So I'm putting in force my New Years Blog Resolutions a couple of months early. Those resolutions are: More female creators. More female characters. More Marvel. Most of what I know of the Marvelverse is a hotch-potch of what I have seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films and things covered in articles on sites like "Comics Should Be Good". I never planned to be a DC lifer over a Marvel Zombie, it's just that when I was reading comics in the 80's, all the writers I liked who wrote for UK comics went to DC and most of them founded what went on to become the Vertigo line. Also the final kicker? My local newsagent only stocked DC comics so I never picked Marvel up on a casual pocket-money basis, I was reading Suicide Squad and The Justice League over The X Men and The Avengers. Anyway, I know a couple of things about Captain Marvel, first of all, there are more than one (and the first one was male and was a pre-emptive grab at the Captain Marvel name when the company publishing the "Shazam" Captain Marvel went under and was bought by DC). I wrote about the Monica Rambeau Captain Marvel in my look at Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. This is not that Captain Marvel. This is the Carol Danvers one, who I only know for giving birth to her own rapist and the rest of the Avengers being totally OK with that. Yuck. Thankfully, she's being written by Kelley Sue DeConnick now so the taint of that misogynist shit has been thoroughly scraped off her. This first six issue arc does make reference to other stuff that has happened in the wider Marvelverse, but enough context is given that I could figure out what was going on without having to resort to wikipedia. So thumbs up for that right from the start. Let us begin.
It starts with Captain Marvel in the company of four diverse aliens. They are on the Manaciano Outpost. They realise they are being followed by the "Spartax Secret Police" but Captain Marvel is confident she can deal with them. They confront a seller saying he's from Torfa, he responds "no one is from Torfa" while Captain Marvel accuses him of betraying it. Then the Secret Police ask for their IDs. The seller flees, yelling that they are with the Galactic Alliance and a fight breaks out as Captain Marvel and co. are attacked. Tic, the green alien gets separated from them, while another grabs the piece of metal they were after in the middle of the melee. Then suddenly Tic vanishes and events go back to six weeks ago.
|Carol off to hang out with Iron Man.|
Iron Man appears and Carol becomes Captain Marvel. He fills her in on the alien while they fly through the air. They stop and foil a street robbery, discussing the alien as they do so. Iron Man says her world was destroyed by "The Builders" and that she was part of a group of evacuees they lost track of. Iron Man thinks it's time to have a permanent Avengers prescence in space. It needs to be someone who is an amazing pilot and in need of some solitude. Iron Man suggest Rhodey and chortles to himself as he flies off leaving a fuming Captain Marvel knowing he's hooked her with the idea.
|Breaking the news to Rhodey.|
Rhodey: "You gotta go. I will be many things to you Carol Danvers but... I'm not gonna be the one that holds you down."
As they embrace Carol asks if he'll feed her cat. "NO", he says. Carol later reflects on the fact that while in space, she hopes she'll find her place on Earth. We then finish with a crayoned page showing Captain Marvel's origins in four panels. Basically it goes; stumbled across alien artefact, got cool powers, fights crime as part of the Avengers.
|Works for me.|
The action jumps forwards to Two Weeks Ago, Captain Marvel is in her small spaceship and being confronted by some hostile aliens. Also her cat Chewie is trying to sleep on the console and not helping matters. She states that she is an Avenger on a medical transport misson to the planet Torfa. The aliens are Haff mercenaries and get an update from their client to kill her. She does some fancy flying, but when her ship gets hit, she activates an space helmet as part of her costume and goes out into space to fend off the aggressors. Suddenly one of the mercenary ships explodes and they reluctantly withdraw. Captain Marvel is confused as she didn't do that, but then The Guardians Of The Galaxy appear having arrived to lend a hand.
|Is it a cat or a Flerken? Poor Chewie.|
Now they are aboard the Guardian's ship, Captain Marvel manages to keep Rocket Raccoon from killing Chewie who returns to Captain Marvel's ship. They then get to discussing Torfa. Apparently it's a "poison planet". The original inhabitants fled when they started getting sick, two hundred years later the Galactic Council relocated the refugees from the planets wiped out by The Builders on to Torfa and what do you know, they are getting sick too now. The Galactic Council want to relocate the healthy ones, but they won't leave their sick behind.
As I share my life with a grumpy old black and white cat called Biff, making a character a cat lover is basically a sure fire way of making me fall for them. I do know if someone tried to catnap Biff he'd make them regret it very quickly! Unfortunately the ship is faster that Captain Marvel. Starlord offers her a ride, but then Captain Marvel's ship returns and fires on the Guardian's ship. Captain Marvel tells them to hold their fire, "because she's a kid and she's confused." Also her cat is aboard.
Captain Marvel gets close enough that her helmet is able to remotely override the controls. She returns to the interior to confront Tic. She and the Guardian's question her. She wanted to kill the son of the Spartax king who is trying to get them off their planet, so "he would feel our pain". Starlord says she might have got a thankyou note from J'son instead. Also what would he want with a poison planet? Maybe he is trying to relocate them to save lives. Then Captain Marvel scolds Tic for a "cowardly attack" on the son of her enemy and Tic bursts into tears.
|Wonderfully expressive faces, I love the art in this book.|
Captain Marvel: "Hi. Captain Marvel of earth. The Avengers and the Galactic Alliance."
