It’s the morning after the dystopia before. Carol Danvers is back from a dark 2052 where she had a major victory, but failed to save as many people as she would wish. A personal loss was her relationship with James Rhodes and now, 12 days on, Captain Marvel just wants to hide away from the world. Her best chum, though, isn’t having it. Spiderwoman Jessica Drew chivvies her into a spot of superheroing. Meet the snats.
Jessica wanted to distract Carol from brooding over her love life, but her plan is too successful. For the next week, Captain Marvel is everywhere, a non-stop fighting machine heading for burnout. Luckily, Jessica comes out with a promising Plan B – supergirls’ night out.
The event goes as well as you might expect. Later, Carol grabs some time alone as she faces her greatest foe – alcohol.
And then, a superhero walks into a bar…
Writer Kelly Thompson and artist David Lopez have fashioned a delightful, breezy breather between epics. Carol protests as her pals try to help her through a funk, but it’s obvious she appreciates their efforts. The snats – ‘giant cats merged with angry snakes and ridden by sexy wizards’ – are ridiculously cute for alien worldkillers. And Carol’s gal pals – as well as Jessica there’s Monica ‘Spectrum’ Rambeau, Jennifer ‘Hazmat’ Takeda and her recently discovered Kree half-sister Lauri-Ell the Accuser – are a lovely bunch.
The speed dating scenes are a good laugh, and when Carol finally hooks up with someone it’s a nice surprise… she has unexpected chemistry with a hero she’s known for years.
His intro is pretty much my only problem with the art – his voice comes in from off-panel, and then we see him from a distance, full body, in civvies… a close-up of his distinctive physiog would have been more appropriate. That apart, David Lopez does an excellent job, his knack for pained facial expressions perfect for a story in which Carol spends a lot of time gurning at minor frustrations. He’s not bad at the subtler stuff too, as the bar scene shows – when he finally gets to facial shots, they’re spot on. And I love his wizards and snats, I hope they make it to the Silver Screen as soon as. Plus, Lopez dresses people in recognisably contemporary clothes that hang well – so many artists seem bored by non-Spandex outfits. All the layouts are great, but this is a real winner.
The way Lopez – perhaps directed by Thompson – shows the diminishing returns of Carol’s week of whacking, via ever-shrinking frames, is smart.
The colour art by Tríona Farrell looks good, she nails the dull brown vibe of so many bars, while Clayton Cowles is the king of emphases – italics for phone chats, dripping ice balloons for seething, that sort of thing. And while Marco Checchetto’s cover isn’t strictly true to the contents, it sells the notion of Carol being uninterested in dating, looks amazing – think Norman Rockwell in the Marvel Universe – and persuaded me to buy my first Captain Marvel in a couple of years.
And this issue has persuaded me to go back to Marvel Unlimited and check out Kelly Thompson’s entire run – I enjoyed this issue hugely, and that begins with the writing. Has anyone else been reading this series?