Wednesday, October 04, 2006

In Praise of: Captain Marvel #30 by Starlin & Milgrom

Captain Marvel #30 may not be the issue that most people remember from Starlin's amazing run on this book, the most discussed is most likely #29, where Jim decided to put the good Captain's life on the earliest of all Ret-Cons: he wasn't just a kree soldier that changed sides by going native, he was born to have the chance to become the universal protector. Did I mention that part before? Nope, don't think that I did.

Doesn't matter, for here is the chance to see Marvel kick some ass on a Ret-coned Controller, suddenly massive and powerful. This is Basil Sandhurst as we've never seen him. And the new first battle for the new cosmically aware universal protector.

Starlin is still juggling his sub-plots, Rick Jones' singing career, his girlfriend Lou Ann, while we're embroiled in the middle of the Thanos War. All this is akin to worrying about Wyatt Wingfoot's football career in the middle of the Galactus Trilogy from FF #48-50. Are you kidding me? This issue ends in a brutal fight that demolishes a fourstory building, Mar-Vell bleeding from his nose, having fought the Controller to a small standstill.

Starlin is at the height of his powers here, and Al Milgrom does a beautiful job on the inks. Milgrom's inks had a huge effect on me, and I've yet to run into him at a convention to tell him so. Perhaps one day I'll buy him a few drinks and we can talk shop if I ever get the chance. Starlin also colors the issue, and makes some fascinating decisions to add to the effect on the panels, decisions that I doubt that any outside colorist would make. More than once he pushes the fairly limited printing of 1973 by putting a filter color over the viewers eyes:

The effect is sublime, and adds an unearthly feel to the story.

Starlin only 4 more issues in him on this title before moving over to even more completely redo Warlock. But this is the run that pushed my young brain over the edge to see that there was far more that comics could go after than the latest villian of the week. Don't ever get me started on my proposal for a new version of Captain Marvel, or my plans to remake Jack of Hearts as a universal protector. Just don't.


redlib said...

Really nice Starlin panels that give me a greater appreciation. Am sadly unaware of most of his work.

inkdestroyedmybrush said...

the controller panel is worth the price of admission alone really. wow. especially if you had only seen the Tuska controller before. Starlin made him SCARY.

A good relatively cheap pickup is the life of captain marvel trade. I do think that it suffers from all the imitations that have come after it. Really, outside of kirby, at that time, no one was doing sci fi, especially sci fi with bizarre exitential twists in superheroes. While I think that it's still cool, back then it was a revelation.