Captain Marvel has realized that her method of “swoop in and save the day” isn’t necessarily going to work when there’s no concrete opponent. The only foes are a plague which, as is emphasized in this very issue, is beyond punching, and a pan-galactic alliance that both doesn’t care and is too massive to be easily trifled with. Torfa’s people are dying and they’ve already been decimated (by the Builders) once, so the question becomes: can they survive another catastrophe? Most indications seem to say NO, but there are different forms of survival. When one presents itself, can it truly be refused? The solution to this particular problem is going to require some finesse, but the characters we get introduced to in this issue may not, precisely, speak finesse. But by the end they definitely speak much more important words like “results” and “massively likeable.” Kelly-Sue Deconnick doesn’t just write Carol well, she writes every character in the book well. Even the rabble has great lines. There are two plots converging in this book, and they’re revealed in this issue, but I can’t speak too heavily to them without some pretty massive spoilers, so I’ll just say that this topic has some great, emotional depth. There's even a great, mysterious cliffhanger at the end of the issue.
David Lopez continues to provide incredible linework, his subtle details coming to the fore even more than in previous issues this time around. We have a few new cast members and several returning, and Lopez’s designs do an amazing job of passing the “silhouette test,” made famous by Matt Groening, in which your characters can be recognized by their silhouette with no other details. These characters are great and each one has very unique body language to go with their look. Lee Loughridge gives color, verve and reinforces the generally upbeat tone of the book, but never forgets to include the darkness. This is a much more dramatic issue than previous ones, and the art reflects that, bringing a more stark and simple visual aesthetic. But there are a ton of cute visuals cues as well, such as a tentacle-haired newcomer shaking on a deal with both hands and hair.
I like some good melodrama as much as the next guy, but there are a couple of moments in this that go WAY over-the-top, particularly when the Haffensye make an appearance.
Only four issues, and this is one of my easiest to recommend series. It strikes a wonderful balance between whimsy and action, drama and wonder. The plot definitely takes off in this issue, and it’ll be interesting to see where it goes from here, especially as concerns the greater Marvel Universe. I love Danvers’ history with Infinity being brought to the fore as an important point of reference, and think this book leads the charge perfectly as an entry point on the Marvel Cosmic titles.