In the role of Captain Marvel, Carol Danvers has been so closely associated with writer Kelly Sue DeConnick that it could have been a poison pill for any creative team who took over the character's title. However, Michele Fazekas, Tara Butters and Kris Anka show us they're the right team for the book in "Captain Marvel" #2, which mixes old and new in a genuinely pleasing way.
It's a pleasure to see how quickly the new setup gels here. The mixture of action/adventure with political maneuvers works well, with Carol leading her away team into the ghost ship even as decisions she made on the Alpha Flight Space Station continue to spin in her absence. Carol comes across as efficient, but never perfect; her jailing of the Eridani, for example, is not as simple as it initially seems and it creates all sorts of new problems. Similarly, mistakes are made while investigating the ghost ship, but Carol is also able to deal with the hiccups that occur with great aplomb.
"Captain Marvel" #2 has hit the ground running with its supporting cast, something that's been a pleasant surprise. From the former "Alpha Flight" characters to the rest of the space station staff, I love how quickly everyone has been fleshed out and given strong personalities in a short amount of space. Fazekas and Butters sell every character's presence in a scene, and funny moments are more than just a joke, like the selection of the Eridani's legal counsel having a real follow-through. Add in the overall feeling each revelation is leading to another turn in the plot and that something bigger lurks just around the corner, and the end result is a lot of fun.
Anka's art is at its best when drawing the big and dramatic, like the fusion reactor at the heart of the ship. It's genuinely impressive and Anka is able to bring that sense of awe to the page, something that can be difficult in such a static medium. You get a real feeling of scale in those moments, and that's all down to Anka's abilities. Anka also makes every character look different, not just in terms of outfits but in faces, build and everything else identifiable. We've got all sorts of body types here, and everyone is highly expressive, too. Anka falls prey to using speed lines as backgrounds a little too often, but it's ultimately a minor complaint in an otherwise nice looking comic, especially with Anka's wonderful propaganda poster-inspired cover.
"Captain Marvel" #2 shows how this book can appeal both to longtime readers as well as a new audience. It's got a charming and inviting cast, a story that takes no time at all in hitting high gear and the promise of further mystery and intrigue on a regular basis. (And for those wishing for a new "Alpha Flight" comic, this is almost certainly the closest you're going to get thanks to the presence of Sasquatch, Aurora and Puck.) I'm sold. You should be, too.