Captain Marvel #3
Written by Kelly Sue DeConnick
Art by Dexter Soy
(w/ Rich Elson & Will Quintana, pg. 17-18,
Karl Kesel & Javier Rodriguez, pg. 19)
This comic is—to quote one of my favorite obscure contemporary showtunes—“super fantastic coolness remarkable.” No doubt in my mind. Anyone looking for great comics storytelling need look no further: Captain Marvel is one of the best books on the stand. Kelly Sue DeConnick (recently announced as Avengers Assemble’s next writer, making her the first regular female writer on any Avengers title ever) continues her WWII time-travel arc with some phenomenal character beats, some explosive action, and an intriguing epilogue. Oh yeah, and Dexter Soy destroys my eye-receptors with his digitally painted greatness. Too cool.
Time-travel is a tricky idea to kick off a new series, but when issue #2 ended with Captain Marvel exclaiming “Let’s rewrite some history, shall we?” I knew Kelly Sue DeConnick wouldn’t let us down. And issue #3 does not let the reader down at all. Carol Danvers demolishes the Kree warships and pulls the Japanese pilot out of the wreckage. The subsequent “conversation” that Danvers has with the pilot reveals her bad@$$ery as well as her pent-up anger (paraphrased: “Go get all your buddies and all your alien spacecraft and bring it over here so me and my gals can wreck them, too!). DeConnick’s Banshee Squad is the perfect all-lady corollary for Nick Fury’s all-fella Howling Commandos; they’re powerful, well-developed characters, and I hope that these impressive women find their way into the grander Marvel continuity like Nick Fury’s squad.
Between the first battle and the aforementioned instigated battle with the embarrassed pilot’s back-up, Carol spends the night with the remaining Banshees in a cave. Carol gives a concise, accessible recounting of her origin story. There’s also some meditation on war, who is responsible in war, and coping with lost allies. Finally, there’s a wonderful little moment in which it’s revealed that Bijoux and Daisy are drawing comics of their new super-friend, Captain Marvel, fighting aliens. The sequence is imbued with reflection and pathos that fleshes out the larger mission of DeConnick’s Captain Marvel book. Carol is one of the most powerful superhumans in the Marvel U, but she is also human and has fears, doubts, desires, and passions. Unfortunately, her superheroism demands that her human side gets trumped—it’s the whole power-responsibility thing, except amplified and complicated. And it’s wonderful.
Dexter Soy’s digitally-painterly style is well-suited to the extreme sides of DeConnick’s script. Some pages call for kinetic, marvelous action sequences; other pages call for intimate, close-up character beats. Soy captures it all perfectly. His Carol Danvers is stunning, and he portrays her physical strength and power expertly in every panel. There’s a double-page spread featuring Danvers and the Banshees leaping into action that made me figuratively jump out of my seat. Fantastic.
Also, keep your eyes peeled for a fantastic throwback comic strip illustrated by comics legend Karl Kesel. It’s called “Captain Marvelous” and its presented as Daisy and Bijoux’s lost comics that they wrote back during WWII about our Captain Marvel. So cool, and super Lady power!
Buy it. Buy #1 and #2, too. Captain Marvel is super cool superheroics of the most splendidious sort! Hop on the Danvers-train! Take that pink ribbon from off your eyes! Buy this book!