Captain Marvel & the Guardians of the Galaxy! Carol takes her mysterious alien passenger home… and lands in the middle of an uprising against the Galactic Alliance! Does our good soldier obey orders — or defy the Avengers and side with David against Goliath? Two guesses. First one doesn’t count.
Captain Marvel and the Guardians are still stuck with a wayward child and a political mess on their hands after the last issue, as Tic hijacks Carol’s ship to try to kill Star-Lord. A scared and angry child, doomed to return to the poisoned planet Torfa and stalled diplomatic talks with the Spartax Empire, Tic is easily reined back in as Carol all but breaks into her stolen ship to retrieve her cat Chewie. Seeing the plight of Tic’s people, refugees of the Builders’ march across the stars, Carol agrees to return to Torfa to help. However, the situation on the ground is much more complicated than Carol first thought, as the poisoned refugees refuse to leave the planet despite the unknown illness sweeping through their population, fearing a Spartax conspiracy but unwilling to start over on another world and leave the dying behind. As diplomatic talks break down, Carol’s attempts to interfere, no matter how well-intentioned, fall on deaf ears, and she learns the only way to help the people of Torfa is to deal with the illness itself.
DeConnick, Lopez and Loughridge continue to make a great creative team as this storyline unfolds into a very human political drama, hitting all the right notes. The scripting is solid and well-balanced by equal measures of humor and action, Carol’s dogged resolve brought to the page by DeConnick’s skill for dialogue and strong characterizations. Even the stock alien characters like Eleanides have a real sense of character and purpose, leading to a tense but much needed reality check for the presumptuous Carol. DeConnick’s Carol is always growing, dealing with small but critical challenges that help to shape the person she’s becoming, and so far this arc has shown Carol’s development in subtle and satisfying ways.
Lopez’s line work continues to impress, capturing much of the inherent comedy through lively characters expressions and great attention to detail. While Groot only appears for the first few pages, the loving detail given to every gnarled branch is worth highlighting as Lopez’s knack for organic shapes is remarkable. And did anyone else catch what appears to be a statue of Cthulhu in the final page of the sick ward on Torfa, slightly obscured by overgrown brush and tree limbs? Colorist Loughridge’s palettes and use of shading, especially during the space chase at the beginning of the issue, is pleasing from start to finish.