Filipe Andrade’s unconventional style in “Captain Marvel” #12 serves as a vote of confidence for Kelly Sue DeConnick’s work with co-writer Christopher Sebela on the further adventures of Carol Danvers. While many readers, critics and professionals feared this title not lasting a full year, the fact that it not only lasted that long, but ably delivers stories with personal ramifications for the character in a style more traditionally aligned with indie comics speaks volumes of where the character and the title stand in Marvel’s plans.
Andrade’s style is expressive and cartoony, but fluid, like gesture drawings feverishly produced with vine charcoal in a life drawing sketchbook. His characters are alive on these pages and the motion that engulfs them helps tell the story as much as any words in the dialog buttons or caption boxes. As is the case with gesture drawings, some perspective seems off, some anatomy is skewed, but there is absolutely no uncertainty as to who the characters are throughout “Captain Marvel” #12. I applaud Marvel for making such a bold move artistically (which I would have done sooner, but my fellow reviewers were already on their feet clapping) when a more traditional artist certainly could have been utilized. Andrade’s battle between Captain Marvel and Deathbird is striking and fun, something worth analyzing more closely. Colorist Jordie Bellaire fills the pages with bright colors, matching Andrade’s energy and giving it depth. Even the more solemn pages are brighter and more engaging than they would be in most other books on the stands today.
The mysterious illness that has grounded Danvers gets a lot more paneltime in this issue as a specialist is called in for a second opinion. DeConnick and Sebela alternate between advancing that case and choreographing the scrap between Deathbird and Marvel, which moves the book along tremendously. Reliant upon a hover bike to fly, Captain Marvel has to make the most of what she has against Deathbird in “Captain Marvel” #12, but that doesn’t slight her character, which shines through every balloon of dialog. There’s humor and tenacity present in Carol Danvers and her determination is prominently displayed.
“Captain Marvel” #12 finishes with plenty of suspense, as Carol receives a visit from her consulting physicians and an old foe plots out a visit of his own. The next issue blurb points directly to “The Enemy Within” #1, which kicks off a crossover between this title and “Avengers Assemble” while continuing to provide a showcase for the iconic covers from Joe Quinones. Carol Danvers has assumed the mantle of Captain Marvel, now talented creators like DeConnick, Sebela, Andrade and Bellaire are ensuring that she earns it and contributes to the legacy.