ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Captain Marvel Annual,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Captain Marvel Annual #1

Captain Marvel Annual #1 is published by Marvel Comics and written by Torunn Grøndekk, with art by Carlos Gomez, colors by Dijjo Lima, and letters by Clayton Cowles. In a floating casino above the planet K’rsak, Carol Danvers finds herself at the center of an altercation that soon puts her at the mercy of the local prison system. But why is Earth’s Mightiest Hero willing to be thrown into jail without a fight?

As a long-running fan of superhero comics, three things bring me special joy when diving into a new story. Those things are great adventure, heartwarming characters, and deep cuts into a character’s history. Captain Marvel Annual #1 happily possesses all three things in spades.

With the appearance of a new Binary in Captain Marvel’s main series, it was perfect timing for this book to bring Carol back in contact with the ruckus pirate crew of the Starjammer.  Carol’s reunion with Summers, Hepzibah, and Ch’od is a fun affair that highlights the high-energy adventure that comics have been delivering for decades.

I particularly love the way Grøndekk delivers the Starjammers throughout this story. Each of these long-standing secondary characters gets to shine here. From Summers’s freewheeling recklessness to Hepzibah’s cool condescension and unique speech pattern, each gets their moments to shine.

But while the core of Captain Marvel Annual #1 is a daring prison break in space, Grøndekk packs a fair amount of emotion in the story when the reader sees what is so important that Carol lets herself get thrown into jail to recover. I won’t spoil the why, but this aspect of the story pulls from another point in Carol’s past that gives the book a tenderness that wonderfully grounds the more over-the-top elements of the adventure.

The daring space adventures and touching moments are brought to life beautifully through this book’s art. This is especially true with how artist Gomez captures the body langue of the characters. Every sidelong glance, sarcastic smile, angry punch, and emotional embrace is brought to life with an extra bit of emphasis here.

The art in this book is further elevated through some lovely colors by Lima. Thanks to Lima’s work, everything in this book comes to life through vibrant colors, and the numerous energy effects absolutely pop off the panel.

Rounding out the visuals of this story is Cowles’s lettering. Having Cowles letter this book not only delivers the high quality of design and placement that the artist always brings but also gives the comic an extra feeling of continuity with the main series as many of the trappings of the book, like place names and thought boxes, share the designs Cowles uses for the main series.

As a side note: there is a footnote in this issue that directs readers to check out some previous issues of Captain Marvel. I struggled to find these issues at first until I discovered that the issues can be found in the Marvel Unlimited App and other places under the series The Mighty Captain Marvel due to some unique numbering that occurred. So if you wish to look for those stories, that is where you’ll find them.

When all is said and done, Captain Marvel Annual #1 delivers a fantastic one-shot adventure that focuses on adventure while also delivering a fair amount of heart. It should prove more than enough to hold over Carol Danvers’s fans till the next regular issue of her series drops in May.

Captain Marvel Annual #1 is available on April 6th, wherever comics are sold.


Captain Marvel Annual #1 
4.5

TL;DR

Captain Marvel Annual #1 delivers a fantastic one-shot adventure that focuses on adventure while also delivering a fair amount of heart. It should prove more than enough to hold over Carol Danvers’s fans till the next regular issue of her series drops in May.