Tag Archives: Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel #125

Before Laura Linney started calling herself Wolverine, before Jane Foster picked up Mjolnir and became The Mighty Thor, and way before Kate Bishop fronted her own Hawkeye title, Carol Danvers was protecting the cosmos as the heir to one of Marvel’s Silver Age stalwarts. Granted, she had to go by Ms. Marvel for decades, but as the cover of her new book proudly affirms, complete with Legacy-laden title design, she is Captain Marvel. We’ve finally entered an era in which gender qualifications for our superheroes no longer exist; that’s Jean Grey, thank you, not Marvel Girl. We’ll grandfather in folks like Wonder Woman and Spider-Woman, but it’s nice to be reminded that women can do the job too. (Besides, it’s not like Spider-Man is gender neutral). More significant, I think, is the fact that many comic book fans are unaware that there even was an original Captain Marvel, much less that he was a dude. And if Week 4 of the Legacy initiative is doing its job, we get a chance to celebrate the fact that a badass Air Force officer named Carol has taken up the mantle of the late Mar-Vell and elevated the character to the forefront of the Marvel Universe.

This week’s issue #125 restores the series numbering from the original title (which has gone through multiple volumes and restarts since the late 60’s), but it has very little in common with the pre-2012 issues. Instead, writer Margaret Stohl, along with artist Michele Bandini, seem eager to return to the story and direction that had been initiated at the start of last season’s NOW! era (before things got ridiculous with Captain Hydra’s Secret Empire, the planetary defense shield, and a video-game style infinite onslaught of Chitauri). Carol’s Alpha Flight may be out one multi-billion dollar space station, but the team has no time to rest on its laurels, as Dr. Eve and her shapeshifting assassin Mim are back on the scene.

And if you’ve been falling along since the conclusion of Stohl’s Mighty Captain Marvel series, you’ll know that the villains’ presence has a lot to do with the reappearance of Bean, the Kree energy kid that Captain Marvel saved a few months ago.
Continue reading Captain Marvel #125

Ranking Marvel NOW! 25 – 16

25
Mighty Captain Marvel

Margaret Stohl and Ramon Rosanas

What I thought was an overt attempt at making Carol likeable again, with the forthcoming movie, may not have been necessary after all. The #CarolCorps? This is a thing? I’m fascinated. And I love space shit and bounty hunters and shapeshifters and explosions. Keep it coming! Also, don’t know where this artist came from, but he’s fantastic. – MMDG

Well, I guess I’m a Carol Danvers fan now. This book is a great introduction to the character and sells its concept exceptionally well. It has great art, the writing is slick and fun; this is just one of those solid books. – IP

First collection: Mighty Captain Marvel Vol. 1 (September)

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24
Star-Lord

Chip Zdarsky and Kris Anka

This is actually a very solid book. The action is smooth, the pacing is tight, and the art pops. These solo Guardians books have been very successful. – IP

The last few Star-Lord series have been abysmal to mediocre. I’m still waiting for the definitive version of this character. Maybe Zdarsky has that in mind, or maybe this is just a shelf-filler before the movie release, but I’m interested to hang out and discover what he can do. – MMDG

First collection: Star-Lord Vol. 1: Grounded (June)

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23
Spider-Woman

Dennis Hopeless and Veronica Fish
beginning with #13

I was a little worried that this series would suffer greatly when Rodriguez went over to the Sorcerers Supreme book, especially since some of the fill-in art had been so mediocre. But not only does Veronica Fish maintain that high level Darwyn Cooke-style storytelling, form & color and elegant linework, but Hopeless’s script is as polished as ever. My only complaint is that fucking Porcupine was really starting to grow on me… – MMDG

Collection: Spider-Woman Volume 3: Scare Tactics (June)

