Captain Marvel #3 cover
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Writer: Kelly Thompson / Artists: Carmen Carnero, Amanda Conner, Paul Mounts / Marvel

Taking the Fight to Nuclear Man

I wasn’t super impressed with Captain Marvel #2. It was satisfactory, but seemed indicative of a story that was taking some time to find its feet. Well, I’m sad to say that #3 is only a little better. The fights this issue continue to be perfunctory, and the dialog is snappy but not tight. #3 shouldn’t feel like a filler issue, but here we are.

The issue opens with Jen Walters — She-Hulk — blasting through the barrier. She’s in need of saving, however. The barrier has robbed her of her powers, left her falling through space. That gives Carol a quick moment of heroics early on, which gets things off to a good start. Somewhere in the empty fight with the metal men and saving Jen, Carol figures out that the only man on their side of the fight is hiding something (which is an utter non-surprise) and brings up more complications all around. The non-surprise reveal does provide some more backstory on Carol when she refers to her infamous imprisonment/manipulation at the hands of Marcus/Immortus. This is a chance for her to be an adult as well, and agree to have the potential traitor continue on the squad. It is always nice to see Carol being a solid leader and inspiring those around her, human and super-powered alike.

Speaking of leadership, that’s probably the most important thing Carol brings to the island: leadership and a sense of purpose. The stranded women under her guidance collect themselves, and train up into a formidable fighting force.

After high-stepping into a trap, and another tearful admission from our eternally suspicious dude, we get another reveal. Either this opening arc will be 10 issues long to wrap all this up, or the wrap-up will feel short and unearned. Either way, that’s not a good sign. There are hella women in this issue: women superheroes we’re supposed to know and care about, yet they’re given little page time to explore their personas.

Marvel went through some trouble to give Captain Marvel a racially diverse crew, but they are literally mostly background color at this point. Instead, we get a number of callbacks to Carol’s past adversaries and adventures. Even as we go forward, we’re not really going anywhere at all. The art and panel work continue being serviceable fun, so there’s no fault there.

After watching the Captain Marvel movie (twice!), this isn’t the fireworks adventure I was looking forward to in the comic. I’m going to read West Coast Avengers (also out this week), so I can remember how fun Thompson is when she’s on the top of her game instead of feeling her way around with a cast of characters she can’t quite utilize to the fullest.

6.5 “How many women named Jessica are there on this island” out of 10

Want to keep up with Captain Marvel? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.

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  • L.E.H. Light

    Editor/Reviewer

    Editor, Writer, Critic, Baker. Outspoken Mother. Lifelong fan of sci fi/fantasy books in all their variety. Knows a lot about very few things. She/Her/They.

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