I’ve officially circled back around and have reached Carol’s inaugural issue as the new Captain Marvel, and I gotta say it’s been a smooth transition. At the start I wasn’t sure if it would happen, but it did. The Carol I knew as Ms. Marvel evolved into the Carol I know as Captain Marvel, and it’s pretty spectacular.
There’s kind of two stories to this issue, one that basically shows Carol “taking the name” of Captain Marvel, and the second is the kick-start to the first arc. Today I just want to talk about the first story since it has a bigger impact for me.
It starts with Carol and Captain America taking down Absorbing Man. The crowds root them on and start asking about Cap’s “new sidekick,” which spurs Steve into having a conversation with Carol about taking up the title of Captain Marvel, but she denies it, not wanting to overstep the legacy of the late Mar-Vell. Once again Carol is probed during a sparring session with Spider-Man (ahem, see last post) and once again she’s hesitant.
After all this we get some nice inner-monologuing as Carol relates the feeling of losing the fear of danger after she obtained her powers, particularly with flying. She resolves with flying into the upper atmosphere until she blacks out and prays to resume consciousness before hitting the ground. While doing so she thinks of her friend Helen and she comes to terms with the fact that she has to exceed rather than linger, and so she decides, “I’m taking the damn name.”
I dig that, man. After spending that entire fifty issue run of Ms. Marvel listening to Carol’s internal struggle to become greater, right here she finally does, she earns the name of Captain Marvel in a very unique moment. See, it’s one thing to try to be better on your own terms, but it’s when the world is watching – your friends, family, and strangers – calling on you, and you answer, that’s when it can really count. That’s being a hero.
TL;DR Score: A damn good origin and turning point all in one.