22
Sam Wilson: Captain America

Nick Spencer and Paul Renaud
beginning with #14

Very interesting book. Politicking is becoming more and more common in comics for obvious reasons, and this issue handles it in one of the best ways. Flag-Smasher makes good points, seems to have good intentions, but is also murderous and deranged. Of course this book also deals with a certain Captain being a part of a certain multi-headed organization, which I am still unsure of, but nevertheless it makes for a fun read, and the art is clear and well colored. Overall a good book. – IP

One of the best books of the ANAD era and still one of the best books in Marvel’s stable. The topical nature of Sam Wilson’s patriotism is more pertinent than the profiling in CWII, and isn’t as blatant as Netflix’s Luke Cage. – MMDG

Collection: Captain America: Sam Wilson, Vol. 4: #TakeBackTheShield

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21
Nova

Jeff Loveness and Ramon Perez

A really great surprise. Ramon Perez is a real talent, and this book looks ready to combine good Marvel cosmic drama with the kind of coming-of-age superhero stories that Marvel has been knocking out of the park in the pages of Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel. – MMDG

Nova is much more fun than I thought it would be. There’s a perfect amount of humor, the pacing is fast, and the art is lively. Overall an exceptional book. – IP

First collection: Nova Volume 1: Resurrection (August)

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20
Jessica Jones

Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos

The story is an intriguing mystery, and a few cameos from some great street-level heroes never hurts. Overall this feels like the exact kind of story JJ needs. I’m game. – IP

This is interesting. So Jones starts out in prison, hid her baby from Luke, and her first case involves a dimensionally displaced husband? Oh, and not even Bendis knows where the hell the FF are. – MMDG

First collection: Jessica Jones Volume 1: Uncaged! (May)

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19
Great Lakes Avengers

Zac Gorman and Will Robson

Really great comedy book here. The jokes are landing, the references, both dated and fresh, are working for me. The art is surprisingly good, and the coloring is excellent. If they can maintain the pace this first issue has then this has potential to be a fantastic series. – IP

Surprised how much I enjoyed this. A genuinely funny superhero book in the same family as Howard, Hellcat. Probably doesn’t have long-term staying power, but I’m onboard for now. – MMDG

Collection: Great Lakes Avengers: Same Old, Same Old (May)

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18
Hulk

Mariko Tamaki and Nico Leon

This is really good. Tamaki is a veteran tackling (I think?) her first superhero book with aplomb, and Leon’s style is perfectly suited for a graceful beauty with ugly rage and power simmering, on the verge of eruption. There’s intriguing untapped power and energy in that linework. – MMDG

Hulk is a great restart of the She-Hulk comics I loved as a kid. This book has great art, incredible color work, and a tight script that gets directly to the point while allowing a few moments of levity. Even though the story is pretty standard for an attorney/superhero, the execution works well. I’m excited to continue reading this one. – IP

First collection: Hulk Volume 1: Deconstructed (July)

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17
Captain America: Steve Rogers

Nick Spencer and Jesus Saiz
beginning with #7

Nick Spencer is the most politically savvy writer in mainstream comics. His two Cap books are some of the best things going for Marvel right now, and the social consciousness he imbues is far more significant than anything in Civil War II. – MMDG

The Steve Rogers as Hydra is rightly controversial, but I like the change of pace. This book has some good art, excellent coloring in spots, and reads like a political spy thriller. Not necessarily the best book in the Marvel NOW stable, but a very solid entry in a long line of great Captain America books. I will be reading more of this one. – IP

Collection: Captain America: Steve Rogers Volume 2: The Trial of Maria Hill

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16
Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur

Brandon Montclare, Amy Reeder, and Natacha Bustos
beginning with #13

I’ll admit to dropping the ball on this book the first time around. After reading the first few issues in the NOW! initiative, I had to go back and see what I was missing out on. This is the comic that you give to your kids, little cousins, nephews and nieces; the superhero antics are entertaining without dumbing down to a younger audience. It’s the kind of book that made you fall in love with comics when you were a kid, and the first few issues of this new arc are replete with equally entertaining guest appearances from The Thing to Ironheart. Get onboard. – MMDG

Collection: Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur Volume 3: The Smartest There Is (July)

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< 40 – 26 | Rankings | 15 – 6 >

Monsters Unleashed

The only thing you really need to know about Marvel’s latest mini-event is that Steve McNiven is drawing giant monsters fighting superheroes.

