"Those rare times comics are good": Captain Marvel #55-56.
This is a comic run (meaning 55 AND 56) that fans of Captain Marvel, Dracula, Star Trek, and just about everywhere in between can find something to appreciate about..
This story has two parts, you must get #56 if you get #55, and vice versa.
All the elements are in place. The lines are not so much black and white as they are shades of grey. You feel for both characters, Moench and Broderick pull this off very well with the assistance of a great inker.
Captain Marvel having been recently seperated from the only flaw Thomas made with the character, being humble to give some homage to the original bearer of the name, when the name was all they shared in common.
You have the misunderstood and exploring rebel alien hero, finally getting a chance of pursuing his own path, (when Marvel had already offered him up like a sacrificial lamb) only to be interrupted by an equally misunderstood and viciously cruel villain.
The strength of this story is that the writers finally use Mar-Vell in a brief arc that utilizes him and the true complexity of the hero and his psychology that is both A list Superhero yet still a more accurate and relatable alien misfit trying to find his way post-rebellion, while drawing upon Starlin's earlier work as evidenced in by most accounts the best work of Pat Broderick's career in that time, it is in many ways superior, due to the exploration of Mar-Vell as a sole entity, an opportunity rarely afforded the character since the Kane redesign (and Starlin refinement)....and uses an obscure reference to an earlier Captain Marvel comic (Issue #10) aka. the "boring" era (meaning not the concept or original story, but rather referring to the lengthy status of the character, various re-empowerments before the complete change which gained support but was almost sabotaged by the length of the earlier work....however, it is made useful in this scenario 55-56) with the origin of a very underrated and often erroneously speculated villain in Deathgrip.
Finally a villain worthy or the hero, and vice versa.
Deathgrip is in many ways a vampire and appeals to the more classic Lugosi-esque interpretation, while cleverly and deceitfully masking it's true cruelty, where as it may be erroneously recorded on other sites. That, however, is the beauty of this character, by drawing upon an obscure issue of such a dismal showing of a great origin story in concept, they invoke both the harcore fan of Captain Marvel or Vampires everywhere, as well as a streamlined story that is film script worthy.
You almost don't know whether to hate the hero or hate the villain, in th end the story makes sense, but this is just...well, it may not be commercially known, but in this humble reviewer's opinion, are up there, perhaps even surpassing the comics at the time.
Captain Marvel 55-56. If you have the means, check them out. Highly Reccommended.
Backstory helps, but is not necessary to newcomers. The story is that good.