writer: Kelly Sue DeConnick / aritst: David Lopez / Marvel

In the last Captain Marvel issue before it is folded into Secret Wars, DeConnick brings us a story that is a lot less Captain Marvel and a lot more Carol Danvers. Outside of 1 panel in a flashback, there is no superhero-ing going on in this book, at least not in the way we think about when it comes to comics. Issue #15 sees Carol finally return home from her excursions off-planet, happy to see her friends and loved ones. Unfortunately, that group is minus one, her friend Tracy, who passed away a week before Carol’s return.

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The book focuses on grief and remembrance. DeConnick pens an emotional and focused story on how love and loss quantifies itself when we lose someone. The flashbacks are efficient and connected, giving the ending, which is mainly about acceptance and value of those around you, a real weight. It is as human and compassionate a story as one is going to get in a comic book.

This is aided a lot by the work of the art team. Lopez is his fabulous self and his pencils seem to have another layer of softness to them, which caters well to this story. I don’t often have the room to give Lee Loughridge the credit he deserves, but the color used in this issue are fantastic, giving a real sense of time (by way of flashback) and granting the vibrancy of Carol in the present, even in this moment of grief.

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While everyone else in Marvel got to punch someone in the face one last time before going into Secret Wars, Carol spent it with loved ones, remembering the passing of one of her friends. When you’re going into a scenario called “Battleworld,” one imagines moments like these will be in short supply for a while.

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