’s just irreverent enough to make her likeable. She gets some nice moments in this issue to let these characteristics shine and show how effective they are in establishing her as a good foil for Carol’s straight-laced persona.
A WOMAN IN LOVE
Visually, Captain Marvel #2 has very little that can be held against it. The action sequences are fluid, they’re easy to follow, and feature some solid dynamic framing. In addition to this, the backgrounds are something that stuck out to me in a big way. Rather than sticking with just realistic backdrops, Jan Bazaldur and Bryan Valenza opt for abstract colorscapes that are more about enhancing the action, which gives this book a look that inches towards traditional manga. The best moment in this issue though has to be a sequence where Yuna is enamored with Leonore and suddenly all the colors get warmer, and a mass of colored shapes crowd out the speech bubbles. It’s easy to tell what is happening here without feeling cliché.
BOTTOM LINE: KEEPS GETTING BETTER
I enjoyed what was established by Alyssa Wong in the previous issue and I really enjoyed the way that she built on that framework. Yuna continues to be an interesting character who interacts with Carol in a fun way, who by way still gets to be powerful even with the new restrictions on her powers. The only complaint I have here is that the plot does feel a little by the numbers. Other than that, this is just a really good comic book. 4.5 out of 5 stars.
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Captain Marvel #2
If the first issue wasn’t enough to sell you on this series, then this one should do the trick. A clever premise, mixed with fun characters, and great art, what more can you ask for?