Wherein we get a Sophomore slump in a plot that didn’t have a lot of wiggle room to begin with, a colorist that’s still destroying the art, and an artist that still maintains some semblance of quality despite the lack of light, shadow and depth.
It’s Still Better Than Anything Done With This Character In The Last Few Years, But…
Captain Marvel #2is mostly filler and setup for what will hopefully pay off a lot better in the next few issues. I know I’m channeling Pollyanna Whittier here, but you can see Kelly Thompson’s story beats starting to shape up. Still, I would have really liked her to skip out on the exposition heavy introduction scenes and get down to the story. The Bad guy only shows up in five pages of this story, just long enough to get his ass kicked and to run away.
There’s a lot of unnecessary padding here that makes me think the editor Sarah Brunstad isn’t doing much other than adding her overly-chipper stage voice to the awkwardly named letters column, Letters From The Wings. Thompson also seems to have a rough time with the world building mechanics that she’s set up. There’s a power dampening effect, but it seems to come and go, and Carol doesn’t seem affected at all. There’s a time dilation within the bubble, it’s limited to Roosevelt Island which in itself is a problem. For those of you who don’t know, Roosevelt Island is only about 2 miles long by 800 feet across. There’s literally nowhere to run to and nowhere to hide. The heroic girl resistance squad magically has an underground bunker full of military ordinance and computer equipment. It even seems to be accessible by automobile, which is problematic, especially if the bunker in question is in the subway system. Just… a lot of problems with this plot.
And The Beats Go On.
Thompson’s dialogue this issue is all over the place. It ranges from utterly cringe-worthy, like the first page of the issue with the on-the-street interviews and the cutaway scene where the Avengers pretty much say screw it, she can handle it, to actually good. She again nails the dialogue between Jessica Drew and Carol, and the interplay between the female rescuees is decent enough… mostly. Thompson tosses a lot of plot balls in the air this issue. Someone randomly mentions an arena (I’m guessing that’s where Rogue comes into play in issue 4), Nuclear Man has some sort of home base filled with nearly unstoppable robots which come into play towards the end of the issue, there’s one guy helping out the ladies and nobody seems to know anything about him, Echo is on the scene and literally nobody thinks to have her on reconnaissance? None of the men on Roosevelt Island are anywhere to be found, and then there’s She Hulk. That’s a Claremont sized block of subplot points that Thompson has shoved into one issue. I just hope it doesn’t take her years to resolve these like it did him. Truthfully, I don’t think Thompson will have that kind of time before the inevitable Captain Marvel reboot.
Light, Shadow, and Depth.
Carmen Carnero once again turns in some pretty stellar art. Three things really plague her here though. First, her inking is really flat. I steadfastly maintain that she needs an inker who knows how to play with bold lines, someone who knows light and shadow. I swear this comic is like watching a movie without a director of photography. The second thing is that she seems to have no visual sense of style when it comes to technology. Obviously nobody is John Byrne when it comes to drawing killer robots, but Carnero has the potential to be great at drawing tech. Her penciling could easily lend itself to cool tech scenes.
And Once Again The Colorist Blows Up The Art
The final thing that just ruins the story is Tamara Bonvillain’s choice of soft pastels. It’s mind numbingly distracting. The backgrounds are oddly smudged with lots of soft yellows, and the foreground art just turns to mud under a sludge of pastel colored slop. Carmen Carnero’s art is well suited to the primary color palette that most superhero stories are rendered with, and Bonvillain’s choice of pastels just destroys her line work. This is one of the most poorly colored series I’ve ever seen.
All things considered, this series is a soft recommend at best. I can see where Thompson is going with the story and I’m still optimistic that everything will turn around once she starts bringing in some of the payoff. If you’re interested in this series and you missed the first issue, you might as well skip this issue as well. Captain Marvel #2 is mostly just a stepping stone to the next few issues.
- Solid penciling
- Great superhero banter
- Interesting plot points
- The colorist
- Poor choice for a first arc villain
- Rapidly expanding sub plots