Captain Marvel #16

"Infinity" continues its sprawl through Avengers-related titles with part two of "Kiss Today Goodbye" in "Captain Marvel" #16, co-written by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Jen Van Meter. Unfortunately, that leads to a deflated story that struggles to perform well enough on its own. Through the prism of "Infinity" it begins to fall apart a bit more.

DeConnick and Van Meter stitch pieces of the story together enough to make "Captain Marvel" a complete comic, but too much of this issue is lifted from other spots that it drags the issue down. This series is at its best when DeConnick (and Van Meter) empowers Carol Danvers to grow and be a strong, developing character. That shines through a bit on the interstitial scenes that link the scenes duplicated from "Avengers" #19. The writers shift the point of view on the shared scenes to be delivered from that of Danvers to emphasize Carol's growth and her struggle to resume her life following the events of "The Enemy Within" as she has plunged straight into "Infinity" without really having a chance to take a personal inventory. That doesn't prove enough to elevate "Captain Marvel" #16 away from being the comic book equivalent to a glorified rerun though.

Patrick Oliffe's art is serviceable, but rough and filled with rigid characters. Having read many of these scenes in "Avengers" #19, I find the art to be distracting, as it seems like Oliffe may have been unsure of the level of detail to include in the Alephs or the setting of the Builders' command ship. The scenes of Captain Marvel in full Binary mode flying through space are the scenes that work best with Oliffe's style and Andy Troy's crazy-bright colors. Other scenes, such as Ex Nihila randomly appearing at the end of the issue and disappearing just as quickly seem wildly incomplete and disrupt the story's flow.

This story spins out from the events of "Infinity" and the tight "Avengers" tie-ins and points readers back to "Infinity" for the true conclusion, but does very little to deliver closure. Taken on its own merit, "Captain Marvel" #16 works as a Captain Marvel story and it gives readers some explanation of Carol Danvers' Binary powers and guest appearances from a number of Danvers' Avengers teammates, but it doesn't do much to grow the character. After her own crossover with "Avengers Assemble," "Captain Marvel" has played nicely with "Infinity," but I think the character of Captain Marvel can continue to play nicely with the Marvel Universe without tying the "Captain Marvel" comic book into the event so repetitively. Hopefully this title has gained some new readers through the crossover. I'm looking forward to what DeConnick and team have in store for Carol Danvers from here.

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