No socio-political commentary centered on government regulatory efforts; no overt attempt at redefining heroic archetypes for the twenty-first century. We’re not going to philosophize about space travel, or the multiverse, or the disenfranchisement of mutants. We don’t give a shit about evil corporations. There are giant, extraterrestrial monsters pounding on every supergroup in Marvel’s catalog, from the Avengers to the X-Men. In Monsters Unleashed #1, by Cullen Bunn and McNiven, the earth is under attack by a variety of giant beasties, raining down on the planet from space. Underused B-lister Elsa Bloodstone (see the recent A-Force series) is investigating the apocalyptic origins of this disaster, while somewhere in Missouri, there is a teenager with an active imagination and a sketchbook, somehow caught up in the middle of everything.

1963, two issues before Amazing Fantasy debuts Spider-Man
1963, two issues before Amazing Fantasy introduces the world to Spider-Man

Again, while it’s great to just pick up a comic book wherein Steve McNiven is drawing monsters battling superheroes, there is something wonderfully poetic about the event. During comicdom’s Golden Age, in the time while DC was developing a super-pantheon, Marvel’s bread and butter was still monster books. Whether in the pages of Astonishing Tales or Amazing Fantasy, creatures reigned. Indeed, when the Marvel Age began with Fantastic Four #1, Jack Kirby’s iconic cover features the First Family battling a subterranean behemoth. The superheroes were officially here, and they had vanquished the monsters. It’s taken more than fifty years, but looks like payback has arrived.
Continue reading Monsters Unleashed

All New All Different Marvel – Week 39

Like all good summer comic book events, Marvel’s Civil War II has no shortage of crossovers. We get two important narrative pieces in tie-in issues this week, along with big news from HQ regarding Marvel’s post-event initiative. We were pretty curious as to how long we could keep adding weeks to that ANAD counter.

File_000 (6)The new creative team of Christos Gage and Kris Anka begin their run in Captain Marvel #6 with what amounts to more prologue for Civil War II. Confused as to how Carol and James “Rhodey” Rhodes had become so close in the lead-in stories prior to War Machine getting obliterated by Thanos? Or maybe you were just hoping for some steamy extended bedroom scenes to help you visualize who you’d rather see Marvel cast for the film version: Emily Blunt or Brie Larson? My money’s on Brie, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to see Emily brandishing the Kree star…

Emily Blunt? Yes. Don Cheadle? He wishes.
Emily Blunt? Yes. Don Cheadle? He wishes.

Captain Marvel fixes up the Alpha Flight space station just in time to deal with an extra-powerful Dr. Minerva. And, oh the chaos that woman can cause. If only there was a way to foresee massive tragedy and prevent this kind of crap from happening! While the major conflict in the main Civil War title seems to be a brewing clash between the Inhumans and the rest of the superhero community, this Captain Marvel arc should provide more insight into the philosophical divide that separates Danvers and Tony Stark. You’ve got an Inhuman kid who can help you  predict and possibly prevent future catastrophes. Now, should you?

Continue reading All New All Different Marvel – Week 39

Ranking the All New All Different Marvel: 30 – 21

30
Uncanny Inhumans

Charles Soule & Steve McNiven
I was really surprised that I liked this book as much as I did. Having Kang (a favorite of mine) as the villain also makes it feel more like an Avengers book than the other Avengers I’ve read in this relaunch. Time-hopping madness with some heroics and inter-team drama made this pretty fun. Will definitely read more. – BC

Great mix of classic Inhumans, new ones (nuHumans?), and interesting supporting characters like Beast and Torch. Looking forward to more, and happy to see McNiven lend his talents to the flagship title for this newly placed cornerstone of the ANAD Marvel Universe. – MMDG

