Continuing my trek through Captain Marvel books I’m following through with the next, even shorter, ongoing run that sees Captain Marvel take on the duties as commander of the new and improved Alpha Flight.
First off, I’m only discussing the first half of this run (currently halfway through the Civil War II portion so more on that later). Second, the cover art, as you can see above, is nothing short of fantastic. They all harken to that war-era propaganda style that really fits the motif of military that is Captain Marvel in this particular run.
Starting off like the previous run, it’s once again Carol Danvers accepting a new post in space, specifically as commander of Alpha Flight. For those not in the know, Alpha Flight was (is?) the premiere Canadian super team with a bunch of heroes fitting the motif. They’re pretty cool, and I do think it’s equally cool that they’ve evolved into a world defense force, I just hope the Canadian roots are never lost. Anyways, Carol takes up her new role and slightly regrets it, running into combat in order to avoid board meetings and paperwork.
The short of it is that the Alpha Flight station comes into contact with an alien race known as the Satori, a species hell-bent on destroying the Kree and all things associated with it. Given Carol’s history and the Kree insignia being plastered all over Alpha Flight, things don’t go so well, but in the end the team comes together and overcomes the odds.
I really enjoyed it, a lot more than I thought. Honestly as an outside observer, I haven’t been too big a fan of Carol as of late. The Carol now vs the Ms. Marvel era Carol seems a little too much when she pops in other books from time to time. Too military based and dutiful, but I guess that’s just who she is, right? Maybe I never knew the real Carol. On that note, reading more of her solo outings, and especially her budding relationship as the new head of Alpha Flight, a lot of things got put into perspective for me.
… I’m noticing that I’m making a relative amount of Star Trek references, but here goes another.
The best way I can rationalize Carol as a character is comparing her to Picard. In this situation we have Captain America as Kirk, and Captain Marvel as Picard. The former is far more compassionate and rambunctious, while the latter is devoted to her title and orders. One believes in a no-win scenario, while the other understands the sacrifice that comes with the uniform. Not that either party completely lacks the other’s qualities, it’s just evident where their personalities gravitate.
Personally, I’m a Kirk kind of guy, and I’m also a Captain America kind of guy, so in that way this comparison makes sense to me. I do like the other captains, too, make no mistake. I don’t think they’re as fun, nor do I identify with them in the same way, but I can understand their motives and actually admire it because it is a correct course I could never follow. For example, though Carol’s duty kept her from home and she wasn’t there when Tracy passed away, she didn’t bear any guilt for choosing to fulfill her calling, but mourned all the same.
What the previous ongoing offered was a glimpse of Carol as an adventurer and all-around fun hero, but this time around we get to see her as a military leader and how she balances her emotions. I almost like this run more (as brief as it is), because it feels like the real Captain Marvel.
How that all plays into the impending Civil War… Well, we’ll just wait and see.
TL;DR Score: I would honestly almost ship Carol and Puck… but that’s just me.