AVENGERS: THE ENEMY WITHIN #1 kicks off a mini-crossover between CAPTAIN MARVEL and AVENGERS ASSEMBLE. The Carol Danvers-centered story focuses on her battle with a dangerous brain lesion that becomes even more deadly if she uses her flight abilities. Kelly Sue DeConnick, at the helm of both titles, has the ability to tell a real, serious story while still writing an action-packed comic...and cracking a few jokes (look for a delightful reference to the early 90s, among others).
And, oh my stars, does DeConnick have a VOICE for Captain Marvel. She's quickly becoming one of the most recognizable, relatable characters in the Marvel universe; even though Carol is a badass chick who's been gifted with superhuman abilities (and is an Avenger, to boot), she reads like such a normal person. She cracks jokes, she cares deeply about her friends, and she has tough things to deal with. She's stubborn, too, fighting against her no-fly prescription.
This issue starts the event with plenty of action -- kidnappings and lady wrestlers and dinosaurs, oh my! -- but leaves the puppetmaster of Carol's woes mysterious. We already know that Carol is going to have trouble fighting the urge to fly, and that she throws caution to the wind when her loved ones are in harm's way.
Jordie Bellaire's name is mighty big on the credits page, and it's for a reason; this lady is unstoppable. Her palette selection is perfect, and her coloring style is always exactly right for the tone of the book.
I'm not entirely in love with Scott Hepburn's pencils. He makes some interesting stylistic choices that see some panels looking cartoony (almost to the point of caricature) while others play straighter. I don't dislike either style, but I'm a stickler for consistency, so the shifts bother me.
I have to admit, I saw this title and thought, "ANOTHER crossover miniseries?" but I've quickly changed my mind, and I'm in for the ride. Since DeConnick is writing both titles involved in the event, it's more like a natural expansion of CAPTAIN MARVEL into a Carol-centered arc of AVENGERS ASSEMBLE. Crossover-lite, if you will.
The dialogue is smart, there's no shortage of action (or dinosaurs!), and the mystery of the villain behind Carol's current predicament is intriguing. I'm fascinated by stories that look at the destructive sides of superpowers, and I can't wait to see how Captain Marvel is able to get past both the villains outside and the enemy within her own brain.