Civil War II #0 definitely has a “prologue” feel and not much in the way of action or twists other than the president of the United States saying that he wants James Rhodes to take his spot in the future. (There is a little bit of a disconnect between She-Hulk/Carol’s sequences and War Machine’s.) However, Brian Michael Bendis clearly articulates the premise of Civil War II and makes the conflict in it, both ideological and personal. As an Ultimate, Captain Marvel has seen the fluctuating timestream and dark futures of the Marvel Universe, and she desperately wants these to not happen by being more proactive towards catastrophes.
It says a lot that, more than 30 years later, our sci-fi visual language is still so reliant on Alien’s and Aliens’ legacy. There are probably entire articles–maybe entire books?–to be written about the fact that you still can’t tell a “small crew investigates an abandoned spacecraft” story without consciously or unconsciously evoking those decades-old movies.
Carol Danvers is not just a fantasy about being powerful–she’s my fantasy that I can be powerful because my desires are powerful. She’s a fantasy that we are strong enough to triumph over our minds and bodies and misfortunes. Strong because of our misfortunes. Strong enough to be the people we choose to be.
The creative team for Ultimates definitely works in unison. While Ewing gives us the character beats and the story that will keep us coming back, Rocafort and Brown continue to assault our eyeballs with all manner of splash pages, colors, and inter-dimensional transport stars that are greeted by many styles of alien remains and a purple dragon to greet them. The Ultimates #3 proves that a team of past B and C list Heroes can be the next great thing in the right hands.
Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps #4 will make readers feel truly victorious and want to “punch holes in the sky” (from DeConnick’s sign-off on the series) in a battle royale that combines both hard punching hand to hand combat and beautiful aerial maneuvers courtesy of Laura Braga, Paolo Pantalena, and Lee Loughridge. Kelly Sue DeConnick and Kelly Thompson also don’t neglect character relationships as Captain Marvel inspires the Banshee Squadron to fight gods while also helping her old friend Kit find thunderous redemption. Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps #4 is a single issue party celebrating the power of Carol Danvers as one of Marvel Comics’ most inspirational icons and wraps up DeConnick’s work on the character in powerful and occasionally tearful way.
Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps #1 uses the characters and ideas brought up in Kelly Sue DeConnick’s seminal Captain Marvel run to tell a thought provoking and intense war story set in space with a diverse group of female leads. Each dog fight has a point as Carol Danvers progresses from soldier to possible revolutionary.
Kelly Sue DeConnick’s run on Captain Marvel has been an interesting, if a bit uneven, romp. Throughout her time on the book, it has seemed that everyone involved, Kelly Sue, Marvel, even the good Captain herself is struggling to figure out who Carol Danvers is and where she fits best. From the clearly-meant-to-be-a-limited-series opening arc (which was fantastic), a time-traveling tour around the history of Carol Danvers and Marvel Universe female aviation in general, to her most recent stint in space as Avenging Ambassador to the cosmos/Babysitter of the Guardians of the Galaxy, Carol has been trying on a lot of hats (I meant that as a metaphor but it occurs to me that there is one very literal hat that has gained so much popularity amongst the Carol Corps that it now exists in our universe as well).
In Captain Marvel #9, Kelly Sue DeConnick and David Lopez switch gears from space opera to rock opera in space involving variations on the traditional fairy tale. DeConnick inverts gender roles, writes about 75% of the issue’s dialogue in rhyme, and reinvents the character of Lila Cheney (who I previously thought was a Dazzler knockoff while showcasing Captain Marvel’s ability to inspire heroism and self-sacrifice in other people. Artist David Lopez adds a lot of the humor to the proceedings with his penchant for expressive faces. He also spaces out his panels in a way which reflects the rhyming scheme of dialogue before bringing out creative layouts and speed lines for the big third act battle. Colorist Lee Loughridge adds to the musical flavor of Captain Marvel #9 by contrasting the colors of the musical notes with the rest of the panel. He also adds a bit of pop to the teleportation and other dramatic scenes.