Kelly Sue DeConnick and David Lopez’s “Captain Marvel” has been wonderfully consistent and emotionally engaging on both the writing and art fronts since issue one, effortlessly solving the problems with which the previous series struggled. This issue stumbles slightly as it closes up an impressive arc, but perhaps only because the precedent set in previous issues was so high.
It may well be a case of unfairly raised expectations, but the ending to this first arc doesn’t have quite the impact it should have as the closure to such a large, beautiful and well-considered story. Technically it’s all here; Lopez’s work is gorgeous and DeConnick delivers on all her promises, nicely building up Carol’s role from helpful Avenger to frustrated would-be politician to magnificently self-sacrificial butt-kicking superhero — but it somehow doesn’t pack the emotional punch that readers have come to expect with DeConnick’s work, especially when it comes to Carol.
DeConnick brings many escalating elements together nicely, and she tries her best to balance the action, politics and emotional beats — but in the end, the action doesn’t feel like quite enough to cap off what’s going on structure-wise (i.e. the potential destruction of an entire people as well as the fate of a planet). The ending, which does technically have all the key emotional beats necessary, feels slightly rushed and doesn’t quite land as a result.
Lopez has his work cut out for him as the story bounces from Carol facing off in space against an entire armada and the protesting and riots on Torfa to the smaller character beats. As usual, Lopez handles it all with ease. His action pages where Carol really lets loose with her powers against the armada are particularly strong and contrast gorgeously with the more intimate moments. However, the script doesn’t call for a giant action moment worthy of a six-issue build up. Lopez does the best he can with Carol’s cut-loose moment, but it’s only a page and it just doesn’t land as effectively as hoped. The most impressive thing Lopez gets to do in this issue is show off how many incredible characters he’s created; an entire world of distinct and unique creatures. Lopez and DeConnick’s world feels incredibly fleshed out and real, and when you realize the characters have only been around for six issues, it boggles the mind how wonderfully layered it all is.
Lee Loughridge’s colors continue to impress, especially as he contrasts the cool blues of space and yellows of the poisonous planet of Torpha. The blown-out golds of Torpha have a heat and an anxiety to them that captures the heightened states and desperation of the people as they rise up, both violently and peacefully, finally united in fighting their fate at the hands of despot J’Son.
Though not the strongest issue of the arc, “Captain Marvel” #6 is still good solid comics and this is a simply magic creative team that one hopes will be delivering Carol’s adventures for a long time to come.