You might be wondering why I’m choosing to cover this particular volume of Captain Marvel instead of some of the character’s more recent jaunts, but that is because this material written by Kelly Sue DeConnick is the source material behind the MCU’s Captain Marvel film. To make things easy, I will simply cover this material by trade paperback volume titles, especially since things go well off the rails rather quickly. In fact, it’s not surprising that DeConnick was taken off the project after only a mere fifteen issue run.
Volume One: Higher, Further, Faster, More (2014)
Make no mistake, the very beginning of this series as well as the first handful of pages seem to makeup what we’ve seen from the film trailers. Much to the US Air Force’s dismay though, there were only about three or four pages that dealt with Carol Danvers in a fighter jet. The rest of the volume transports her into space, where a cosmic matter is introduced that feels a bit more diplomatic than I would have expected; although demonstrates maturity in lieu of the subject matter. Don’t get used to that, as it all goes to hell later on down the road. A very crude origin story is drawn by Danver’s spawn Kit, who is mostly babysat by Iron Man, Spider Woman and more. Now we know what The Avengers do when they’re not fighting the forces of evil – they’re babysitting Danvers’ kid. Oddly enough, Danvers is a single mother who literally lives inside of the fucking statue of liberty; which sounds rather silly considering I have no idea how any of this happened to begin with. All I know is that Ms. Marvel became Captain Marvel and then Marvel decided to split the two into different entities, both of which are currently teenagers and one of which is a middle-eastern Muslim woman. Though getting back to the work at hand, we have Captain Marvel telling her unsure boy toy in Iron Patriot that she’s going into space for a long time, cat in tow; in order to solve a problem that combines Star Trek and Captain Planet. Luckily, The Guardians Of The Galaxy are introduced early on to provide comic relief. Danvers considers herself a bit of a rough-edged broad who loves cracking one-liners, but is an outright Mary Sue to the very end. There’s nothing in this comic series that could ever prove a threat to her. Early on, an alien girl drawn in a very androgynous style (She’s called Tic) decides to commandeer her spaceship and steal her cat. Danvers uses her powers to get back onto the ship and punish the girl. While Star Lord and Danvers are planning on how to punish the girl, they learn that her race is constantly moved around due to a strange sickness emanating from their home planet. At the same time, Rocket Racoon is trying to kill her cat. I mean, “flerken” which according to him is an evil monster able to create hundreds of eggs. Danvers argues with the racoon that her cat is a mammal and cannot lay eggs. Anyhoo, we finally get onto the planet, where of course Danvers isn’t welcomed. At least until she meets with the matriarch of the planet and takes part in the council deliberation. Later it is discovered that a CIS White Male by the name of J-Son and his greed for vibranium, which is poisoning this alien race by way of “vibranium sickness” is responsible for the whole thing. So what does Danvers do? She buries the vibranium further underground, where it will no longer affect the alien race by seeping through the ground and J-Son would have a hard time getting to it. J-Son’s plans are also broadcasted aloud for all species to hear, which causes him to abandon ship, more or less. Danvers is considered a hero and the alien race can now live in peace, no longer at the whims of a fiendish CIS White Male. Projection much?
Volume Two: Stay Fly (2015)
This is where the whole thing falls apart. First I’m reading about a wedding situation that takes place on a planet where everyone speaks in rhyme. The entire comic issue is done in rhyme as well. Aside from that, the men have no choice in what women they marry; so Danvers decides that she has to give them that right back and away from the women. Giving choice to men in a feminist comic book? I believe that I’m going to faint. Secondly, we have the introduction of an intergalactic rocker chick who just tags along for a bit with Danvers and Tic, who are the only two left after the Guardians left as well as her companions from the previous volume, which were only relevant to that arc anyway. Same can be said with the intergalactic rocker. She’s fly by night and not really that unique. I should mention that a marriage ceremony is performed for Tic and what might be an idealized white male who apparently just left the gym and would get hundreds of requests on Tinder. Despite his muscled appearance, he seems to be carpet and doesn’t appear to have a backbone of his own. Comically, there’s nothing else after the wedding ceremony and Tic returns with Danvers. The next issue? Well, it seems that Rocket Racoon was right about Danvers’ cat being a flerken. It laid eggs, which freaked out Rocket (who changed the ship’s computer to flerken, so that he could communicate with the cat) and they simply carried about a hundred and thirty-three fler-kittens to an area where they could be taken better care of. Unless they eat flerken for some reason. This action also creates a massive plot hole in the third volume of the series. As for the next issue, a crazy woman escapes from an asylum due to her symbiotic control of rats. The problem is eventually quelled, the rats run off and in trying to capture Danvers powers, two female villains are stupidly bested. Talk about a fucking Mary Sue. They’re not even given a chance. We’re now into the last issue of this volume, where Santa Claus has appeared to save the day. Nope, I’m not making this up. Then she asked Santa Claus for a favor, which results in Danvers flying around in a Santa suit whilst scooping up explosives into his sack. Most of this takes place in New York, so all the cosmic intrigue of Captain Marvel is thrown directly into the garbage around this time and the fan reaction was not a good one.
Volume Three: Alis Volat Propriis (2015)
Bringing the story back into cosmic realms, much of these issues are tied into other works and therefore do not contain full stories. More or less, we’re seeing Tic being captured and enslaved by an alien race that has also stolen Danvers cat (which makes no sense, as they could have easily gotten hundreds by stealing them from the adoption center where the crew dropped them off during the last volume) and makes me wonder why the cat was so damn powerful in the first place. There’s an interesting tidbit called “The Black Vortex” which almost brings some heft back into the series, yet is cut-off and continued in another series which revolves around Star Lord. If it had been covered in full, it would have been one of the best moments here, even though Danvers resists the urge to take on the cosmic form shown in the movie trailers. We get to see what it looks like, but she decides that she doesn’t want more power – and she seriously doesn’t need it. Destroying entire fleets of ships by shooting overpowered Dragon Ball blasts is more than enough, I’d say. We also learn that J-Son has become a criminal outlaw now, but it’s not really all that important. The series ends with the death of Danvers friend, who loses her battle to cancer. It’s rather serious stuff and coincides with DeConnick’s own experience in losing someone to cancer. After that, DeConnick’s reign on the comic ends and the character is rebooted in 2016 with a new look.
So in the end, DeConnick was more interested in Captain Marvel getting her cat back than fighting Skrulls. Could you imagine if the plot of the film was literally like that of these comics and revolved around her cat being stolen? Also, is Danvers going to be a single mother in the film too? I haven’t seen any of Kit featured, so they may be leaving that out entirely. Then we got into the wedding, the rats, the Christmas stuff and a half-baked cosmic plot that you needed to buy several issues to read completely. It’s obvious that DeConnick sailed by with her Captain Planet plot in the first volume, but after that it’s quite clear that she ran out of steam. Captain Marvel crashed and burned heavily, to a point where I don’t think the comics will ever recover. Rest assured, true believers… It all started here.