It’s ladies night this week as we take a look at the all new Captain Marvel #1 and Poison Ivy’s new miniseries Cycle of Life and Death!
Captain Marvel #1 (Marvel Comics)
Carol Danvers finally enters the All New All Different Marvel universe with Captain Marvel, and thanks to Agent Carter show runners Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas and artist Kris Anka, her new series is off to a fantastic start. This is a great jumping on point for new readers, and stands as one of the best of the All New All Different relaunch.
As the new head of the now space-faring Alpha Flight, Carol Danvers is the first line of defense against alien threats. But that also includes having to take part in meetings with alien races, which obviously doesn’t sit too well with her. Thankfully for Danvers, her most recent ambassadors may have had something to do with an earlier attack on the Alpha Flight space station, so she’ll be able to get into the action.
Both Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas have an excellent handle on Carol Danvers’ personality, and because of that the book succeeds. There’s not too much plot wise in this issue, but the characterization is so on point that it more than makes up for it. Butters and Fazeka also present the other members of the Alpha Flight space station in a great light, and Carol’s interactions with them are awesome. From Puck and Aurora to Agent Brand, every one of the members of the station have a moment or two with Carol, and you instantly know what their relationships with one another are like.
Kris Anka’s art is another highlight of the issue. Anka’s able to handle the action scenes, as well the facial expressions in the book’s quieter moments. In fact, these scenes stand out more than the action ones because of this. Anka never slacks in this sequences, and makes them just as important as the ones where stuff blows up.
For those looking to jump in on the Carol Corps in anticipation of her upcoming movie (which will hopefully hit sometime in the next few years), this new #1 is the perfect place to start. It’s easily accessible, and while it doesn’t give you any background on Carol’s origin, it’s still a great place to be introduced to Carol Danvers. Of the All New All Different Marvel launches, Captain Marvel stands at the very top.
Poison Ivy: Cycle Of Life And Death #1 (of 6) (DC Comics)
Harley Quinn’s had a nice run at solo titles, but now it’s time for her best pal Poison Ivy to get a turn in the spotlight. Amy Chu and Clay Mann’s new six-issue series Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life And Death puts an unconventional spin on the long-time Batman rogue: instead of focusing on her being a criminal, the series showcases Pamela Isley trying to go straight and working as a plant biochemist again.
Of course, things don’t go exactly as planned. But one of the problems with this opening issue is that the things that don’t go exactly as planned happen too late into the opening issue. By the time Amy Chu’s script gets going, the issue is already over, and for a six-issue miniseries, that’s not a very good sign.
In a lot of ways, Clay Mann’s art is worth the price of book. His style is well suited for this story, and he delivers some pretty jaw-dropping panels. In all honesty, Mann’s depictions of Ivy and Harley Quinn, who of course makes an appearance, are the best ones I’ve seen since the start of the New 52. Mann’s worked on a lot of properties in comics, but his work has never looked better than it does here.
Poison Ivy: Circle of Life and Death #1 probably isn’t exactly what fans of the character are hoping for, but who knows? If it does well, DC will probably put out another miniseries or an ongoing title. And honestly, if this team was doing it I would most likely read it. There’s nothing really wrong with this opening issue, it just moves a little too slow for my liking. Hopefully that changes with issue two.