on June 24, 2013
My first real introduction to the character Mar-Vell, better known as Captain Marvel was in the Kree/Skrull War. The character's central role in the Avengers space saga brought him to the forefront of my attention and immediately caught my interest. I began to read up on him to find out more about him. A once and proud Kree warrior, unjustly exiled but due to various circumstances and fate is granted enhanced superpowers and eventually becomes one of Earth's protectors -- to me that sounded a little like a combination of two of my favorite Marvel characters - Thor and Captain America. And then to find that he was linked to the earthling youth Rick Jones and forced to venture in and out of something called the "Negative Zone" some far off dimension discovered by Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four? Well...that's all it took for this reader, and I was on the internet looking to find more material on this character.
My interest grew with each piece of info and soon I set out to find a graphic novel that would fill in gaps, answer questions, touch on the origins but also hopefully dive in to the Kree warrior's adventures at its peak - "Captain Marvel Vol 2" of the Marvel Masterworks series delivers.
As soon as I opened it and read the first few pages, I was hooked. I nearly finished the entire book in one sitting - instead I believe I reserved the last two or three chapters for my easy chair and a fresh pair of eyes for the following day.
The story on the surface seemed like a simple one - not unlike many of the iconic heroes of comic books - man from another world comes to earth, assumes an alternate identity, battles the forces of evil and protects the innocents of Earth...sounds familiar. But once I was introduced to the world of the Kree and their intergalactic enemies, races of civilizations far-advanced and existing long before the Earth, I found this, what looked like a simple premise, to have several tantalizing layers and a wondrous new door was opened.
Fascinating characters such as Ronan the Accuser, the Supreme Intelligence, characters that I got to know from the Kree/Skrull War, I got to enjoy again and topping them all in this book, Mar-Vell's arch nemesis Col. Yon-Rogg, who carries a vicious jealousy and personal vendetta against Mar-Vell and desires more than anything, to see his fellow Kree warrior's ultimate doom.
The artwork for the first six chapters did not go unnoticed for this reader - it is naturally very dated (circa 1969) but weak, in some areas, down right poor for that matter but it didn't detract from the story - then, beginning with chapter 7, the images burst and blossom with the art of Gil Kane. His panels are captivating - Mr. Kane certainly knows how to fill a panel and often times doesn't let its mere borders contain his vision - these chapters, I felt, take the story to a whole other level, right up to the final confrontation between Mar-Vell and Yon-Rogg.
Afterwards the last few chapters of this collection sort of lose some steam and the stories are only bolstered by the appearance of the Hulk, re-introducing the green behemoth with long time pal Rick Jones. And on the subject of RJ - he was, as I recall, always presented as the orphaned teenager with a chip on his shoulder sometimes whiny often times a wise *ss and a bit ambivalent as to whether he fit in with the heroes let alone any crowd - you either love him or hate him was the usual consensus I got from other readers - I guess I see him somewhere in between. However his association with this story and his connection with the alien Kree warrior, I thought was a clever idea.
I really enjoyed this book and will undoubtedly get more enjoyment out of it again and again and pleased to have it in my collection. In my researching Captain Marvel at the beginning, I soon realized that this volume is just the tip of the iceberg and came across the other, now famous, story line chronicling the Kree warrior - "The Life and Death of Captain Marvel" by Jim Starlin, which covers his later adventures and I can say I already have a place reserved on my shelf for it.
on November 23, 2012
I got the NEW Captain Marvel collection 2, or book 2, in the mail the other day. I have only scanned through it but it is VERY NICE. I bought mine used and my dustcover got the library treatment where plastic is wrapped around it. The book is in mint condition. The product itself is very fine. The only thing I might think to point out is the fairly glossy appearance of the art. The paper is much better and heavier than the old comics were and the art is very bold. The pages just LEAP out at you. On a scale of 1 to 10 the art is very bold, say between 8 and 10. This is not to say it is a detraction, it is just not what I grew up with. If I had one of those old comics though the pages would be yellowed by now and often the colors start to bleed through the paper. Realistically I'd have to say the NEW Captain Mavel looks rather Marvelous. I only paid $25 for this so it was a REAL STEAL. : )