Comic review: Captain Marvel #3
Issue #3 of Captain Marvel picks up where we last left off, with Carol leading the Banshee Squad into battle against the Prowlers. Immediately this issue starts off big: Dexter Soy’s artwork is absolutely gorgeous here, setting a frenetic pace for the action. The color palettes can be bold and energetic one moment and soft and intimate the next, creating a nice balance between the action and the quieter moments of the story, and underscoring Kelly Sue DeConnick’s storytelling. After a successful campaign against the alien squadron, Carol and the Banshees capture the Japanese pilot of a downed Prowler, telling him to be ready for a fight the next time his squad comes for them. They then set about to rebuilding the downed Prowler, preparing themselves for the coming battle. Carol confirms that the ships are of Kree origin, but just how they ended up in a Japanese outpost off the coast of Peru in 1943 is still unknown.
That night Carol and the rest of the Banshees set up camp. We get to know a little bit more about the Banshee Squad in a campfire scene between Carol, Daisy and Bijoux, opening up about her origins and finding out more about these women she’s fighting alongside. These quiet moments are inviting and well-written, creating a little downtime in an otherwise very action-packed issue. As soon as morning comes Prowlers appear on the horizon and Carol again leads the charge, in what proves to be the issue’s big closing fight scene. Carol’s narration during the fight does a good job of orienting the reader in Carol’s head-space, downing a few more ships before she is alarmed to realize the Prowlers are merging in a single mechanical monstrosity. “I guess,” she remarks, “now it’s a fair fight.”
The issue closes on a flashback sequence to NASA headquarters in 1961, showing Helen Cobb’s bid to enter the jet program with several other female pilots. When they’re turned away by General Howard, Helen strikes a deal with him over artifacts she recovered from the Peruvian general that had attempted to ground her after returning his plane to him (as referenced in issue #2). This extra little bit of mystery sets up the next chapter of Carol’s time-traveling adventures, paralleled by Helen’s story, and provides an intriguing ending to an overall solid issue.
I really enjoyed this issue, even more so than the previous two. It seems like DeConnick is now completely comfortable with this character and this story; it’s reflected in the tone of the book, which can be both adventurous and introspective, fun and reserved, in fair measures. Her characterizations feel very fleshed out and genuine, and make me want to really root for these women every time they do battle. It’s a very different book, in terms of tone and the kind of stories that are being told. I find that refreshing, and as always, I can’t say enough about Soy’s interiors, which really pull the whole thing together. While I was admittedly a little skeptical about where this book was going after the first two issues, every month seems to building up a steady momentum, and I think overall the book’s heading for very stories in the future.
Worth a read: This book is fun to read and just plain beautiful to look at, and I would definitely recommend it.