I must warn you that Kelly Sue DeConnick is a slippery slope. First, I got Bitch Planet #1 shoved under my nose, and subsequently under my skin. Loving what DeConnick was doing in that, I downloaded the first three trades of her run writing Captain Marvel. And while my love for Carol Danvers isn’t quite the same as my love for Kamau and Penny, when I got wind that Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps was dropping this week, I waffled only a short while before deciding I needed it. And now, my dear readers, I’m ankle-deep in the Secret Wars–a position I want none of. If I’d taken the minute and a half to figure out that Carol Corps was part of the Secret Wars, I might have decided against going in. Marvel can keep its epic summer crossovers. Why? The estimated cost for keeping up with all of the Secret Wars titles in just the month of June is $205.49 according to The Hollywood Reporter. That’s just June.
Having said that, I’m pretty intrigued by what the first issue offers. First, I didn’t read the little blurb that sets the stage for the comic until I was about six pages in and figured I must have missed some important info. Sure, I’m used to the “previously on” info presented at the start of comic issues, but this being the first one, I wasn’t expecting there to be one, and it was a bit buried on the title page in a fairly unassuming print size. So anyway, I went in without a clue that Victor Von Doom was pretending to be a god and that our setting was a patchwork planet of fragments from the multiverse. Interesting. Weird. A bit of a brain-bender to imagine.
And here’s the problem. Already I’m wondering what the Fantastic Four are up to in this scenario. And Captain America. Curse you, Marvel!
So on this patch of Battleworld, as it is called, Carol Danvers leads a version of the Banshee Squad consisting of five women, including Helen Cobb. We start with them on drill maneuvers. They banter and are playful with each other. They’ve got balls and bravado. Their individual personalities are presented through their strategy and dialogue in the drill. There is an immediate understanding of how they fit together as a team.
Then an alarm sounds. They’ve got incoming. What shows up changes Carol’s understanding of the make-up of the universe. Everything she thought was true is now in question. And she’s not one to shirk the truth.
Obviously, I don’t want to spoil anything. The reveals in this book are truly intriguing.
What else endears this issue to me? Women. Many women. Strong, independent, empowered women. This comic blows past the low bar of the Bechdel test as it rockets into space. Kudos to Kelly Sue and Kelly Thompson for showing how it’s done. Plus, David Lopez’s art, which has a 1940’s poster style to it. A strong, minimal line that gives Carol and her Corps a classy, timeless quality.
And my only complaint is the constant pull to expand my comic buying to take in more of the Secret Wars narrative.