Generations: The Bravest
With Generations: Captain Marvel and Captain Mar-Vell #1 (The Bravest, for those of you keeping track of the adjective portion of these confusing three-part titles) seems to be an introduction to a better understanding of what the heck is actually happening with these Generations one-shots.
Now that Secret Empire has ended (finally), there is a little more information about this “Vanishing Point” situation, though of course, in true Marvel fashion, not quite enough information to actually piece things together. We know heroes are disappearing and ending up in the past with their comic book counterparts, but the why and wherefore is still to be determined. Overall, crossing streams on these two events have proven to be more confusing than intriguing, but hopefully, the next installments of Generations follow Captain Marvel’s book in revealing some more insight into what Generations and Legacy are all about.
Captain Marvel and Mar-Vell Fly Together Again!
In this issue, we meet Carol Danvers as she appears on an unknown alien planet, confused because she was just talking to Steve…. If you haven’t finished Secret Empire, go back (or at least hit Wikipedia) to figure out what’s coming between the Captains, as it seems to figure directly into whatever tale Generations is spinning. Captain Marvel intercedes in a fight between some killer bug aliens and a friendly couple from a pacifistic alien race. (have I mentioned that I love when comics quietly normalize lesbian relationships? Because it’s great.) Carol, mid-fight, encounters someone from her past she thought was gone for good: Captain Mar-Vell, the Kree hero, and her past mentor.
For current comic fans, Carol Danvers has been Captain Marvel for so long and done it so well (Thanks, Kelly Sue DeConnick!) that Mar-Vell is a man of the past. For fans of the original comics, Mar-Vell has been respectfully dead for years, since he was taken by cancer in Jim Starlin’s famous Death of Captain Marvel in 1982. Apart from a few brief stints in more recent comic events, he has been gone for years. The timeline is a bit questionable here, but he doesn’t know Carol and has apparently been on this alien planet for a while. Hopefully, more information about where (and when) they are is revealed in the future.
As a fan of Carol Danvers and the more recent runs of Captain Marvel, I was terrified that bringing back Mar-Vell would serve as an excuse to make her less of a strong character. However, I enjoyed the more feminist qualities of this book, especially when it factored into the banter between the two captains. At their first meeting, it seems like it might be a disappointing “damsel in distress” story, but Carol turns it around and proves she is not “lady-kidding” about being a hero. Both of the characters are respected, which includes making sure Carol is just as witty and independent as ever.
While the story overall had a lot of heart and was definitely fun, there were some aspects of the pacing and dialogue that did not mesh completely with the events of the book. For the amount of information in this one-shot, it probably would have worked better as a three or four issue miniseries, which I probably would have read and enjoyed. The short page count, however, gives the impression that the writer had to fit three storylines, a reintroduction, a ton of exposition, and an introduction to the events coming up in Legacy into one issue, and it felt cramped at times.
The book opens with a played-out Wizard of Oz joke that goes on…way too long. Like, all the way to the end of the book. Some of the dialogue feels forced, as well. I laughed at a lot of the one-liners, but developing two completely different characters, their sense of humor, and trying to drag them through a serious situation all at the same time left a lot of jokes falling flat as the action continued. While some of the specific lines felt forced, I did enjoy the overall feel and flavor of the banter between the Captains, and with some more space to develop their relationship, it would have been great.
The art, though really enjoyable and suited to the book, suffered from some of the same issues as the writing and plotting. There is a lot to fit into this book, and not enough pages. Some panels seemed jumpy and scattered, whereas, with a little more space to develop the action, it would have been much easier to follow.
I absolutely loved the characterization and body language of the resurrected Captain Mar-Vell. His posing was retro and heroic— an excellent nod to his original character and design, and a great foil for Captain Marvel’s more relaxed, modern design. I appreciated this interpretation of Carol, as well. She was strong and independent, and her modern characterization was not sacrificed in bringing her predecessor back into her life. Occasionally the proportions of the characters seemed off, which made the action difficult to follow but was not a huge detriment to the book.
The best part of this issue, by far, are the flashback splash pages. This is where Jordan Boyd’s colors shine through the brightest, as well. These pages feature patchwork flashbacks to Marvel’s past, and they are executed beautifully. (Hey Marvel, these would make amazing posters….) The nod to different famous art styles and coloring techniques was a perfect way to bring Captain Mar-Vell and Captain Marvel’s generations of readers together, without lengthy exposition. Joe Caramagna’s letters contributed to that as well, with long tails that gave the issue a more vintage feel, and helped organize the lengthy dialogue.
This issue was a lot of fun and is an enjoyable read. The dialogue is occasionally clunky, and the art feels rushed in some panels, but none of the minor issues take away from the heart of the story. While I would have loved to see more of the reunited Captains’ relationship develop, hopefully, that comes back around in the future.
This issue is a great bridge between fans of the original Captain Marvel and fans of the new Captain Marvel and seems like a solid introduction into Legacy. This one-shot respects the origins and personalities of both heroes, and truly brings them together in a new, exciting way that most comic fans never expected to see. If this story had more room to spread out and develop, it would have been even more enjoyable, and the minor issues would very likely have worked themselves out.
To find a comic shop near you, visit www.comicshoplocator.com or call 1-888-comicbook
Check out other comic book news, previews and reviews here!
Bringing out YOUR inner nerd!