REVIEW: ‘Marvel Action: Captain Marvel,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Marvel Action Captain Marvel #1 - But Why Tho?

Marvel Action: Captain Marvel #1 is written by Sam Maggs with inks by Isabel Escalante, colors by Heather Breckel, and layouts by Mario del Pennino. The comic is published by IDW Publishing. Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel, has been ordered to take a day off from superheroics by her BFF Jessica Drew, aka Spider-Woman. But when she bumps into Gwen Stacy, aka Ghost-Spider, on the street while walking her not-so-cat Chewie, there’s nothing that can stop Carol from busting out the mohawk and laser hands.

Of course, when she thinks Gwen is in trouble at the hands of some off-brand Mysterio and Doc Oc look-alikes, it turns out just to be fellow teens Kamala Khan, aka Ms. Marvel, and Doreen Green, aka Squirrel Girl. The three were out trying to bolster their resume’s on social media so they would get called to do real superhero things in the future.

The comic is essentially a big Gen X/Millenial vs. Gen Z affair. And it comes at a perfect time in popular culture where the generation wars have indeed shifted from making fun of Boomers to making fun of Gen Xers and older Millennials. I’m not always here for the weird online backs and forth in these veins. I typically see them as unfunny or distasteful (sure, ‘Okay Boomer’ me). But in Marvel Action: Captain Marvel #1, I appreciate the dynamic because it is explicitly not hostile like so much of the cross-generational internet shenanigans tend to be.

Carol simply wants to help Gwen, and the other teens, get into an Avengers leadership training program. Gwen and the others are all for it. They just want to also teach Carol a thing or two about social media and the genuine importance, in their eyes, of having a popular following to be a successful superhero today. It’s a nice story, and my only complaint is that it feels too short, and I have to wait for the second issue.

As with all Marvel Action titles from IDW, Marvel Action: Captain Marvel #1‘s take on the Marvel universe is fun. It’s not overly stylized, but it’s clearly distinct from the typical Marvel style of today. The illustrative and coloring style help make it clear this story is designed for a younger and new audience. And it definitely works as an introduction. While the characters aren’t exactly deep and fleshed out, they’re also easy to understand and latch onto.

My only true complaint is that because the issue is only the first half of a whole story, it feels like it never drives home any message. The ultimate moral of the story should, of course, be reserved for the final issue, but I would have liked to get at least a taste of the lessons Captain Marvel and Ghost Spider are bound to learn about each other and themselves. Or perhaps a little more healthy tension between them to accentuate the inevitable lessons about generational differences. How it is, it’s unclear whether I should think one character or the other is more right or wrong in a way that in adult media would make sense, but for a younger audience feels a bit confusing. But only just a bit. It is still overall a great dichotomy.

I have enjoyed the Marvel Action stories from IDW, and Marvel Action: Captain Marvel #1 is no exception. The style is enjoyable, and the generational gap between Carol and Gwen is clear enough to result in a hearty lesson in the end.

Marvel Action: Captain Marvel #1 is available wherever comics are sold.

Marvel Action: Captain Marvel #1
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TL;DR

I have enjoyed the Marvel Action stories from IDW, and Marvel Action: Captain Marvel #1 is no exception. The style is enjoyable, and the generational gap between Carol and Gwen is clear enough to result in a hearty lesson in the end.