Writer: Kelly Thompson / Artists: Carmen Carnero, Tamra Bonvillain, Amanda Conner, Paul Mounts / Marvel
End of the arc — and what an ending it is!
As you’d expect, everything works out pretty okay for our Captain. Comics are seldom about the destination, though: they’re about the journey. This journey in particular tells us something about Carol, but also about Thompson and the rest of the crew that I love to see. The team up between Carol and her not-a-friend Rogue started in Issue #4 with all the animosity you’d expect. Issue #5 is full of punching and attitude, as the rest of the stranded women on Roosevelt Island unite to prove that teamwork doesn’t have to rely on superpowers. This all gets wrapped up with a bow and a kiss, just like any good comic should.
Thought You’d Never Ask
The fact that Captain Marvel and Rogue team up to beat the living neutrons out of Nuclear Man isn’t that surprising, or even really that interesting. He is outmatched by either of them individually, let alone together. What’s interesting about it is the subtext of what Thompson is doing. She takes an adversarial relationship between two women — a relationship steeped in the mentality of “there can be only one girl in the club house” — and makes it into one of cooperation. She allows both characters to accept their faults and grow from their past traumas in order to move forward as adults. They don’t have to be friends, but Carol and Rogue can respect each other now. This all felt fundamentally feminist to me…not in a revolutionary way, but in a basic way. Women don’t have to be in competition to be the biggest or the best, they can all coexist while pursuing common goals. They damn sure don’t have to spend their time competing for male approval/attraction, which is what Nuclear Man so gratuitously offers. It’s ‘Feminism 101’ stuff, but it is important nonetheless. Coming from two OG superheroines like these, that sentiment matters.
Nuclear Man’s son, Som, turns out to be far more dangerous than anyone anticipated…except they all anticipated it.
The climactic battle moves along at a fine clip, with all of the supporting cast getting a moment to shine. Hints of future friendships and connections abound, to the point where it all starts to feel like the last day at Girl Scout camp where everyone swears to be friends for ever. That’s not a critique. The girl power/girlfriends forever feeling is missing from many mainstream comics, so I love seeing it here.
None of this is what I’d call super original, but I enjoyed every action-packed panel just the same. Sometimes you just wanna punch misogynists in the face. This is a comic that brings that satisfaction in aces. It also establishes Carnero and Bonvillain as my favorite artistic team up. I mean, even the messy panels move things along and the panel placement keeps my attention, beginning to end. Plus, they gave me this:
This moment has all the energy of the scene from Avengers: Endgame. You know the one:
Truly, Captain Marvel is a comic that knows what I want to see. A charismatic woman leader overcoming her own limitations and kicking ass. Now if I could get Monica Rambeau in the next arc, I’d be flying as high as Carol Danvers.
7.9 “I Dare You”s out of 10
Want to keep up with Captain Marvel? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.
Clip from Avengers: Endgame courtesy of @ peterquillsl on Twitter.
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