Marvel Platinum: The Essential Captain Marvel; The Life of Captain Marvel
PUBLISHED: 16:42 21 February 2019 | UPDATED: 16:42 21 February 2019
“With one magic word, the world’s mightiest mortal…” Hang on, that’s the other one.
Harking back to the days when Shazam! meant more than just a music identification app, the title of Captain Marvel has been widely used across a variety of different companies, but it is probably fitting that the current and only holder of the mantle is a character published by Marvel Comics themselves.
But Carol Danvers, the star of the forthcoming movie, isn’t even the only character to bear the name within Marvel Comics continuity. Confused? You won’t be after reading this in-depth collection of stories traversing the entire history of Marvel’s Captain.
This cosmic compendium takes the reader on a journey through the Marvel Age of Comics, kicking off with the debut of the alien Kree warrior Mar-Vell, whose arrival on Earth coincided with the start of the modern Age of Heroes, and resulted in him becoming first the costumed champion Captain Marvel and eventually Protector of the Universe.
Following Mar-Vell’s untimely death from cancer, Monica Rambeau took on the name after gaining remarkable light-based powers, until eventually the baton was passed to Carol Danvers, the former Ms Marvel, whose career as a superhero was irrevocably linked to the original Captain.
As always with these bumper volumes, the roll call of talent is a virtual who’s who of the comics industry, and includes contributions from the likes of Stan Lee, Roy Thomas, Chris Claremont, Jim Starlin, John Buscema, John Romita Sr and Jr, and Gene Colan, and that’s just for starters.
The origin of the current Cap is explored further in The Life of Captain Marvel, a beautifully crafted graphic novel which takes Carol back to her roots in Massachusetts, as she not only reconnects with her mother and brother Joe Jr, but discovers new truths about her father and her own origins.
Writer Margaret Stohl and artist Carlos Pacheco not only retell her history through a different perspective, changing the context of events we have previously witnessed, but establish a depth to her character which is subsequently built on and developed in her own comic series.
The details lavished on the community in which she grew up, the friends and family she loves, and even the local dialect with its particular quirks, all combine to produce a story which comes to life for the reader on every page.
With the Captain Marvel movie just around the corner, these two books provide the perfect companion books to accompany her celluloid debut, offering an insight into a character who is currently far from a household name, despite her rich heritage over six decades of comics history. That’s all set to change in the next few months, so make sure you’re prepped for the ride.