After a longer than normal break between issues, it’s the final issue of this current run of Captain Marvel, and whilst I did enjoy a lot about this issue, I don’t think it really earned it’s big message, that Captain Marvel is this amazing hero that everyone in New York loves and wants to be. It seems like the real world reputation and large fanbase this book has dictated this story, not what’s actually happened inside the pages. The cover, which features Kelly Sue DeConnick and a bunch of other real-life creators and editors (and also Pizza Dog) would seem to indicate that. Yes, in the real world, the success of this book and it’s large female fanbase has been a great thing, but I kind of feel like, to people within the Marvel Universe… Captain Marvel is just another Avenger. Maybe I’m just not seeing something, and perhaps I didn’t read the end of ‘Enemy Within’ correctly, but still, to me, this felt very self-congratulatory for no real reason.
But that said, there was some good stuff in this issue for sure, especially with the introduction of a new, Lex Luthor style arch-nemesis for Cap, and the fact that DeConnick did a much better job here than in the Infinity tie-ins at showing Carol Danvers’ current mental state. The basic story here is that Captain Marvel is being given the key to the city for her heroism, and this pisses off Grace Valentine, a Randian, Objectivist business-woman who is visiting New York to write an article and promote her app, but is blown off by the magazine who hired her because apparently, people don’t want her individualist philosophy, they want to be inspired by heroes like Captain Marvel. At every turn, Grace I disrespected in favour of Captain Marvel, and in anger, and jealousy, she attacks the key presentation ceremony with some hacked drones. Cap easily defeats them, but it leaves the door open for Grace to return and become, as I said, the Lex to Carol’s Superman. The parallels are very clear, and I think it’s a good idea. With Yon-Rogg dead, Captain Marvel needs a new nemesisi, and whilst Grace’s descent into villainy is a little too fast, later issues could flesh it out a lot more.
In amongst all this, there are scenes of Carol interacting with her supporting cast, helping out little kids and just being inspiring and stuff. We also get more info on how fucked up her memories are, and the best scene with that is when she kisses Frank. I think the ‘Infinity’ story really messed up DeConnick’s plans really, because Hickman has had her act like nothing’s wrong in his books, but now, she is able to really explore what it would be like to have your brain rebooted, and it’s very interesting indeed.
I think my favourite thing about this issue was the solution for Carol Danvers’ housing situation. During her acceptance speech, she asks for help in finding an apartment, and J.Jonah Jameson gives her some, revealing that her new home will be… the head of the Statue Of Liberty! Which is just… crazy and awesome and so comic-booky, I love it, and it does give an actual in-universe reason for why Captain Marvel is being seen as an A-Lister and an inspiration for women, she’s living inside the most iconic woman in the world’s head!
The issue ends with Carol and Kit inside the head, with a sweet moment, and then the first, mysterious appearance of the new Ms. Marvel, who as we all know is getting her own book next year, and is a Muslim-American teenage girl. Just like this overall book, I do think that this scene is a bit unearned, and once more, the real world impact of this book seeping in, but I will hold off judgement until Ms. Marvel is actually out.
Overall, this was a solid ending to a good series, and I’m excited for the book to return with a new #1 and for DeConnick to continue this story. Ultimately, I don’t mind that this book got a little meta, I’d just like to see Captain Marvel get this level of respect for what she does in the stories, not for outside influences, it’s sort of similar to my issues with Young Avengers, just not as bad, DeConnick is not nearly as blatant with her fanservice. The artwork, from Filipe Andrade was good, great to have him back and whilst his style is atypical for superheroes, I think it works for a book that’s so female-oriented and atypical in many other ways.