Captain Marvel #2: The Banshee Squad

After a decent-ish start, the adventures of Carol Danvers kick up several notches with surprise time travel.

Andy Hunsakerby Andy Hunsaker

Captain Marvel #2

Captain Marvel #1 debuted with a lot of fanfare, a lot of people complaining about hairdos and thong-lacking, and a lot of people excited to see Carol Danvers get her own book again. While it was sort of an odd start, featuring a dumbed-down, sexist-upped Absorbing Man (I realize I'm probably the only guy who cares about the proper characterization of Crusher Creel) and a moody story about lost and losing friends, Captain Marvel #2 kicks things up several notches by getting the new Cap out and about in new adventures.

Last time out, we saw that Carol lost her elder aviator mentor Helen Cobb, and we also got to meet her cancer-stricken roommate Tracy Burke, and we saw that artist Dexter Soy drew them to look almost exactly the same, thus causing some confusion with who's who and what's what – and neither of them looked particularly old. Soy's painted style is sometimes stellar in lending some gravitas to everything, but it seems he can't draw an old woman. Seriously, writer Kelly Sue DeConnick drops several references to Tracy being an "old lady" and Cobb being the "old woman," as if trying to remind Soy that he's supposed to be drawing old women. And yet, Burke looks to be the same age as Carol, and sometimes even has the same face, just with darker rings around her eyes. White hair in the Marvel Universe does not an elder make. Come to think of it (and this might render all my complaints moot if it somehow turns out to be the case), she looks an awful lot like former Captain Marvel (and former Quasar) Phyla-Vell. There's nothing about her character which would speak to that connection, of course, but hey, anything to try to get her back from the dead, and maybe she'll bring Moondragon while she's at it. Start a campaign – Save The Space Lesbians!

But I digress. Aside from Soy's apparent inability to render age and the curious decision to have Carol sport a jagged slicked-back mullet-look, it's a pretty cool issue. Carol is trying to prove Cobb could set a record she was denied recognition for in her same dinged-up T6 plane, but her competitive nature gets the better of her, and she tries to one-up it. That seems to be the crucial mistake that somehow sends her back in time, dumping her into the midst of a firefight between the Japanese and "The Womens Air Service Pilots Banshee Squad Class of 1943!"

Yes, World War II and a squad of lady pilot badasses. A little contrived, sure, but there ain't nothin' wrong with a squad of lady pilot badasses from World War II.

It's made all the more fun by Carol having an inner debate about the "butterfly effect" and what it even is and what she's not supposed to do to the timestream and how much it is not her kind of problem. "You can't blast it, punch it, outrun it or throw it into space. Time travel is a Reed Richards problem." So it's no surprise she eventually decides to throw the half-remembered protocols out the window and start super-hitting spaceship-things that are jerks, history be damned.

It's fun. It's cool. Soy's art, again, is very hit or miss – sometimes cool, sometimes excessively murky – but it's a good time to be had here with Captain Marvel. I'm stickin' with it.

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