Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Avenging Spider-Man #9 review

Her new comic isn't out until next week, but here's our first look at Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel. The former Ms Marvel/Binary/Warbird/Ms Marvel (again) teams up with Spider-Man for ... a flight to Boston. Having bought a light aircraft, Carol is giving Peter Parker a lift to the city, where Aunt May now lives. En route, though, they bump into a self-styled Robin Hood on the run from corporate thugs after robbing a bank.

The jet-packed stranger's plunge from the sky gives Carol a chance to show off her pilot skills, while Spidey demonstrates that wingwalking is a doddle when you have sticky feet. Soon the heroes are embroiled in a confrontation between the young woman and the battle-suited 'Blackbird'. And just when things seem to be calming down, a sudden escalation ensures this story continues next month.

I'm a little disappointed that we don't see more of Carol in Captain Marvel mode, but what we do see is good - she's a confident, likeable hero once more, having finally shed the stench of the Civil War event. And it's good to be reminded that Carol doesn't need powers to be a hero - she's a first-rate flier. Given that this issue's writer, Kelly Sue DeConnick, is handling the new Captain Marvel book, I'll definitely be checking out Carol's series.

DeConnick also gives us a delightfully zingy Spidey - witty without trying too hard, and while airborne action is out of his comfort zone, seeing someone in need ensures he adapts quickly. Plus, I like the easy friendship between him and Carol a lot.

It's fun to see the young woman, who spends a fair amount of time trying to decide on a superhero name - the authorites call her a bank robber, she says 'cameralistic liberator' - out-gab Spidey. I could see her being annoying as a constant prattling presence, but here she's a breath of fresh air.

Penciller Terry and inker Rachel Dodson look to have had a ball bringing DeConnick's breezy script to life, giving us some priceless Peter and Carol facial expressions. And their action scenes power us through the book; you can practically hear Carol's plane as it buzzes a bridge in a tasty split-panel spread. Credit to colourist Edgar Delgado, too, for trusting that we'd not get bored with a constant blue sky - the naturalism, ironically, grounds the drama in the sky. It helps that he uses a beautiful blue, of course.

I'll need to see more of Carol's new costume before I decide whether I'm fully on board with it - for one thing, I'm not used to her fighting sans mask. I believe she's getting a Kree helmet, so let's see how that works. The new haircut isn't here, happily; I've seen various interpretations of it, some better than others, and heard DeConnick explain the thinking behind the meringue-cum-Mohican - but I simply don't like it. If Carol can't have some variation on her traditional long hair - which the Dodsons and Delgado make look great here - a simple buzz cut might be best.

Poor printing on a couple of pages makes the dialogue difficult to read, so I'll check out the digital version that comes with this $3.99 issue. I'd still rather pay $2.99, though, that's a fair price for 20pp of entertaining superheroics.

Still, this issue bodes well for the next stage of Carol Danvers' comics career. I wish her, and the creative team, luck.

6 comments:

  1. What are those things popping off her costume? Who the heck drew the creature in the top left corner? I'll have to check this out. Does Marvel also drop its digital prices after a month?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think they're meant to be bulletholes. Or maybe coins.

    The corner pic isn't a million miles from the Dodsons' interior work - maybe it's a solo Rachel Dodson piece.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. no their bullets bouncing off off her

      Delete
  3. I hope terry dodson is doing art for her series, emma rios is doing the art for issues 5&6

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think he is, isn't it Dexter Soy for the first few issues?

      Delete
    2. ya but in october their double shipping with emma rios on art

      Delete