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Captain Marvel #7 Blends Humor and Emotion

Captain Marvel #7 Blends Humor and Emotion

 Captain Marvel #7STK649407

Written by Kelly Sue DeConnick
Art by Marcio Takara
Colored by Lee Loughridge
Published by Marvel

Even if it’s basically a “bottle issue” set inside Captain Marvel’s ships, Captain Marvel #7 has Kelly Sue DeConnick’s characteristic humorous dialogue and strong characterization mixed with simple, expressive line-work from guest artist Marcio Takara (BOOM’s Incredibles comicsThe Flash), who also has a gift for visual gags. He also draws quite the unique Rocket Raccoon, whose appearance in this issue is the culmination of a long-running joke in this volume of Captain Marvel. DeConnick and Takara balance the strange, silly, and poignant in a straightforward story that explores Carol’s relationship with past events (fighting the Builders) as well as her new relationships with her alien stowaway Tic and the Guardians of the Galaxy. DeConnick happens to reel off Rocket Raccoon quip after quip by the end of the issue without batting an eyelash.

The beginning of Captain Marvel #7 is a little jarring. The Builders from Infinity have returned, and Carol’s friends, both superhuman and regular human are in some crazy danger. This opening sequence establishes Takara’s skill at composing a clear scene that is easy to follow and conveys characters’ emotions. Lee Loughridge’s colors capture all the danger and massive explosions of a space battle before switching to softer coloring (a nice light grey) to show that this series of events is just a dream. Dream sequences have been a big part of superhero comics since the Silver Age DC Comics tradition of “imagination stories” and can create a false sense of suspense. However, DeConnick’s aims in this scene are higher as she takes a step back and shows readers Carol Danvers’ emotions and mental state in a visually gorgeous way while also reminding them that interpersonal relationships are something Carol takes seriously. The rest of Captain Marvel #7 is fairly silly (especially when Rocket Raccoon shows up), but DeConnick eases into this strangeness showing Carol’s morning routine before going back to space adventures.

Other than balancing wacky hijinks and emotional depth, DeConnick starts to flesh out Carol’s passenger and wannabe sidekick, Tic, CAPMARV2014007009-col-14f00whose planet she just saved from J-Son of the Spartax (Star-Lord’s dad) in the last arc. Tic isn’t as naive and innocent as readers think. DeConnick puts in little bits of dialogue that reveal that Tic is older and wiser than she looks even though she still looks up to Captain Marvel. Takara draws Tic as calm and serene once the action starts, and she even acts as the mediator between Rocket and Carol. Loughridge’s cool green color for her adds to this emotional makeup for her. Throughout Kelly Sue DeConnick’s run on Captain Marvel, she has shown Carol in a variety of relationships, and this one reveals new wrinkles in Carol’s character as Tic is a good, honorable person, but Carol has slightly antagonistic feelings towards her, like she doesn’t have “room” to be her friend.

In Captain Marvel #7, Marcio Takara doesn’t mess up his guest spot. His layouts are simple, but he moves from story beat to beat crisply while adding some physical humor to complement DeConnick’s dry wit. His best moment is a nine panel page featuring Carol, Rocket Raccoon, and Carol’s cat (or is she?) at their most hilarious while being themselves. He and DeConnick don’t force jokes, but let them develop naturally as part of character interactions. For the most part, Takara’s backgrounds are relatively unadorned, but this allows readers to focus on what the characters are doing and saying instead of the interesting looking space junk floating behind them. But Takara does grotesque well from the Builder ship on the first page to Rocket Raccoon, who isn’t a cuddly Disney mascot, but a fierce (and funny) creature, who isn’t afraid to attack someone above his weight class. The swirl of colors Loughridge uses for Rocket’s appearance adds to this wildness and helps with the hilarious ways Takara contorts his face. Captain Marvel #7 is a shining example when a writer has a rapport with a character and explores their serious and silly sides while having a little adventure and fun in the background. This is smaller than the last story arc’s  space opera/political drama, but what it lacks in dog-fights, it makes up for it in humor, heart, and a great guest star and artist.