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Kelly Sue DeConnick Explores Space & What Makes Carol So Cool(Captain Marvel Vol. 3 Review)


Writer: Kelly Sue DeConnick

Artist: David López (#1-5, #9-11) Marcio Takara (#7-8,#10) Laura Braga (#10)

Color Artist: Lee Loughridge, Nick Filardi (#10)

Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna

Cover Art: David López

Assistant Editor: Devin Lewis

Editor: Sana Amanat

Senior Editors: Stephen Wacker, Nick Lowe

Publisher: Marvel

It wasn’t too long ago I was looking at Captain Marvel with skepticism. Thanks to a number of talented creators both current and further back in her debut, Carol Danvers has risen higher, further, and faster than anyone to the top of some of my favorite Marvel characters. Among the fantastic folks that have shaped Carol’s life, DeConnick’s run on the character has been an extremely enjoyable one that has done wonders in shaping how I perceive the character now from my original introduction to her. This week, I am back after exploring the stars with Carol in Captain Marvel: Earth’s Mightiest Hero Vol. 3 (2014 #1-11). Spoilers ahead.

DeConnick’s run on Captain Marvel leading up to these issues had already put her through the wringer. Taking on the mantle of her predecessor, traveling through time, losing her memory, even fighting in a war spanning the galaxy for the fate of the universe. It’s been a crazy trip, but Carol has fought her way through it all with photon blasts and friends. This time around, she is leaving the friends behind (and the photon blasts too for the most part) as she heads off into space. After all the crazy space stuff going on, the Avengers have talked about having a rotating member among the stars to keep tabs on everything. Carol is the first to go after some relationship status talk with War Machine (I mean he’s Iron Patriot now).

Carol’s first stop is dropping off an alien, bringing them home and learning of the populace’s troubles as the planet is poisoning them slowly while a galactic empire run by Star Lord’s dad is forcing them to abandon their homes. DeConnick’s arc in this run takes a vastly different approach compared to the last one. Not only is Carol’s all-star supporting cast not there to back her up. She is faced with a problem she can’t really punch. Despite the setbacks, this powerhouse of a hero isn’t limited to punching and blasting. I loved seeing Carol recognize that the title of Avengers alone can’t just solve any problem. She’s a persistent character that even when faced with a wall, she manages to inspire hope in those around her as she assembles a ragtag group of the planet’s citizens to get parts to repair their ships and track down what is really going on. While Carol does do some punching, I really loved that the focus was put on a lot of the people she was helping and how her actions and drive to not give up had motivated them to act.

If I solved a political conspiracy that was killing a planet and successfully prevented hundreds of deaths, you bet I would want to return to my spaceship and curl up with the cat I brought with me. The memorable and disturbing inspiration of the 2018 movie’s Goose starts here! During a brief check in the with the Guardians of the Galaxy at the start of Carol’s space odyssey, Rocket Racoon refers to Carol’s cat Chewy as a Flerken, a dangerous creature. I was with Carol on this being untrue for the last two volumes, but once the Flerken name was dropped, it was only a matter of time before the cat was out of the bag on Chewy’s true self. After reading these issues, I could definitely go for more Carol, Rocket, and Chewy teaming up.

The final few issues in this story are short, one of them has Carol teaming up with a teleporting rockstar mutant who is engaged to a prince from another world. The other takes Carol to see her good friend Tracy who is in the hospital during Christmas. A tender moment gets derailed with some semi villains with a grudge against Carol showing up. Thankfully evil is thwarted with a little assist from someone who had no trouble figuring out who was naughty or nice.

Overall, I really enjoyed this run of issues on Captain Marvel. After so much action in the last 2 volumes, DeConnick gave a refreshing feel to this story that felt more like one hero’s adventure in space and the people she met along the way. It also provided the time to really see more of Carol’s humor and personality which I really liked. Stuck inside with no new comics? Looking to expand on your Marvel heroes? Check out Kelly Sue DeConnick’s run of Captain Marvel.

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