This week we have two number one issues from Marvel Comics, one spinning out of a major crossover event and the other setting up its own crossover event. The Mighty Captain Marvel #1 chronicles Carol Danvers’ triumphant return to Alpha Flight as America’s greatest hero, and Monsters Unleashed adds a whole slew of new giant monsters to the already existing kaiju pantheon of the Marvel Universe. Check out my reviews after the jump.
The Mighty Captain Marvel #1
Captain Marvel walks away from Civil War II a hero, the winner, and in my opinion, she shouldn’t have. Nobody won, especially the readers, and if those are the circumstances by which she is now Earth’s greatest hero and ‘mighty,’ then I’m already out of the book in disbelief mode. But I’ll struggle forward, because after all, despite Civil War II, I have always been a Carol fan.
We open on the ridiculous but fun soundstage of the “Cap’n Marvel” TV series, with Carol objecting to all the usual changes we all object to in superhero television, but she relents because it’s helping to fund Alpha Flight. I did like the apropos ringtone on Carol’s phone, “Sorry” by Beyonce, at least she still remembers the late War Machine. Writer Margaret Stohl and artist Ramon Rosanas go a long way toward making me forget the travesty of Civil War II and how it portrayed Carol in an economy of pages. I’m in.
Carol has a quite complicated history, but Stohl gracefully gives us just enough to tell the story at hand. There’s an alien refugee problem, and a shape-shifting bounty hunter stealing children, and behind all that, Carol has to keep that damned show afloat to finance all of it. There have been better versions of this Captain Marvel, but we got enough storytelling in this one issue to keep me interested. This one is a buy.
Monsters Unleashed #1
Folks who read me here at Biff Bam Pop! and elsewhere know that I am a huge kaiju eiga fan, as well as a comics fanboy, so when you mix daikaiju and comics, you know I’m already geeked out. Monsters Unleashed is written by Cullen Bunn of The Sixth Gun and a wild variety of other Marvel projects and illustrated by Steve McNiven, perhaps most famous for his art in the original Civil War. Together they present a cohesive tale of new monsters coming to Earth in meteors (very kaiju eiga) and raising heck across the globe.
I love these new monsters, many taking design cues from newer kaiju like Cloverfield and those from Pacific Rim, but there are a couple who actually and happily conjure comparisons for me to the Mega-Monsters, old favorites from Marvel’s old Godzilla series. While it seems that this series may be more focused on such obscure Marvel heroes as Elsa Bloodstone and Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur (and that’s a good thing), there are plenty of superheroics in this issue. As the monsters attack cities around the planet, the Avengers, the X-Men, the Champions, and the Inhumans, among others are there to fight them.
Bunn does a fantastic job spotlighting and dialoguing all these characters, something Civil War II was unable to do. While there were dozens of heroes onsite in that series, only a few opened their mouths and took center stage. Everybody gets a piece in this issue. Bunn has a good handle on these teams and impressed me. Also, this is not just a big widescreen story of superheroes and giant monsters. At the center of it all is a young man whose sketching seems to have summoned both these new monsters and Marvel’s more traditional kaiju crew from the Atlas days as well.
I love this, and am on board with this crossover event, definitely a buy. I wish more of them were like this. What did you folks think of this, and The Mighty Captain Marvel?