Carol Danvers returns in her 100th solo issue for an oversized anniversary special just in time for Christmas. The first chapter of a holiday-themed two-parter, Captain Marvel #10 catches up with Carol’s friends back home on Earth through a series of letters picked up by world-hopping rock star Lila Cheney. Shifting gears from the series recent spacefaring adventure theme, this issue slows down to show that behind every great hero is a strong supporting cast of family and friends.
Through messages from Kit, Jessica Drew, Jim Rhodes, and Wendy Kawasaki, Carol gets a glimpse into the adventures her fellow heroes are having without her. Self-proclaimed Captain Marvel villain Grace Valentine returns to antagonize the city once more, hatching yet another cartoonishly mustache-twirling evil plot. From these alternating perspectives the reader is treated to the old-fashioned heroic adventure story that DeConnick delivers so well, even if the set-up is pretty corny. The issue is peppered with endearing personal moments and memories, especially in Jessica and Jim’s respective storylines, which serve to ground all of Carol’s friendships in ways designed to tug at the heart strings. Every character is given a moment to shine on their individual merit, and it’s a refreshing change of pace to see Carol’s support network in action against a villain.
Artists Lopez, Takara and Braga lend their respective styles to each section of the story, splitting the workload with a great deal of success. While their styles do vary in weight and character of line, the transition from one artist to the next is pretty much seamless, and all of their individual pages keep the story moving at a good clip despite that initial visual discrepancy. Colorists Loughridge and Filardi also mitigate some of this inconsistency through uniform palette choices that make for a visually cohesive reading experience. Soft blues, muted beiges, and warm orange tones create an inviting, almost pastel world for the reader to follow, affecting the kind of dreamy reconstruction that comes of reading a story secondhand.
It has a predictable villain and a paint-by-numbers plot, but the endearing nature of the story and its execution is what makes this issue a highly enjoyable read. Captain Marvel #10 is obvious fan service, but with a sense of heart at its core, it perfectly encapsulates Carol’s enduring popularity in recent years. This title has made a name for itself by serving standard cape book comfort food with a strong emotional foundation that dictates the stories being told, and it makes sense that the 100th issue special is no different. This issue is must-read for Carol fans.