Ever since she set off on her latest “adventure,” Carol Danvers has had her butt handed to her at every turn. She’s done with that nonsense. Let’s start flipping some tables, shall we? Tic, the Rocket Girl, and Jackie, the Warlord, are getting in on the “Oh no you di’n’t!” action too!
The bad solicit aside, Captain Marvel #5 is a solid issue that thrusts Carol in the middle of an ongoing intergalactic incident. As talks between the Torfans and the Spartax break down into violence, Eleanides orders her people to leave the poisoned planet via ship caravan, abandoning the sick and dying. Conducting their own investigation, however, Carol and her rag-tag team make a dramatic discovery. Intercepting the goods being imported and exported the dark side of Torfa, Tic and Jackie uncover J’Son’s secret vibranium mines, which are causing the refugees’ unknown illness. With their cover blown, the Spartax plan an assault on Torfa to remove the refugees and protect the mines.
Eleanides retracts her orders upon this discovery, choosing to stand ground and fight. Carol, a foreign interloper in this situation, is instructed to return to Earth, but doesn’t take the order sitting down. Instead Carol sends her ship Harrison back, Chewie in tow, and stays behind to fight on the behalf of the outnumbered and outgunned Torfan civilians. Given that the Spartax were part of the intergalactic alliance that the Avengers fought alongside during the Builder war, the issue ends on a dramatic (and very in-character) cliffhanger that poses diplomatic challenges for the Avengers in the future.
DeConnick continues to easily manage the political intrigue of this storyline, with an amusing supporting cast and solid characterizations throughout. The plot of this renumbering’s inaugural story has been pretty straightforward and familiar so far, with its timely cameos and space-faring adventure, but it’s characters like Jackie and Eleanides that keep things interesting. I could have done without Carol’s big speech at the end during her showdown with the Spartax armada, which felt a bit phoned in for new readers, but otherwise DeConnick’s scripting doesn’t disappoint.
The relationship of Lopez’s line art and Loughridge’s colors continue to please, even after the now fifth issue of this arc. Lopez’s artwork is fun, expressive and highly detailed throughout, with a clean narrative style that never fails to capitalize on the humor of the script. Loughridge’s palettes are generally quite lovely, from the dry sandy tones of Torfa to the soft purple and blue hues of J’Son’s reveal scene. Even the drab greens and greys of interior scenes connote a sense of space and lighting that other colorists may fall short on, which is why I’m always impressed by Loughridge’s color choices so far in this arc.