Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps #1 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

This issue is difficult to follow, for a number of reasons.

First, it's at least the third version of Carol that we've seen in this event.  We've got the Carol from "A-Force" and the Carol that was on Reed's ship in "Secret Wars."  I had to go to Wikipedia to confirm that Hala Field is indeed separate from Arcadia, the domain of "A-Force."  At any rate, it's a lot of Carols.

Second, the plot loses integrity the more you think about it.  I'll try to summarize it here the best that I can.  Kit is Hala Field's representative on the Thor Corps, and she runs into Carol after the Corps takes out an invading squadron from the neighboring Hydra Empire.  Kit off-handedly remarks that Doom made each Thor's hammer from a star in the sky, and this comment startles Carol, since she's never seen a star in the sky.  Carol consults with one of the members of her squadron, Bee, since she's the resident nerd.  It appears that Bee openly questions Doom's assertion that nothing but "the Void" exists beyond the edge of the sky and skipped exercises that day in an attempt to gather proof.  (She swiped a scanner and discovered that the team's ships are capable of going farther than the sky allegedly goes.)  She also apparently thinks that Carol comes from the beyond the edge of the sky.  Later, Carol and her squadron are sent to destroy an incoming ship of rogue Ultrons, but Carol spots a human on the ship.  Her suspicions already primed, she decides to save him after her Corps destroys the ship.  She returns with him to the barracks and asks her teammates to help her reach the other end of the sky, motivated by her horror that the other people on the ship died because she didn't questions orders.  

Unusually for DeConnick, I felt like this story not only flowed poorly but suffered from a number of logic gaps.  First, it seems odd to me that Kit's comment would provoke such a response in Carol.  Kit repeats the hammer story as if it's fairly common knowledge on Battleworld, not some sort of top-secret revelation that will unravel Doom's web of lies.  If it's not common knowledge, then Kit should express some anxiety over revealing that secret to Carol, given the liberal definition of blasphemy that exists on Battleworld.  Second, it took me two readings to realize that the Thor Corps' attack on the alleged squadron from the Hydra Empire and the Carol Corps' attack on the allegedly rogue Ultrons were connected.  I get that it's supposed to be a mystery why the Powers That Be need to create elaborate ruses to destroy whatever group it is that's trying to infiltrate Hala Field.  But, Carol and her Corps are presented as so lobotomized that it's hard to figure out why they would even need to bother developing a cover story.  The answer appears to be that Carol seems shaken by the high casualty rates.  But, as a soldier, she does have some sort of responsibility to follow orders.  Why lie to her in the first place?  Third, I'm not sure why Bee thinks that Carol comes from the same place as the light in the sky.  Doesn't everyone come from there?  If Doom has everyone believing that Battleworld is the only thing that exists in the universe, then it's not like Carol's origin story involving Kree would be accepted.  After all, the Baroness herself says that Carol's a gift from Doom.  If Bee thinks that Carol come from that light, then doesn't that mean that everyone would come from it?

I could continue but I'll stop there.  DeConnick could still go somewhere with this story, so I'll hold out hope.  But, I will say that I found this story to be the first one that felt obviously forced to connect to "Secret Wars."  The other stories have had fairly natural hooks, but this one felt like DeConnick really struggled to find some sort of way to connect "Captain Marvel" to the larger story.

** (two of five stars)

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