With New York Comic Con in the rearview, the Marvel Rundown is back as regularly scheduled with a look at some of the latest releases from the House of Ideas. This week, Carol Danvers opens up a new chapter, complete with a new look. The Comic Beat has a full, spoiler-free review of all the big action in the new Captain Marvel #1.

After that, stick around for some spooky, bloody fun in the rundown with a rapid-fire look at Wolverine vs. Predator, Uncanny Spider-Man, and the latest version of Marvel Zombies.

Captain Marvel #1
Captain Marvel #1

Captain Marvel #1

Writer: Alyssa Wong
Artist: Jan Bazaldua
Color Artist: Bryan Valenza
Letterer: VC’s Ariana Maher
Cover Artists: Stephen Segovia and Romulo Fajardo Jr.

After a long run from writer Kelly Thompson, it’s a new era–and new costume–for Captain Marvel. This time, Carol Danvers’s adventures come courtesy of writer Alyssa Wong and artist Jan Bazaldua. It’s a blast of a first issue that’s full of the kind of superhero action and fun readers expect.

Wong  jumps right into the action, wasting no time orienting us to Carol Danvers life or powers. She’s a hero, New York City is in danger, and she gets to work. Wong leans into the superhero action to immediately show who Carol is as a hero and person. She is supremely confident and capable, but hardheaded and the type to shoot first ask questions later. It is her strength and weakness. Wong’s script is propulsive and never takes its foot of the gas. Bazaldua’s lines are equally so. The layouts are wide and epic, with climactic moments of bombastic action filling the page. And there is a lot of action to be had here.

Right from the first page, Carol is beset by a new villain, which is always nice to see. The Omen doesn’t have much personality as of yet, but the concept is directly tied to Captain Marvel’s powers and connection to the Nega Bands, which play a major part in this issue. It’s hard to create new villains with compelling hooks but it is particularly important to try and build out meaningful and memorable bad guys for characters like Captain Marvel, who are not as well established with a classic rogues gallery like Spider-Man or Batman.  Like the name implies, however, this new feathered femme fatale is only a harbinger of something worse. 

Captain Marvel #1
Captain Marvel #1

The issue’s rare quieter moments are reserved for getting to know the young thief, Yuna Yang, who ends up stumbling her way into Carol’s world. That set up is clunkier as Wong works to introduce various facets of this new character’s backstory upfront through captions and narration. The issue stumbles a bit in those first few pages of her intro with an overreliance on exposition over character. Yuna becomes much more interesting once she’s brought into Captain Marvel’s orbit and their personalities clash. Yuna is a brash and cocky thief while Captain Marvel is a straightlaced and supremely confident do-gooder. The way the two are intertwined offers a compelling opportunity for humor and growth for both characters. 

Carol also comes into this issue with a new costume designed by Jen Bartel. I’m not personally sold on it simply because we’ve seen so many new takes on the Captain Marvel costume since Carol took the role and none of them has truly stuck. This one works better in action than it did in initial promo images, especially with Bazaldua’s dynamic art. The jacket adds motion to the silhouette and helps sell the speed and force of her flight and blows. It also retains Carol’s iconic belt sash. All that said, it’s a bit too clunky and complicated to be truly iconic, but the art team makes it look good. 

Much of this issue is all about the superpowered brawls and the art is well suited to the task. It’s frenetic and bold with big splashy images and a terrific sense of scale that sells the Captain’s feats of strength. The whole issue has strong art–both in the large moments and the small. Bazaldua’s work on facial expressions and body language are as important in establishing character as the dialogue. Bryan Valenza’s vivd palette suits the snappy tone of the script. Ariana Maher’s letters dance between the motion and panels, never being intrusive and helping to accentuate the visual flow of the layouts.  It’s not a perfect debut and it doesn’t promise to mine any brand new pathos for the character, but there’s plenty to like here and it is inviting for readers who may only have a passing familiarity with the character. 

FINAL VERDICT:  Strong Browse.  Sometimes, when life gets you down, you just need a big action-packed spectacle, and that is exactly what this issue delivers. But if you’re looking for a dramatic character study you may want to wait and see how the rest of the story unfolds.

Rapid Rundown!

  • Marvel Zombies: Black, White, and Blood #1
    • I am nothing if not a simp for Halloween (did I use that right? if not, forgive me, I am An Old), and I’ve enjoyed the spooky season books that Marvel has been putting out all month. This one might be my favorite, though, featuring as it does a lead story by Garth Ennis and Rachel Stott (the whole book is lettered by Clayton Cowles). It’s a zombie take on the classic dynamic between Daredevil and The Punisher, and it’s just as dark and gritty as all that would make you presume. I love it. But the other two stories in this volume were great as well. In the second one, Alex Segura and Javi Fernandez run the classic cast of Peter Parker’s stint at The Daily Bugle through their own zombie horrors, and in the third piece, Ashley Allen and Justin Mason cap things off with a Moon Knight V. Zombie Iron Man romp that just looks incredible. — Zack Q.
  • Predator vs. Wolverine #2
    • Wolverine hasn’t had the easiest life, and it doesn’t help as the alien Yautja, aka Predators, returns again and again for more of Wolverine’s blood. A brutal, action-packed story takes Logan to the edge as he’s placed in a position in which he rarely finds himself, prey. For years a particular Predator has been hunting Logan at different stages of their lives. From Logan’s earliest days in his native Canada to covert ops with Team X in South American jungles back to Canada in the present. Back to lead the hunt, writer Benjamin Percy and artists Ken Lashley, Andrea Di Vito, and Hayden Sherman go all out as Logan and the Predator battle for ultimate survival. Having read other Predator vs. series, this one has a unique feel as both characters have vicious similarities, but the technological advantages of the Predator and Wolverine’s Mutant powers almost cancel each other out, giving readers a true sense of danger for our favorite hoser. – GC3
  • Uncanny Spider-Man #2
    • I’ve gotta say, this miniseries is the most Kurt Wagner has felt like, well, Kurt Wagner to me since the beginning of the Krakoan Era, especially since he came under Si Spurrier’s pen back in 2021. Nightcrawler’s had a rough go of it lately and hasn’t felt like his charming, flirty old self in quite a while. Yet, in these troubling pages from the Fall of X, a more classical Kurt has found his way to the surface once more, with a hint of underlying guilt for not saving his friends. The face-off against the Rhino and Silver Sable are a blast here, and are a great showcase for the incredible expressions of Lee Garbett, as well as Matt Milla’s colors. It’s so fun seeing Kurt bouncing around facing off against classic Spidey foes, and it makes me want an ongoing seeing the two of them quipping and thwipping forever. I’m also incredibly intrigued by whatever is going on with Mystique, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how she’s looped into the plot more after X-Men Origins Blue next month. Letters in this are by the killer Joe Caramagna. –CB

Next week, we leave spooky season behind and turn our eyes toward the birth of a new old universe.