Captain Marvel, Vol. 1: In Pursuit of Flight Review

Author: Kelly Sue DeConnick

Illustrators: Dexter Soy and Emma Rios

Publisher: Marvel

Retail: $14.99 on Amazon

This re-imaging of the famous superhero, Captain Marvel comes in a long line of successors from Stan Lee’s original alien military officer, Captain Mar-Vell of the Kree Imperial Militia. Throughout the decades men, women and aliens have taken on the mantle of Captain Marvel and Kelly Sue DeConnick bring us the story of the most recent Captain, air pilot Carol Danvers.

In Pursuit of Flight is one of the most enjoyable graphic novels I have read in the past year. DeConnick has a talent for wry dialogue and humor, as well as a subtle sense of how to develop a character through action. Dexter Soy and Emma Rios do some excellent illustration work, which is truly showcased in the style switch utilized for a flashback/alternate universe time sequence that occurs in the later half of the graphic novel. The colors look crisp and vivid, and I was pleased to see that Danvers was not depicted in overly suggestive or sexual ways in the artwork, the art inside looks NOTHING like the cover. Within the novel, issues 1-4 were drawn by Dexter Soy, and Emma Rios illustrated issues 5-6.

Plot wise, the story follows Carol Danvers on an adventure through time and space. After accidentally teleporting back in time, Captain Marvel teams up with the all-female Banshee Squadron to fight the Prowlers during WWII. After successfully subduing the Prowlers, Danvers again launches through time, where we see a young Carol meet her hero, pilot Helen Cobb. Cobb knows the key to what’s happening with these mysterious time rifts, and together Danvers and Cobb try to solve the problem once and for all.

In particular, I love how this series tackles the role of gender with a two pronged approach – Carol Danvers assuming the role of Captain Marvel is a non-issue. By not addressing the “role” of her gender in her succession, DeConnick successfully addresses the gender question (ironic, no?) The series also tackles the historical challenges of women serving in the military, so in that regard it serves to discuss gender issues by portraying experiences women still negotiate in today’s world. The comic does not feel preachy or like DeConnick had an agenda, it feels like an honest portrayal of how the world works. What I really love is that Captain Marvel doesn’t come off as a “female hero”- Danvers is just a hero and that is awesome.

If you enjoy super hero comics in any capacity, I give the new Captain Marvel series an incredibly high recommendation. Seriously, read this work everyone.

The second graphic novel, Vol 2: Down, has just been released, collecting issues 7-12. I’ll be reviewing it in a couple of weeks!

– E.B.

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