The first new arc of Captain Marvel’s renumbered storyline comes to a close, and what a strong, satisfying close it comes to. We pick up directly after last issue’s end with Carol confronting Emperor J’Son’s fleet over Torfa, ordering them to leave the people in peace. This has little effect on the arrogant monarch, causing Carol to finally cut loose and do some damage while, on the planet, her new allies rush to save their people’s lives and perhaps, finally, establish a home for them. Kelly Sue DeConnick has taken this series in a very different direction since the renumbering and it’s a direction that I had some reticence about, but that ultimately has proven a great way to tell different stories, while keeping the core of the character the same. This storyline began with a problem the good Captain couldn’t solve on her own, and it’s ending with her being a part of the solution, but not the only part. The larger part comes in the form of Torfa’s leader and Carol’s new friends, all of whom have their parts to play and play them perfectly. We get more character development, more of the interpersonal relationships, and by book’s end I am very sad to see them go.
David Lopez is back on linework and shows no signs of rush nor corner-cutting, cementing why he was the right choice for this restart. His style is cartoonish, but not overly exaggerated, lending it a quality of realism coupled with whimsy, fitting in perfectly with the overall tone of the book. The book sounds and looks increasingly like a fairytale in space, and that is a great thing. I’d be terribly remiss if I talked about the tone and look of the book without bringing up Lee Loughridge’s colors which are, at once, smooth and mellow and bright and bombastic as the story calls for. The one thing it never is is dull or listless and it helps establish a visual language that has made this book as versatile as it is.
Emperor J’Son’s true, merciless, uncaring attitude and his willingness to blow up a peaceful, unresisting planet is threatened to be revealed in this issue in the exact same way that it was in a recent issue of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely don’t think there’s any kind of plot theft going on here, but that’s also because it’s a very, very well-worn plot contrivance, to the point of frequent parody.
The band, meaning Carol’s new allies, also breaks up and I was really, really hoping that she’d have a recurring, supporting cast rather than a full reset back to her flying solo.
It may not be the most original resolution, but I can’t deny it’s STILL a ton of fun. I like the fact that Danvers didn’t just swoop in and save the day and, but she was still integral to the story and the people’s efforts to save themselves. This book does an incredible job of maintaining an all-ages feel while still having some pretty hard-hitting themes and commentary. But at the end of the day, it’s about having a good time and that’s exactly what it delivers.