Captain Marvel’s had a lot of series restarts in the last few years. This is the fourth new volume since Kelly Sue DeConnick began her Captain Marvel run, now with writer Margaret Stohl taking over. I did enjoy the last volume, but with two different creative teams and two completely different kinds of stories, it feels kind of weird as a whole. This series has a potentially interesting premise though. Although Captain Marvel is very popular in the public sphere, she’s had a lot of personal difficulties lately. This issue focuses more on the latter.
The Mighty Captain Marvel 0 begins with a therapy session, showing a Carol Danvers who can’t sleep because of a reoccurring nightmare. Even if she doesn’t outright admit it, she’s suffering from heavy feelings of anxiety and guilt. Over the course of Civil War II, she lost a number of friends over disagreements and bad situations. It’s to the point where it’s affecting her ability to function. There’s a bit of action in this issue, but the main focus is on character drama, and that aspect of the comic is very well written.
One of the friends she lost during the Civil War II event was her close friend, Spider-Woman. There’s a short but sweet conversation between then that works fairly well. I’m kind of curious if this will be mentioned in the Spider-Woman series though, especially considering their friendship split happened in Spider-Woman’s series. There’s one moment in the comic that feels weird though. It’s a scene that briefly retells Carol’s origin story as Ms. Marvel, but it feels way off if the retelling in DeConnick’s first volume is accurate. The way the narrative flows here, it’s as if Carol gained her powers when she once flew into space, and that specific line wasn’t really necessary anyway. It feels more like the Fantastic Four’s origin story. The part of the flashback focusing on Carol’s childhood worked much better and it could have ended with Carol flying for the military. It’s enough for me to downgrade the overall writing in this comic from great to just good.
The art by Emilio Laiso and Ramon Rosanas is great though. I’m not sure who’s is who’s, but one artist handles the main story while the other draws the brief retelling of Carol’s origin story. The main comic is smooth and well detailed, from the backgrounds in the Alpha Flight station complete with detailed computer monitor images to the wrinkles in characters’ casual wear. Facial expressions lean a touch to the cartoonish side, but just enough to make them expressive without negatively affecting the dramatic writing. The flashback scenes are equally well detailed, but it’s more of a simple, traditional look. Rachelle Rosenberg handles all the colouring and it’s all fantastic. The flashback is browned out, the modern scenes are bright and colourful, and there’s a dreamlike glow in Carol’s dream sequences that turns dark when the dream turns into a nightmare.
For the most part this is a great comic, held back by the origin retelling that either clashes with long established continuity with no explanation, or it just doesn’t explain itself very well. That doesn’t worry me about the main series though. That said, I’m not sure whether I’d recommend this issue to people who want to check Captain Marvel out or not. This is an easy recommendation for Carol fans, but it might be better for newcomers to wait for The Mighty Captain Marvel 1. If you’re not sure, at least give this comic a look.