The Centum books that tie into the new Marvel Studios film releases have been a great way of getting more information on the build-up to these big events, we get to see what Captain America, Thor, and even Thanos were up to before Avengers: Infinity War, for example. Their latest offering, Captain Marvel: Starforce On The Rise, as the name suggests, gives readers an early insight into what to expect from the new Captain Marvel movie, as well as some interesting background on the Kree aliens that Carol Danvers finds herself fighting alongside.
Being a book designed for younger readers Captain Marvel: Starforce On The Rise isn’t too difficult a book to get through, and most adult readers will be able to get through it in a single sitting. For those that need a break, however, the book is nicely split into two parts as it takes the reader through two missions that Carol Danvers finds herself on.
The first part of the book sees Carol and her Starforce teammate Minn-Erva sent to the planet of Aphos Prime to investigate a possible Skrull sighting. With the Skrulls being a hugely anticipated addition to the MCU it’s great that the book jumps straight into their war with the Kree Empire. Whilst there’s not a huge amount about the inner workings of either society on display here, and it’s very much soldiers down in the (literal) mud fighting it out, it tells you all that you really need to know. Both sides have been fighting for decades, and the Kree hate the Skrulls more than any other race in the galaxy.
Whilst the action on Aphos Prime is fairly small there’s a great underlying mystery that is slowly uncovered through these chapters, one that ends up being incredibly creepy, and at times down right disgusting.
READ MORE: Captain Marvel – Review
The rest of the book sends the whole Starforce team into a covert mission to the planet of Sy’gyl, under the control of Xandar. As people who have already watched Guardians of the Galaxy know, the the Kree and the Xandarians were once at war, but a peace was made between their two empires; this being the driving force for the villain of the film. This mission is set prior to this peace, and has Carol and her team infiltrating a military outpost to steal weapon plans. The mission goes horribly wrong for the team due to Skrull intervention, but thanks to some sneaky backroom dealings inside of Nova Corps, and the help of John C. Reilly’s Roman Day, Carol is able to complete her mission.
Despite showing some of the inner workings of the Kree Empire, it’s history of conflict with other galactic powers, and how Starforce operates, the main drive of the book is about focusing on Carol and how she interacts with the team. Whilst it’s clear to those who know a little about the character that she’s a human that has gained fantastic powers she very much believes herself to be a Kree in the book, as does everyone else. It’s only through very human idioms that it’s obvious that she has a past on Earth, even if she doesn’t know that. How it came to be that she ended up as a super-powered being in space with false memories is sure to be explored in the film, but the small teases here just makes me more eager to find out what’s happened and to get those answers. If the book is designed to garner interest for the film it’s certainly working.
The book also spends a great deal of time establishing the relationships between the members of Starforce, showing how some members like her but sometimes don’t understand her, whilst others such as Minn-Erva absolutely hate her. It’s not clear from the small pieces of information we’ve received about the plot of the film is Carol is going to have to end up in conflict with her former team, but if she does knowing how these characters think and feel about each other before going into the film will make any confrontation more exciting.
Captain Marvel: Starforce On The Rise isn’t a long or complicated book, and is written in an incredibly accessible way, yet is more than just a simple adventure story. It helps to build a new and exciting part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it gives readers important character information, and gives tiny clues to one of the films central mysteries. It might not be vital to read the book before going to see the film, but it will certainly add to the experience.
Captain Marvel: Starforce on the Rise is now available on Amazon.