In preparation to read the iconic “The Death of Captain Marvel,” I brushed up some history of the character by reading his debut story in Marvel Super Heroes #12-13 and Captain Marvel #1 by Stan Lee and Gene Colan. While it is an arc that shows its age by following some writing flourishes typical of both Stan Lee as well as of the era, I found it a very engaging read to the point I genuinely wonder why elements of it where not integrated into the Captain Marvel movie. These could have easily been so without allowing Carol Danvers to have her identity based on the Kree Captain’s, more or less as it was in the Ultimate line of comics had they followed through. Especially if they kept him in his original costume throughout, which I really like except for the distracting ringed planet in the middle of his chest. For a military uniform, this feature makes it look like it was tacked on as an afterthought. The only thing which would have genuinely not worked is the inclusion an incredibly eloquent giant robot (the Kree Sentry) which was rather hilarious to read. Seriously, nothing screams “silver age comics” like a chatty villain, even if it is supposedly an inanimate object.
The story is not a stellar or unique read in comparison to other stories that I have read, especially since it leaves off cliff hangers between issues in very odd spots. This might have worked very much against it in the context of publication history, probably foretelling of the lack of the character’s general popularity. But in its entirety, the writing and the artwork (which is amazing by the way – Gene Colan’s sense of movement of the human body and layouts give the book a certain much-needed dynamism) kept me wanting more.
Marvel Super Heroes #12-13 & Captain Marvel #1 review by Raphael Borg