ROUND 2, BATTLE 6
CAPTAIN MARVEL AND THE CAROL CORPS #2
1602: WITCH HUNTER ANGELA #2
I think at this point I’m enough of a grizzled old vet when it comes to Battleworld that I know when to keep my head down and push through. Whenever there’s a Thor Corps sighting or a scene where the characters decide to blaspheme in secret and get immediately discovered, I just hit the dirt and give all the new guys around me a wry “you’ll get a lot of that here.” Then we all share a nervous chuckle, one of them sticks his head up to high and bites it, and the rest of are properly sobered. That’s just how it goes in Battleworld. Welcome to the shit.
Captain Marvel and Carol Corps has the same achilles’ heel that apparently all the Battleworld series are going to, which is that apparently nobody bothered to check if anyone else was writing a nearly identical story. It runs deeper than just Thor Corps and God Doom appearances – nearly every Battleworld story falls way too neatly into “something’s not right here” whodunnit stories or else feels like an endless stream of cameos with meek twists.
Captain Marvel’s narrative falls into that first category, and tells the story of Captain Marvel deciding to commit heresy and fly into the forbidden zone of the sky. The beats are familiar if you’ve read the other 15 versions of this that happen in Battleworld. Captain Marvel is a defender of the realm, proud of her role in protecting the people from invasion. She gets ordered to do something suspicious, it turns out she was lied to, and so she decides she’s gonna stick it to Doom after a little convincing from a more blasphemous friend.
With that said, Captain Marvel moves through it’s admittedly familiar beats with something that is severely lacking elsewhere in Battleworld: pacing. And it makes such an incredible world of difference. It makes enough of a difference that I’m willing to say the too-familiar storylines pouring out of Battleworld are a result of the model Marvel has set up and gives this series a pass. More importantly, it made enough of a difference that when I finished reading one issue, I was actually excited to start the next.
So then there’s Witch Hunter Angela. This series falls into the cameo-upon-cameo genre of Battleworld offerings and only knows pace as a mediocre brand of salsa. On like page three of issue #1 Angela kills the king of England and then it just goes on from there. The series is so intent on diving into its arc that it hasn’t even finished introducing its characters before it starts having them snowball into insanity. Issue #2 is no better. Looking for a bit of character development and stakes building, I got an appearance by the Guardians of the Galaxy and more runaway, off-the-rails plot-racing.
The art is some of the best I’ve seen so far – good enough that I actually took note of something I’m almost always completely oblivious to. It’s a very cool, slightly distorted look that’s a tad reminiscent of Ben Templesmith. And I don’t want to be too harsh on the writing just for being rushed. The story being told in Witch Hunter Angela isn’t inherently bad, it just never gives me an “in” to actually care about it. Like I said, it’s a problem that is all too common in Battleworld, which as a whole seems like it’s trying wrap up as quickly as possible. Given that Battleworld began as an exercise in multiverse maintenance, then promised to at least make that maintenance fun to read, giving off the feeling that you’re writing as a chore is…no good at all.
Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps seems like a series that actually wants to tell the story it’s telling. For that alone, it wins.