Kelly Sue DeConnick has risen rapidly in popularity of late with this title and the takeover of the Avengers Assemble book. She has taken Ms Marvel and turned her into Captain Marvel, which was a bold step as the mantle has been serving a dead heroic kree for a long period of time now. Together with new hair and costume, we took to the skies with Danvers. It should be said that the new look is less focused on her physical feminine attributes but more on a stylish and streamlined approach: and it is about time too. DeConnick’s writing is original and thoughtful. It is not just the internal monologue that helps to understand Carol but the involvement of everyday people at street level. These subtle conversations are incredibly important to producing a realistic viewpoint of Carol and the world she inhabits. The dialogue is refreshingly succinct and simple. The words are not crammed onto the pages but we have a deep appreciation of Carol’s concerns and those around her. It’s a wonderful gift to portray Danvers as well as Kelly Sue does, to the point where I have become very invested in her as a character.
Filipe Andrade is a stunning artist. When you first look at his work you see the strange contortions and exaggerated postures of the characters, and you will think the eyes are too far apart. When you read through the book, this is easily forgotten, because it moves dynamically and beautifully. There is a distinct difference in style to the casual relaxed Carol to the superhero lifting a subway train. We can feel her walking around at ease in an oversize t-shirt as much as the desperation of her falling erratically to the ground. The backgrounds of the panels are also kept key to the movement. They are simplistic when there is little happening in the scene but wild and exaggerated when Carol is flying or hitting something. Each character has vibrant and exaggerated hair, which is a great tool in representing emotion, and action and the facial features lend to great expressionism. Contrast the young child as she looks up with adorning eyes to Carol’s anger in the first few pages. The colouring adds a great amount of emphasis to the movements with subtle shading to the hair and royal blue colour of Captain Marvel’s uniform.
Kelly Sue had written many aspects to Captain Marvel’s character we can empathise with that are not superpower based. She has only recently accepted her name and has come to terms with the fact that the Captain Marvel legacy is hers to continue. Carol also has many people intertwined with various aspects of her life, who all fit into the established risks of a superhero friend. The book often uses them to balance Carol’s thoughts and actions. The book has a real life feel to it and does not focus on the big superhero events, but on the subtleties of the banal everyday. We spend time in her flat during her downtime moments, out of uniform and we see her to-do list, which she scribbles all over. The fact that she also works as a pilot amongst everything else is surprisingly believable. In fact the flying aspect is a fundamental theme to the book as well as Carol herself. This has been set up from the first issue. However Kelly Sue has added another aspect to Captain Marvel’s life that can affect each and every one of us: physical illness. Anyone can develop a disease or condition that prevents them from living a normal lifestyle, whether it be a dormant cancer or losing a limb. Kelly Sue takes us on this difficult journey with Carol as she tries to balance her responsibility as a hero with her health and accompanying anxiety. How far can she push herself to the point where she is no help to anyone? This book is wonderful in its ability to take an inspiring flying superhero and bring her down to earth with the everyday issues we all face. I really like Carol and as I turn over the last page I gasp with shock and fear for the one they now call Captain Marvel.
“We had an interesting discussion on whether I could beat up the Hulk”