Captain Marvel #3

"Captain Marvel" #3 continues Kelly Sue DeConnick's latest adventures of Carol Danvers in part three of "Higher, Further, Faster, More." Following last issue's hi-jacking of her spaceship, Captain Marvel is left in space, trying to catch something that simply isn't there. The inexperienced spaceship pilot, combined with Danvers' cat, Chewie, makes for some rather humorous moments, especially with color commentary from Rocket Raccoon, Star-Lord and Groot.

In space, an artist must rely on his colorist to help define the environment around the characters -- exactly what David Lopez does with Lee Loughridge. Loughridge doesn't simply paint the background black and speckle in some stars, but instead casts the heavens in shades of blues blending into blacks with stars of various brilliance and hue. Lopez's storytelling is dynamic and fun, with characters expressing themselves through emotions and body language. Tic, the alien refugee at the center of "Captain Marvel" #3's space adventure unleashes a breakdown on the level with the most tantrum-prone three-year-olds. Lopez crafts reactions around that scene that are masterful and filled with a fine sense of acting. Letterer Joe Caramagna's word balloons hit he right notes as well, hugging tightly to one another in the quick, almost-parental conversation between Star-Lord and Captain Marvel following that incident. The visual crew brings amazing artwork to the story throughout, including a strong shift in color palette once Captain Marvel returns Tic to Torfa, her poison planet homeworld.

DeConnick has really stepped out of the expected with this series, choosing to send Carol Danvers into space without much support. Sure, she conveniently ran into the Guardians of the Galaxy, seemingly right away, but the Guardians are quickly relegated to support once "Captain Marvel" #3 really gets rolling. This issue is all about Danvers' dedication to a cause, her determination to make things better and her drive to help others. It's not all serious, though, as DeConnick finds some wonderfully whimsical moments to drop in humor and humanity, even among the stressed-out population of Torfa.

While I enjoyed the previous volume of DeConnick's work with Carol Danvers, I've found myself even more enchanted by the work of this latest volume. "Captain Marvel" #3 is a nice encapsulation of why. DeConnick and Lopez are hitting all the right beats in this story and working very nicely to one another's strengths. Lopez's character and location designs are just alien enough to be fresh and new, but familiar enough to be comfortable. This feels like a space-borne Indiana Jones type of story as Danvers has clearly stepped much deeper into something when all she really wanted to do was make things better. Now stuck in between the residents of Torfa and the Galactic Alliance, Danvers' story is filled with the unexpected.

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