AUTHOR: JODY HOUSER | ARTIST: SIMONE BUONFANTINO | PUBLISHER: MARVEL COMICS | FORMAT: SINGLE ISSUE | RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
'A whole new type of alien to punch? That’s classic Captain Marvel.' So opens the first issue of Jody Houser and Simone Buofantino’s Captain Marvel: Braver & Mightier, impeccably timed to drop mere weeks before Carol Danvers’ big screen debut. Published adjacently to Kelly Thompson’s Captain Marvel, this book aims to showcase Captain Marvel’s more human side, as well as streamlining elements of her often confusing history (see STARBURST #458 for the lowdown) to allow for newer readers.
Don’t go in expecting this first issue to kick off an epic Captain Marvel saga though; instead, this is a brief, snappy one-shot designed to sell Captain Marvel to new (and lapsed) audiences without having to retell a convoluted origins tale all over again. As Carol battles a fleet of alien invaders, two high school students await her arrival at a press conference on Earth, hashing out what questions they might decide to ask the Mighty Captain Marvel… if she ever manages to make the event, that is.
No great stakes, then, but Houser cannily establishes Carol’s power set and its limitations, while also juggling the human responsibilities waiting for her back on Earth (great power and responsibility, geddit), giving readers a glimpse of Captain Marvel’s place in the world. Which, as Brie Larson’s iteration of the character rapidly approaches, is a question many will likely be asking right about now.
Simone Buofantino’s art is sharp, clean and exciting – maybe a touch too cartoonish for some – but she handles the cosmic action well, and the colouring by Erick Arciniega is vibrant and lush, even in the depths of outer space. Together they ensure that Carol’s iconic red-and-blues have rarely looked better either.
Braver & Mightier caters to newer readers and those less familiar with Captain Marvel than some, but it serves as a strong (re)introduction to the character, highlighting not only her incredible powers but also Carol Danvers the inspiration, the human, and the sum of her own experiences. Not everyone will be satisfied by the low-stakes, relatively minor story, but as a primer to the character, it does plenty to whet the appetite for both the movie and future chapters of this book.
Now, snarls Carol after demolishing an alien spaceship, Who’s next?