Kelly Sue DeConnick’s take on Captain Marvel (formerly Ms. Marvel...also Binary at some point…) has, in short order, become the absolute version of the character. In less than two years, she’s built not just an incredible mythos but an incredible supporting cast and a rich internal monologue around one of Marvel’s most needlessly directionless characters. This issue, after the first major cross-over of the title’s run, picks up on a Carol Danvers that has been mentally broken, quite literally. Though her will is strong, her memories have been excised and now she must rebuild them with a little help from her friends, and friends she is in no short supply of. DeConnick’s take on Carol’s amnesia is also quite refreshing, we’re not getting a character who’s a complete blank slate being written upon. She’s still got that Danvers wit that DeConnick handily calcified within her with and she’s even got some of her old passions. We’re not restarting the character from scratch, and that’s a far better place to rebuild a character from.
Filipe Andrade’s wild, jagged visuals do an amazing job at communicating the intense, wild emotional swings of the issue. From the rising joys to the intense, brief violence, even to depths of sadness, this is an artist who takes a couple of panels to get used to, but after that you’ll wonder how you ever got along without him. The ultra-prolific Jordie Bellaire handles colors and I have no idea how someone so busy can make so much time to be THIS good. The colors in this book soar off the page, even when we’re just looking through an apartment building.
I’m wracking my brain as I don’t like leaving these sections blank, but there’s really nothing not to like about this issue. But I got nothing, as far as I’m concerned it’s fantastic from cover-to-cover.
This issue ends on one of the most touching, emotionally satisfying moments that I’ve read in a mainstream superhero book in a very long time. There’s a real emotional connection not just to the protagonist, but to her loved ones and friends. The characters all feel like real people and that makes you care about them all the more and it makes them as integral to the book as who’s on the cover (although in this case, that’s not a problem). Although this is the end of this title’s numbering, we’ve definitely not seen the last of Danvers nor DeConnick and this issue is an incredible rarity. It makes for an amazing last issue and an amazing first. There’s no reason not to get into Captain Marvel from the start, but there’s also no reason not to get your introduction from this issue.