(Marvel Comics, 2015)
Writer-Kelly Sue DeConnick
Artists-David Lopez, Marcio Takara & Laura Braga
Colors-Lee Loughridge & Nick Filardi
Kelly Sue and company celebrate the 100th solo appearance of Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel with a reflective and thought-provoking two-part story told through three of her most loyal friends in three individual but uniting parts. The first segment is told through Carol’s youngest and perhaps most staunch supporter, Kit. Lovingly dubbed Lt. Trouble, next up is Carol’s long-time comrade and fellow Avenger Jessica Drew better known to the world as Spider-Woman and the final chapter is left to the truly selfless, James “Rhodey” Rhodes. DeConnick cleverly constructs the narrative to work extremely well in this multi-perspective approach. The characterizations are so authentic and human that the heart-felt emotions and great love these characters feel for Danvers drives the plot in lieu of any big action sequences. This works so well because Danvers is so well loved not only by her fellow Marvel heroes but by the devoted readership of fans known as the Carol Corps.
The issue is built around the escaped villain Grace Valentine, this is used as a unifying element that later ties all the segments together. However the connection is much deeper than a shared foe, the real tether that binds the narrative sections together is Danvers’ influence on these individuals, how she encourages and affects them as an inspirational force in their lives. DeConnick uses correspondence between these characters as windows into each of their individual relationships; each letter is a glimpse into a personal world shared by Danvers and her dearest friends. In this way DeConnick is able to capture each of these unique interactions on an extremely intimate and human level. In revealing something of these characters’ feelings for Carol we are able to examine just why she is so loved.
The relatively few pages, on which Carol appears does absolutely nothing to diminish her presence in the book, make no mistake this is certainly a Captain Marvel story and a darn good one at that. In fact it is a testament to just how immense this beloved character’s presence is. DeConnick has become the seminal Captain Marvel writer, she has indelibly placed her mark upon this character and in so doing she has given her heart, made her a suitable role model not just for female readers but for anyone struggling to overcome adversity, whether it is in the form of illness, bigotry or any other obstacle one may face, Captain Marvel has become a powerful symbol of perseverance and finding that inner strength to soldier on in hard times and appreciate loved ones in the better times.
Visually this issue offers something of a smorgasbord for the eyes as it features an ensemble of excellent artists. Series regular David Lopez is joined by Marcio Takara and Laura Braga, this collection of creators do a fantastic job of capturing the tonal quality of each individual segment. Colorists Lee Loughridge and Nick Filardi provide a sense of unifying continuity by maintaining a kind of chemistry in the color palettes used throughout the entirety of the work. The collaborative result is wonderfully complementary as each artist lends something to the other; instead of a competition of one-up-man-ship what results is true artistic communication.
Overall this issue is a fitting tribute to the 100th appearance of one of Marvel’s most beloved and inspirational characters. The creative team works in real unison to deliver a visual and literary work that is the result of fellowship and the melding of many talents into one voice. If you already follow Carol Danvers on her galaxy spanning adventures you know what I mean when I say this series doesn’t disappoint on any level, so don’t be afraid to jump right in, you won’t regret it. (4.5/5)
Reviewed by Shawn Warner (@shawnwarner629)