Captain Marvel: In Pursuit of Flight
Published on Monday, August 5, 2013 - 12:16pm
For a long time Carol Danvers was known as Ms. Marvel. And she was awesome, don't get me wrong. I dearly loved Ms. Marvel; she's headstrong, and stubborn. She can fly, and can put pretty much anyone, including the Hulk, through a brick wall. She's a full bird Colonel in the Air Force and sasses Captain America. She also wore what was basically a bathing suit. Art by Jamie McKelvie
Then, last year Kelly Sue DeConnick got together with Jamie McKelvie and they re-imagined what Carol Danvers could be. She took the name Captain Marvel (there's history there for long time comic fans) and McKelvie designed a brand new look for a brand new name. And she looks amazing. The first thing I and almost all of my friends said is "She has PANTS!!! That's awesome!" There's a change in comic book portrayals of female superheroes happening right now at Marvel. Women characters are wearing costumes that cover them; they are leading teams. Some teams, like the X-Men by Brain Wood are all women. Captain Marvel and Kelly Sue are right at the front of this trend, leading the way.
Captain Marvel: In Pursuit of Flight is the first trade of the new Captain Marvel title. It collects the issues 1-6 making up the first complete storyline. It's a fun time travel story that also gives new readers a glimpse into Carol Danvers' back-story -- What makes Carol, Carol. The story weaves in the very real story of the Mercury 13, the 13 women NASA trained for space flight in the 60s but who were denied the chance to be astronauts because they were women.
Dexter Soy and Emma Rios do a beautiful job on the art. While their styles are very different, both artists add depth and character to their parts of this story. Soy, with his muted colors and life-like illustrations, lends a grandeur to the first half of the book and Rios, with her gravity-defying hair and almost abstract at times art, takes over to handle the end.
This story is women-centric with amazing female characters throughout the entire arc, and I don't think I realized how much I wanted a story like this until I finished issue one and found myself crying. Not because I was unhappy, but because this story is so full of promise. Kelly Sue said of this story, "This is a book about flight, literally and figuratively. It's about what elevates us and what grounds us."
So, if you're looking for an introduction to a Carol Danvers, who is playing a bigger and bigger role in Marvel comics right now, pick up Captain Marvel: In Pursuit of Flight and give it a chance.
If you'd like to read more about the amazing real life women of the Mercury 13 program, check out Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared To Dream by Tanya Lee Stone.
To read more about Kelly Sue DeConnick's thoughts on and plans for Carol Danvers, check out her interview with Comic Book Resources.