The alien punches her in the face. Tic calls him Gil and tells him she's with her. Gil gives Tic a big hug then when Captain Marvel repeats she is with the Galactic Alliance, he punches her again. So Captain Marvel wrestles him into a sleeper hold and asks to speak with the leadership. An old female alien appears called Eleanides, Tic enthusiastically greets her saying she has a "champion".
Tic: "Go ahead Captain. Tell them! The Avenger is here. Everything is going to be all right."
|Eleanides is dubious.|
Eleanides: "But you are here still because in your arrogance you believe you have some unique understanding of the complex situation in which we find ourselves today. You believe with a few well chosen words you will somehow make it clear to me that the longer we stay in this place the further we endanger the health of our people. Is that so?"
Captain Marvel frowns and says nothing, realising the truth of what Eleanides says. Eleanides says that abandoning their sick would sentence them all to death. Is Captain Marvel OK with that? Captain Marvel says she isn't and Eleanides says she might have use for her after all while showing her a huge room full of sick aliens.
|The Council of Torfa.|
Captain Marvel suggests rigging their ships up so they can all leave together, but Gil shows her their shipyard it's practically empty with a few junked ships. Gil tries to provoke Captain Marvel some more, she says he can take a swing at her "but it's not going to make you feel any lesss doomed."
|My favourite four panels from this book, so good.|
Then the Haff mercenaries do a hit a run stealing parts from the shipyard. Ever since the Alliance withdrew its patrols they've been preying on the Torfans, and they don't have working ships to chase them in. But Captain Marvel tells Tic, Gil, B-Bop and Jackie they can go after them in her ship instead.
Meanwhile Eleanides is speaking with a projected hologram of J'son. She is begging him not to force them to leave their sick behind as Torfa is in his space. He roars:
J'son: "There is no higher authority. I am not just your leader, woman. I am your god!"
While Captain Marvel and her merry band steal back their ship parts and go looking for more, J'son says Eleanides has three days to oversee the relocation of the healthy or he will order an attack on the planet and wipe all of them out, "because it is my will!"
|J'son being a right bastard.|
The action then jumps to after Tic is captured by the Haff. Captain Marvel hurls the piece of green metal away in frustration, then suddenly notices it is undamaged. She blasts it with her full power and it gets not a scratch on it. "I think I know what all this is about" she says. In the meantime, Tic is in a large ship hanger with other prisoners, she uncovers a cart full of similar green metal pieces, and she and another Torfan realise it's not steel...
|The plot device!|
Meanwhile Eleanides is breaking the news to the council that the healthy will have to leave, much to their distress. Then Captain Marvel and the others arrive and break the news that they lost Tic, but that they don't think she is dead, just a prisoner. They then tell her they know what has been happening. "Vibranium sickness" is what is afflicting the population. It's why the place was declared a poison planet before.
Eleanides is confused. She says that there is no known source of vibranium left in the galaxy and they have no vibranium mines that she knows of. But Captain Marvel shows her the piece they recovered and says if Spartax reinforced his ships with it, his fleet would be unstoppable.
B-Bop, says to the other Sentimault there that it must be their people doing the mining as their exo-skeletons render them immune to the poison. The other Sentimault confirms this is the case saying it was for the good of their own people to make a deal with Spartax even if it meant betraying the other Torfans.
|Eleanides has no time for this shit.|
So Captain Marvel boards her ship in frustration. Then she realises Eleanides was giving her a coded message and she wants her help. A planet is being subjegated by another, sounds like Avenger's business to her. So Captain Marvel flies out and faces down the Spartax fleet with a badass boast.
|"Now make yours". So cool.|
Eleanides: "Emperors do not stay Emperors when word gets out they slaughter children."
But the Spartax commander on the ground says because they refused to leave the posion planet "no one will know or care." Back in space, Captain Marvel says the one thing she can give the people of Torfa is time as she attacks the Spartax ships.
Eleanides says she told her to leave, Captain Marvel also says she asked her if she could live with the death of her people on her conscience. "Can you work a bit of diplomatic magic?" she asks Eleanides. Eleanides calls B-Bop who has discovered the vibranium mine. She tells him to evacuate it and the area around it as fast as he possibly can.
She asks Jackie how many of their fighthers are air worthy. Jackie says two now, so Eleanides orders her and Gil to get them in the air. Before Jackie leaves her girlfriend tels her "you come back to me." And they have a snog, "Always and forever" responds Jackie, hooray for space lesbians!
|Of course they could be monogendered like the Asari, but I'm still claiming this one for the gays!|
Jackie: "One warrior goddess and one comically oversized goat at your service!"
Gil: "Hey I resemble that remark!"
Jackie and Gil with some fancy flying, keep the Spartax forces occupied while Captain Marvel heads to the vibranium mines. J'son's hologram appears giant sized to the large group on the surface of Torfa. He says they all should have died when they Builders destroyed their worlds and he can take what he pleases from their planet.
|J'son is thwarted, hah!|
The final page shows Captain Marvel sneaking away from the celebrations, but Jackie catches her. Captain Marvel says she hates goodbyes, but Jackie thanks her and Captain Marvel departs with a photo of her, Eleanides, Jackie, Gil, Tic and B-Bop pinned up in the cockpit.
|D'awww. The end.|