Written by: Peter David
Art by: Juanan Ramírez
Colors by: Federico Blee
Letters by: VC’s Ariana Maher
Cover art by: Mike McKone, Antonio Fabela
Cover price: $4.99
Release date: July 27, 2022
Genis-Vell: Captain Marvel #1 “resurrects” Genis-Vell with a new body and no memories. When he seeks out the help of a psychic broker, Genis slowly unlocks the memories of his last days before death. Meanwhile, an old foe with a grudge arrives to exact revenge.
Is It Good?
Genis-Vell: Captain Marvel #1 is just okay. Not outstanding, and not terrible, but somewhere in the middle.
This highlight of David’s take on the return of Gennis-Vell is all the little references, cameos, and Easter Eggs from characters and events not seen in years. Gennis-Vell suddenly arrives in an alien world seeking help. We learn this is not the original Gennis-Vell but a clone of the original with all his powers and memories intact, but the memories are locked away in his brain. He finds a broker with psychic abilities to help him unlock his memories and set things right.
The premise is easy enough, but the execution is a different matter. The narrative flips back and forth between now and the past in Genis’s memory, and between Genis and Rick Jones in the now and the past. With all the swapping back and forth, following the story gets very confusing very quickly. David peppers in enough “Then…” and “Now…” caption boxes to keep some of the story straight, but perhaps not enough.
Also, the cameos, Easter Eggs, and references are fun if you’re somewhat familiar with the continuity, but if you come into this issue with no foreknowledge of Gennis-Vell, you’ll be completely lost.
As the issue progresses, we witness the complication of Rick Jones’s wife, Marlo, “exploring” her feelings for Moondragon. We witness the complication of the resurrected Gennis-Vell using his powers without the controlling aid of his negabands. And we witness Rick Jones increasingly lose control over his physical form, possibly as a result of his previous connection to Gennis-Vell. The narrative is complicated, the disposition of each character is complicated, and Thanos shows up on the last page to make things even more complicated.
I want to like this story, but a cleaner setup and a lot less complication would have gone a long way.
About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of ComicalOpinions.com, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.
Bits and Pieces
Genis-Vell: Captain Marvel #1 drops you right into a story about a resurrected Gennis-Vell struggling to get his memories and his life back. Visiting the past can be fun, and it is in spots, but the constant swapping back and forth between Earth, an alien world, the past, and the present quickly turns the issue into a frustrating knot.