Kelly Thompson, Carmen Carnero, Tamra Bonvillain, and Clayton Cowles bring Carol into a new era with a high-octane standoff against Nuclear Man. The action-filled pace doesn’t take away from the character moments layered into the story, creating a read that delights all the way through.
The volume opens with a 9-panel grid, highlighting Carol’s traits and iconic moments from her long history as a superhero. Carnero gives several dynamic poses and makes every costume in Carol’s past pop off the page. There’s a real sense of legacy here that invites the reader to turn the page into the next chapter. Cowles’ lettering on this page really helps, with the bold italics giving each word not only emphasis, but a matter-of-fact quality. This is who Carol Danvers is. It’s a stellar opening page, and thankfully the rest of the volume lives up to it.
From that page, readers are brought right into the action as Captain Marvel and Spider-Woman tackle a giant monster in Lower Manhattan. Evoking the sense of wonder and excitement from that very first issue of Fantastic Four, the heroes beat the monster back into the sea, with all the playful banter one has come to expect of Marvel’s finest. After battle, a meet up with Tony Stark, and a romantic rendezvous with Rhodey, Carol’s life gets turned upside down as the villain Nuclear Man attacks the Avengers, ultimately trapping Captain Marvel in a pocket dimension.
Things continue to escalate as Carol learns the extent of Nuclear Man’s plans for both her and the other women that he has ensnared. Carol finds herself in a leadership position, and has all her qualities as a hero tested. Writer Kelly Thompson brings some unique challenges for Carol, including a run in with Rogue. Thompson deftly navigates the conversation, bringing new readers who would not be aware of the history between the characters up to speed without bogging the story down with exposition.
If there is one complaint to be had with the overall story, it’s the setting. Carmen Carnero and Tamra Bonvillain do fantastic jobs with the action and characters, but the overall decimated city aesthetic with underground encampments is one that many comic readers are overly familiar with. It works for the story, but many readers are going to wonder why they have to read another story about another ravaged city. Can’t these alternate hellscapes be in floating crystal metropolises? Just once?
Is It Good?
Beyond that relatively minor gripe, Captain Marvel Vol. 1: Re-Entry is a solid story about Carol Danvers and the lengths she will go to save the world. Kelly Thompson and Carmen Carnero do a great job at setting the table and delivering. Whether you’re a longtime fan or just looking for a starting place after Carol’s appearances in the movies, this is it.