Kelly Sue DeConnick teams up again with Emma Rios for a run on “Captain Marvel” sure to impress the same way that their “Osborn” series did. DeConnick and Rios play to each other’s strengths, as Rios embraces the bold sassy tone of DeConnick’s plot and dialogue and runs with it.
I wasn’t always sure that DeConnick taking Carol’s story back in time was the greatest move as I was curious to see how she’d function in our present first. However, it all comes around in this issue as DeConnick brings readers full circle to the moment when Carol first got her powers. It’s a breathtaking moment with a fantastic cliffhanger that makes waiting for the next book difficult. In fact, it redeems any concerns I had about the book’s trip into the past.
From the first issue DeConnick has had a great handle on Carol’s voice, making her funnier, more human and more relatable than I expected. It’s funny to see her in the more mature role to the brash and ballsy younger version of the woman that would eventually become her mentor. It’s a nice reversal and DeConnick makes the best of it.
Rios’ Carol and Helen are wonderfully distinct. Despite being blonde, white and athletic — three characteristics that in most comic books would have them looking exactly the same — they instead have entirely different facial features, hairstyles and clothing. It’s fantastic. There’s a looseness and energy to Rios’ art that I find invigorating. While her storytelling is not as mainstream as one might expect for a standard superhero comic, it’s vivid and interesting. Rios also handles a fighter pilot scene with the same savvy that she does the emotional moments. There are a few visual nits, such as Carol’s mullet-like hair that’s badly in need of an update, and a coloring error early in the book that makes a scene far more confusing than it should be.
“Captain Marvel” has been a solid book since it’s debut, but it’s nice to see DeConnick and Rios together again. Their affection for working together, and for Carol as a character, is palpable. They’re having a great time making comics and it’s evident in this issue.