Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Going 'Higher, Further, Faster' ... with Captain Marvel

Cosplayers have embraced Captain Marvel, the superheroine I knew growing as Ms. Marvel.

This gorgeous young lady -- who goes by Bex Luthor Cosplay --
was one of three fangirls dressed as Ms. Marvel
during the last day of the 2015 Motor City Comic Con.
CARY'S COMICS CRAZE
The bravest of these fangirls rock the va-va-voom Ms. Marvel costume from the Bronze Age of Comics. And there are plenty who wear the newer, more spangly Captain Marvel costume with the military collar.

Aside from various Avengers titles, including THE NEW AVENGERS -- mostly from the original AVENGERS series I read as a teenager, I hadn't read any solo stories featuring Carol Danvers.

So when I saw two trade paperbacks were available at my local library, I decided now was the time to correct that.

The trade paperback CAPTAIN MARVEL Vol. 1: HIGHER, FURTHER, FASTER, MORE covers the first six issues of the 2014 CAPTAIN MARVEL series.

Danvers takes up Iron Man on his idea to have "a formal Avengers presence in space" which also would help with gathering intelligence. This means she has to tell her lover, Jim Rhodes (aka War Machine), she's going to space.

I have no problem with their romance. It's a positive relationship, especially since Rhodes is emotionally supportive of Danvers and it works from the aspect that both heroes are veterans. I was just somewhat surprised since I read current comics months -- sometimes years -- after they are released in trades.

The Guardians of the Galaxy are in 1 1/2 issues of the six-part story in which the settlers of the oppressed planet Tofra unknowingly have been poisoned by "vibranium sickness." It's unclear why Captain Marvel feels compelled to protect these people or why she initially comes into conflict with Tofra's oppressors. Regardless, Danvers comes off as more much of a compassionate protector than she does the warrior she claims to be -- but she can kick butt with the best of them.

David Lopez handles the pencils on HIGHER. His Danvers looks much younger than what I'm used to seeing, but his artwork is suitable for the "Star Wars"-style outer space shots.

I'm not sure who designed Captain Marvel's costume, but I have to say Danvers looks ridiculous in the mohawk she has when her suit gives her a mask for space travel. Just sayin'!

Three artists handle the work in the DOWN trade, which covers issues 7 through 12. While the two stories are far more interesting, I much prefer Lopez's art.

Danvers, in the first two issues, goes into the deep sea to help recover decades-old downed planes and boats in a Bermuda Triangle-style area.

This situation means the current Captain Marvel needs to work with the previous Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau), who is a civilian now and is a frenemy if I've ever seen one.

Their tension-filled exchanges make for interesting reading, especially when each woman calls the other on the carpet about her various superhero guises. (Rambeau's nickname of "Captain Lite Brite" is hysterical!) During the climax, the pair reluctantly realize they need to combine their powers to fend off a Godzilla-like robot made of the downed craft.

The most interesting and compelling story is in the remaining four issues.

Danvers has to come to terms with a brain lesion that she means she can't fly or she will trigger further damage.

The setting here is New York City. Writer Kelly Sue DeConnick tells a neat day-in-the-life story as Danvers attempts to stick to her seemingly ho-hum schedule -- which starts out by dropping her cat off at the vet's; but we know that being a superhero, there's always a subway train to get unstuck or some dinosaurs to take down ...!

This story gives us a much more clear insight into who Carol Danvers is and how she reacts to adversity. Grade: B-


Callie Cosplay rocks a Ms. Marvel costume in this photo by David love. 
'Nuff said about this hottie who came by the Phat Daddy's Comics booth
during the 2016 Motor City Comic Con!
Photo and meme by CARY ASHBY/CARY'S COMICS CRAZE

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