Released: September 5th 2017
Issues: Mighty Captain Marvel 0-4
My bias is going to show in this review, so fair warning: I am a huge Captain Marvel fan, always have been, always will be. I’ve had this volume pre-ordered for months (I tried reading it issue by issue but the monthly wait was killing me).
The Mighty Captain Marvel is exactly what I needed after all the events of Civil War II. I know any conflict like Civil War needs a “bad guy” (look at what they did to Tony after Civil War I), but it still was a tough time for me. Nobody likes seeing their heroes being torn down, even if it is for the greater good. Having Captain Marvel come back swinging was such a relief for me. Yeah, she’s still hurting about the events that occurred during Civil War II (can’t really blame her there) but she’s not letting in get in the way of her job or her life. You’ve got to respect that!
I loved ninety percent of the artwork in this volume. Especially the alternate cover images (take some time to look through them all!). My biggest complaint would probably be the sudden switch of art style for the last issue. Not only is the timing rather sudden, but the style differences were so large it was rather jarring. That’s not to say the new art style was bad…it just took me a few pages to adjust before it stopped being a distraction.
Alien Nation was a surprising blend of emotions; there was a “feel good” element (where Captain Marvel kept proving again and again that she will not give up or let her friends down), humor, and some shockingly heavy moments. You’d think it’d be too much to fit into a mere five issues, but it works in this case. Captain Marvel has so many thoughts going through her head, the best way to show this conflict was to have her constantly busy and distracted by multiple events.
There were some really funny parts to this volume, which is good. It helped to balance out all the other heavy parts, both in the past and what’s currently going on in Carol’s life. Apparently in order to properly fund the Alpha Flight Carol was forced to agree to a TV series about herself…called Cap’N Marvel and the Alpha Flight. You can see why she doesn’t love the whole thing – but man is her crew getting a kick out of it! That is, until they see the people cast to play them. Needless to say, hilarity ensues. On top of this there are some jokes at Carol’s expense, mostly along the lines of how destructive she is, or her possible sort-of-allergy to children (long story).
Carol has faced a lot of loss in the past year. She lost Rhodey and Bruce, as well as many of her friends thanks to their difference in opinions. I know that’s putting it all lightly, but still. Seeing Carol trying to cope with all of this really brings it home that Carol was trying to do what she thought was the right thing. She never intended to be the villain or to start a civil war. She never wanted anyone to get hurt – in fact she was aiming for the exact opposite. There are two moments in Alien Nation that truly brings this internal conflict to the forefront. Speaking with her bff Jessica, whom hadn’t been speaking to her (I am happy to say they finally resolved that fight).
The other? Talking to Tony’s AI. I don’t need to tell you how intense a conversation like that must have been. I’ll admit I’m really curious to see if the AI keeps his promise to pass on that message. I’ve been following the Invincible Iron Man plotline and I have my doubts about that (but for the sake of spoilers I won’t go into it).
All of this talking and I haven’t even focused on the main plot yet! There are hundreds, if not thousands of alien refugees seeking shelter on earth. Captain Marvel is insistent that we not only take them all in, but hold off on activating our defense system so more can come in (the defense is a shield around the earth – nobody could come in or out with it on). If you’re thinking this has a similar feel, you’re correct. There’s some obvious political reflecting going on here. I know many fans say that they’d prefer we keep the politics out of comics, but let’s be honest here. Marvel has always been political; they’re just pretty good at being subtle about it most of the time.
All the refuges cause an alarming realization for Carol – some of them (the ones with something called an HLA gene) are causing her magic to go haywire. This whole set of events quickly spiral to the point of almost being out of control. I’ll admit I didn’t entirely love this point of the plot, but I did like little Bean, and was really shocked with the heavy nature of the ending.
I’m not sure what’s going to happen long term, either with Bean or with the people that are clearly behind this whole thing. I’m really anxious to see what happens next though!