Captain Marvel (2008 Series) #1
Quick Rating: Average
Title: I Am Here
Captain Marvel returns!
Writer: Brian Reed
Pencils: Lee Weeks
Inks: Stefano Gaudiano
Colors: Jason Keith
Letters: Todd Klein
Editor: Stephen Wacker
Cover Art: Ed McGuinness
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Since his criminally boring return in a Civil War one-shot, we’ve seen neither hide nor hair of the time-tossed Captain Marvel. In this issue, some months have passed. Virtually the only thing that was actually done with Captain Marvel in that time is rapidly undone, he disappears on Earth and Tony Stark goes out looking for him.
While not as bad as Civil War: The Return, the first issue of this mini-series isn’t particularly engaging either. There’s an attempt to explore Mar-Vell’s fascination with Earth, which is fair enough, but doesn’t exactly serve the plot. Iron Man, meanwhile, has a psychic conference call with SHIELD about tracking down the former martyr. Nominally, this scene is about setting up the premise of the series for fans who don’t quite understand why Mar-Vell is up and about again. In practice, though, Stark almost feels like a surrogate for Marvel Comics itself, desperately trying to convince the reader that this story is a good idea and that they did not, in fact, negate one of the few meaningful deaths in the company’s history.
I’m not saying there’s nothing good here – the idea of a hero knowing he’s living on borrowed time has some potential in terms of character development, but thus far it isn’t really explored. The whole issue really reads as an effort to prove its own relevance, and if the book has to try that hard, the reader has to ask if it’s really a story that’s worth telling.
The artwork isn’t bad here. Once you get past Ed McGuinness’s nicely powerful cover, Weeks, Gaudiano and Keith give us a nice visual package, particularly in the establishing shot of Mar-Vell’s grave.
I’m not as irritated with this issue as I was for the one where Mar-Vell returned, but I’m not particularly interested either.