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Captain Marvel: Pursuit of Flight Is A Strong Feminist Statement That Kicks Butt

Captain Marvel: Pursuit of Flight Is A Strong Feminist Statement That Kicks Butt

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At the time of writing this, we are on the eve of seeing Captain Marvel hit the big screen. Early reviews indicate it will be a smash hit, with a strong female lead kicking butt. If that sounds like your kind of thing then you’ll enjoy Captain Marvel: In Pursuit of Flight written by Kelly Sue DeConnick, art by Dexter Soy and Emma Rios. It’s a strong feminist statement, with great female characterisation, which kicks off Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel.

Captain Marvel Volume 1: In Pursuit of Flight cover by Ed McGuinness.
Captain Marvel Volume 1: In Pursuit of Flight cover by Ed McGuinness.

From the very beginning, Kelly Sue DeConnick positions Carol Danvers as a strong character. We see her middle battle, alongside Captain America, as she takes on the misogynist Absorbing Man. Carol is cool and collected as she gives Steve orders (she technically outranks him), but at the same time willing to listen to his input as a friend and teammate.

The second half of the opening chapter deals with Carol’s decision to take on the mantle Captain Marvel. It’s something that she’s conflicted about as she has a history with the original holder of the name. While some people asked why she couldn’t continue being Ms Marvel, the name change is important as it sheds all pretences of Carol Danvers and pushes her forward in a positive way. It’s like how you can start fresh by moving to a new city.

Without spoiling the how or why, the story changes gear into a time-travelling adventure, which is used to explore gender inequality. Throughout Carol’s journey, she meets some kick-ass ladies who prove that just because they’re female doesn’t make them any less capable of doing incredible things.

Dexter Soy is responsible for the art on the first leg of this time-travelling adventure. Soy adopts a digitally painted style, which, unfortunately, doesn’t start off as strong as it could.

Captain Marvel #1 panels by Dexter Soy.
Captain Marvel #1 panels by Dexter Soy.

This comes with two criticisms. Firstly, the opening chapter has some issue with how Captain Marvel is drawn and framed. There are a few unnecessary shots of Captain Marvel’s butt that do nothing for the story. It’s counterproductive for the new positioning of Carol Danvers as a strong character and shedding her the questionable elements of the character’s past.

My other criticism of Soy’s art is that some of his colour choices are too dark. It makes everything look muddy without a tonal reason to be that dark.

Captain Marvel #4 page by Dexter Soy.
Captain Marvel #4 page by Dexter Soy.

Fortunately, as the story progresses, Soy improves leaps and bounds. After the first chapter, my first complaint is no longer an issue. Soy also lightens up his colour palette, which allows for the reader to follow elements on the page easier. It also makes Captain Marvel’s energy powers look more powerful, and as a result, more impressive.

Captain Marvel #5 page by Emma Rios.
Captain Marvel #5 page by Emma Rios.

Emma Rios takes over pencilling duties when the time-travelling adventures jump forward. Rios’ embraces a style which is heavy with flowing line work. It’s a style that looks fantastic when it comes to hair and clothing, which have a life of their own during the action and really emphasises the movement.

While Rios’ style is quite different to Soy’s, it works well in distinguishing a shift in time periods.

If you’re the kind of manbaby who thinks women are ruining Star Wars or that women should only be sex objects then this is not for you. For everyone else, I thoroughly recommend Captain Marvel: In Pursuit of Flight. It’s a strong feminist statement that anyone can enjoy that tries to smash gender inequality by introducing strong female characters, wrapped around a time-travelling adventure. While the art is a little rocky to begin with, it picks up significantly to have a life of its own and is enjoyable.

Overall, if you are looking to read a Captain Marvel comic after seeing the movie then you can’t go wrong with this as your first.

Captain Marvel: In Pursuit of Flight is told in Captain Marvel (2012 series) #1-6 and is available in trade paperback and digitally.

If you enjoy this story and want to your reading journey with Captain Marvel, check out this handy Captain Marvel Reading Order.

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