Writer: Jamie McKelvie
Art: Marika Cresta and Erick Arciniega
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: March 9th, 2022
Captain Carter, freed from The Arctic Ocean during an oil drilling operation, awakens after 80 years in Captain Carter #1, as she (and we) are introduced to the alternate Earth of 2022 where she resides. It’s a whole new Earth and a whole new agenda for Peggy Carter, even as she finds that old enemies never die.
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Okay, I’ve got to start with a confession: Peggy Carter is my favorite Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) character since she first appeared way back in “Captain America: The First Avenger”. Remember those innocent days when we thought the MCU was just going to be a short-lived fad before the MCU films became more addictive than crack?
I was elated when the “Agent Carter” series came to ABC, and dejected when it was canceled too soon. I was even more dejected when, in “Captain America: Winter Soldier”, Peggy dies an elderly woman.
But now she’s been given a second chance like no other, and I’m loving it. Captain Carter #1 isn’t perfect, but what first issue is?
As first issues go, this is a solid one. The issue starts with a couple of pages of exposition that explains who Peggy Carter is on this alternate Earth and what happened to her, then the remainder of the book shows her getting acquainted with the 21st Century. These “stranger in a strange land” scenarios are always fun, and in one scene, Peggy tells a new friend that she can’t understand why people call their cell phones “telephones” when people do everything but make calls with them.
Jamie McKelvie writes Peggy perfectly, so much so, I could imagine Hayley Atwell delivering all those lines on a big movie screen. Her strong personality is here, but also her softer side, as we see scenes where she reflects on all the friends and relatives that are long gone, and her feelings of isolation in this new world. I loved that they didn’t change Peggy Carter, they’re writing her as if they’re continuing her story directly from the last episode of “What If?” (if you didn’t see that series on Disney+, go right now and watch it, it’s brilliant).
There’s only one action scene in the issue, where we find the resurgence of an old enemy, but the book never feels slow. We also get a surprise appearance by a well-known British character, who on this Earth will be Peggy’s assistant. This alone could open up a whole bunch of interesting plot developments. Other characters on this Earth are mentioned also, and as much as I’m looking forward to seeing Peggy’s future adventures, it would be interesting to look in on those other characters too someday.
Marika Cresta’s captures Peggy Carter perfectly in Captain Carter #1. Where her art really shines is in all the gestures Peggy makes. When she’s frustrated, she pushes back her hair behind her ear with two fingers, when she’s irritated, she assumes a posture with her arms folded, and when she’s relaxed, she has an awkward smile, as if she’s uncomfortable when not in battle.
Marika draws Peggy imposing when in costume, not as big as She-Hulk, but still bulky and toned.
When the one battle scene comes, it’s drawn in an in-your-face manner. In one panel, we see the POV of one of her opponents, as Peggy hurls her shield at him, and it looks like it’s nearly popping out of the panel like a 3-D film. Great work!
Captain Carter #1 is a great kick-off to (hopefully) many adventures to come. It takes its time showing Peggy Carter adjusting to life in the 21st Century, sets up her supporting cast, and tosses her into conflict with new versions of old enemies. Highly recommended. Am I a little biased? Maybe. But still, this is a great read.