Over the last few months, Kelly Sue DeConnick’s “Captain Marvel” has really found its voice. Never has this been truer than in the last two issues and with the help of Christopher Sebela and artist Filipe Andrade as the creators take Carol into a personal arc rife with emotion and drama.
DeConnick and Sebela’s Carol is such a three-dimensional, living, breathing woman it astounds me. As a die-hard Rogue fan, Carol has never been my favorite character, no matter what code name she had. In the past if I’d had to choose between the two ladies I’d have gone with Rogue any day of the week and twice on Sunday, but DeConnick makes that choice extremely difficult. Carol feels like a real person (and superhero) in a way that so many others fail. She has faults and is far from perfect in ways that makes the book relatable and refreshing, but she’s also desperately heroic at her core.
My favorite aspect of DeConnick’s Carol is her sense of humor. It’s fun, sharp and makes readers just want to know her better. In this issue, DeConnick and Sebela further develop Carol’s illness and suggest that it may not be entirely natural (although it certainly is real), despite Carol’s resistance to the idea. They also introduce a surprising new villain or two for Carol to face and end on a solid cliffhanger. “Captain Marvel” #10 is a tender balance of emotion and action that works incredibly well on the whole.
The art by Andrade, much like in the previous issue, has a blissful unbridled enthusiasm. There’s a kinetic energy to the pages of Carol’s life that is absolutely contagious. It doesn’t hurt that it’s also alternately adorable, heroic and deliberately ordinary as the situation demands. Characters all have drastically different looks and body types, and his expression work and acting is sublime. Andrade’s work is an extreme style for sure, and I do fear that it won’t speak to a large enough audience to last long term, but it’s a style that truly embraces Carol and her entire world with beauty and verve. For my money I hope he’s on the book forever. Jordie Bellaire’s colors are a great match, easily up to the task of Andrade’s energetic pencils — cutting loose and pulling back as the story demands. Under Bellaire, everything about Carol as Captain Marvel glows, which feels oh-so-right.
While “Captain Marvel” has taken a while to find its footing, it has really begun to sing in these last few issues, in large part thanks to DeConnick and Sebela finding a wonderful balance between the oh-so-human Carol and her superheroic persona. “Captain Marvel” has a vision and voice that only the best of superhero books can manage and I can’t wait for what’s next.