Branded with “Earth’s Mightiest Hero” above the logo on the cover of “Captain Marvel” #3, this comic is an oddity all the way through. The cover is lively and bright, reminiscent of World War II propaganda posters, but valiantly showcasing the flagship female character of the Marvel Universe as drawn by Ed McGuinness. The interiors are nicely painted, but drawn in such a manner and painted in such a style that the comic itself feels more like an independent or smaller press title than the mainstream book it should look like.
Dexter Soy’s art, while expressive and divergent, just doesn’t fit the character or the story. His work is strong and distinct, but I can’t help but feel it might be better suited for something more in the horror or mystery genre, than high-flying superheroics laced with science fiction. The artist’s painterly style gets a little difficult to translate at the end of this issue when the Prowlers display a surprising adaptation. Unfortunately, that adaptation isn’t very clear in the panels and setup Soy uses. “Captain Marvel” needs something more traditional in structure and character movement, but edgier in coloring and effects, something not unlike the cover work done by McGuinness. Even the two pages contributed by Rich Elson and Will Quintana are more in line with what I expect from a book like this.
Kelly Sue DeConnick has given us three issues to learn about Carol Danvers and what we know about the character isn’t intensely deeper than what we knew of her before this series started. We’ve seen her make some very personal, very emotional connections and we’ve gotten a brief recap of her origin, but DeConnick hasn’t given me a hook to bite on regarding Danvers herself. Yes, it’s fantastic that Danvers has taken the Captain Marvel moniker, but what’s she going to do with it? Right now it appears as though she’s going to muddy up the timestream a little, which is part of the fun of comics, but beyond that, I’m not sure I understand Danvers’ mission.
I’ve given this book a shot and while I like what DeConnick is doing with regards to world-building and adding connections for Danvers, I just don’t find the experience to be very memorable once I’ve finished reading it. “Captain Marvel” #3 provides some peeks into the lives and personalities of the Banshee Squad, some of which are revisited with a wink and a nod later.
After setting up a dramatic cliffhanger with a few pages to spare in this issue, DeConnick gives the reader some DVD extra-type materials. First up is a two-page epilogue set in 1961 and drawn by Elson and Quintana. That places it in the past for the Marvel Universe, but not in the same era as the main tale itself, providing the possibility that DeConnick is throwing out subplots to be sewn through the longer narrative. The final page, drawn by Karl Kesel with art by Javier Rodriguez feels like something equivalent to what Dark Horse was doing with the Escapist in the not so recent past. Kesel delivers a comic strip tale that brought a smile to my face and had me wishing to see more of the same as this series continues. These last three pages buoyed up the book for me and are already serving to be more memorable than the main tale as I file “Captain Marvel” #3 away.