Captain Marvel #13

In "Captain Marvel" #13, writer Kelly Sue DeConnick gets an assist from Warren Ellis to finish off Carol Danvers' rescue mission. This adventure, drawn by David Lopez, involves Captain Marvel trapped aboard her A.I.-powered spaceship, Harrison. In an attempt to reclaim her friend Tic and her cat Chewie, Captain Marvel must improvise in her fight with the Haffensye pirates.

The writing duo offers up enough comic book science to make the events in "Captain Marvel" #13 exciting and high-tech, which is marvelously bolstered by heads-up schematic drawings blossoming from the brilliant collaboration between Lopez and colorist Lee Loughridge.

Loughridge takes our primary colors-clad heroine and balances the rest of this comic with sublime, basic colors in a very strong bid for my favorite colorist work of 2015. Much like George Lucas did in "Star Wars" almost forty years ago, Loughridge makes the story simple through color: the Haffensye are bathed in greens, Captain Marvel's story is in warmer shades anchored by red and the battleground is cool blues. The effects he uses are story-driven and Lopez's art is open enough to be inviting to gradients and shading rather than expecting Loughridge to do half the work.

Lopez's work is nothing short of wonderful. In his time working with DeConnick on this title, the artist has set the bar high and become the Captain Marvel artist. His ability to craft a variety of pants-crapping startled expressions on three Haffensye as Danvers turns the table is just one example of how much thought and effort he puts into his work. The fact that he clearly has put thought into the interior designs of Harrison and the Haffensye ship are another example. Everything else is just standard issue David Lopez. Everything looks simple, but he gives readers more with fewer lines than most comic artists are capable of.

Letterer Joe Caramagna's work is steady and solid, with Danvers' caption boxes owning the panels they appear without circumventing Lopez's art. Emotion and context sends several words through the barriers of their balloons, including two different variations of "AHHH!" under different circumstances. Both burst out of their word balloons, but the shape of the letters is different, as is the punctuation and duration, showing the range of language and a sliver of the application of startled expressions. One area that is a bit shaky visually is the green text on black for Harrison's dialogue. I understand the choice, given its relative appearance to a classic computer monitor, but --against the vast spacescapes that flow throughout this issue -- the boxes sometimes struggle for clarity. A slightly brighter green might help bolster that, but I have no doubt Caramagna has ideas of his own to improve that spot.

DeConnick and Ellis embed Danvers in a tricky situation, stacking the odds against her, but -- like another space captain in a series that has recently returned to Marvel -- the writers remind the readership that Danvers is more than just a superheroine. Using her ingenuity and determination, Danvers finds her way through, and DeConnick and Ellis round "Captain Marvel" #13 out into a magnificent read that just so happens to sneak in as new-reader friendly, giving the audience everything they need to meet Captain Marvel and to move forward with her adventures.

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