First collection: Uncanny Inhumans, Vol. 1: Time Crush (April)

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29
International Iron Man

Brian Michael Bendis & Alex Maleev
I’ll pretty much give anything Bendis does a fair shake, and even though this first issue is objectively mediocre, I enjoyed it. Alex Maleev’s art lends itself to Tony’s dark, mysterious past; I do, however, prefer Iron Man to have more color, more emphasis on boisterous mechanical designs, and an air of levity. This feels more like a Daredevil book, or even Hawkguy, and while I applaud Bendis for doing something more thoughtful with an action hero, it’s not something I really need. In the opening panel, one of the few action pieces in the whole book, a clever henchman jokes that perhaps the disabled Iron Man is “contemplating the life decisions that led him to this moment,” so I know Bendis knows that I know that he’s covering familiar ground, and his awareness makes me think he’s going to do his best to throw some curves and tell a good story. BMB is a master of dialogue and cinematic storytelling, and while I think he effectively builds an intriguing past and a compelling relationship between Tony and Cassandra, I would rather see Iron Man fighting Doom or organizing Avengers. I will keep reading this book, but maybe not recommend it as strongly as Spider-Man. – RF

First collection: International Iron Man, Vol. 1. (November)

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Continue reading Ranking the All New All Different Marvel: 30 – 21

All New All Different Marvel – Week 16

Two series premieres hit the shelves in week 16 of Marvel’s All New All Different relaunch, including the return of Dan Slott and Mike Allred’s Silver Surfer.

Forty-seven Avengers and Guardians books is great, and the buildup to a Marvel universe-wide Inhumans/X-Men race war sounds fun. Who among us hasn’t said, “I feel like I need one more Deadpool series” or “why can’t all my superheroes be spider-heroes?” But sometimes you just want to fly around in space, ask yourself some big questions about the cosmos, and party with some sweet aliens. The best Marvel book of ’15 gets off to a great start in ’16 with a xenomorphed pop culture extravaganza.

all your pop culture are belong to us
all your pop culture are belong to us

All New All Different Premieres
Captain Marvel #1
Silver Surfer #1

Continuing and related titles
The Astonishing Ant Man #4
Deadpool #6
Drax #3
Hercules #3
Ms. Marvel #3
New Avengers #5
Extraordinary X-Men #5
Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat #2
Star-Lord #3
Starbrand and Nightmask #2
Uncanny Inhumans #4
Uncanny X-Men #2
Continue reading All New All Different Marvel – Week 16

Jim Starlin and Marvel’s Cosmic Infinite

Not only is today Jim Starlin’s 66th birthday, but this month also marks the 40th anniversary of the release of his game-changing Warlock #9, one of the books that cemented his legacy among some of comics’ all-time greatest creators, and made his name synonymous with Marvel’s cosmic universe.

Warlock #9, "The Infinity Effect"
Warlock #9, “The Infinity Effect”

“The Infinity Effect” became more than just a starting point for Adam Warlock’s adventures with his evil future self; it set the groundwork for arguably the grandest four-color space opera of all time. The saga of the Infinity Gems and the characters linked to those stones – including Thanos, Gamora, and, of course, Warlock – has spun into numerous universe-shattering events and limited series over the last few decades. And, more significantly for even the casual superhero fan, it has become a slowly building central plot point for Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. Seeing Thanos slide the Gauntlet onto his purple mitt in the final scene of Age of Ultron might have been the coolest big-screen teaser since seeing Thor’s hammer chilling in the desert.

So to celebrate Starlin’s birthday, and help prep the uninitiated for the coming Infinity blitz, here’s a Top 5 primer on his Marvel cosmic canon. Rather than rank these, they’re being presented chronologically, from the early 70’s right through the present day. Continue reading Jim Starlin and Marvel’s Cosmic Infinite