Captain Marvel’s time travel adventure in World War II continues here, opening with a lovely and perfectly fitting dedication to Sally Ride. Carol, allied with a rag tag squadron of female pilots, squares off against alien flying pyramids. At first things don’t go well, but squad leader Jerri Quimby hatches a plan that should disable the alien craft for good. Unfortunately, it’s a suicide mission and Carol won’t let that happen. Instead, Carol faces possible death in her place. Later, the Japanese soldiers on the island surrender.
But if you think things clear up from there, you’re wrong. Jerri reveals that her squad were actually headed toward Hawaii, when instead they found themselves on this island near Peru. She isn’t sure how they wound up there and Carol even wonders why a Japanese outpost would be anywhere near Peru. The women also don’t know what happened to their planes. Just like Carol who was teleported to the island in issue #2, the Banshee Squad’s planes are also missing.
Carol digs something up. It’s green and glow-y and I have no idea what it was, but she deduces that it’s what’s responsible for all of them being drawn through time and space to this spot. Suddenly, Carol spies her plane flying toward the island and deduces that she’s actually piloting it. (Time travel makes my head hurt.) She gives the ladies a pep talk but then abandons them on the island. (Really?!) The flashback last issue, comes back into play as Carol finds herself in yet another time period.
This book’s biggest strength is the way Kelly Sue DeConnick handles the female leads. She’s quickly established amazing interactions between Carol and her friends/mentors Helen Cobb and Tracy Burke and now with the Banshee Squadron, Carol herself takes on something of a mentor role. She and Jerri have a pretty fun dialogue as Jerri reveals bits of their past. Later, there’s another flashback involving Helen and her female pilot buddies that is again fresh and entertaining.
The plotting isn’t as strong, though. I really was lost during Carol’s discovery of the green time travel goo and the ending of the Banshees’ storyline felt rather brusque and unceremonious. So hopefully things will improve over time. The plot wasn’t really bad, but the characterization definitely outshined it so I hope to see a better balance as this book finds its footing.
Dexter Soy’s art continues to not be my cup of tea. I can’t really fault him. It’s just his style. His story telling and energy are fine. It just isn’t my aesthetic. The last portion of the book is illustrated by Al Barrionuevo and it all looks pretty decent until the last page, which I didn’t like at all. Emma Rios steps in next issue and while I’m not certain her style really suits a super hero comic, at least it’ll be something of a break.
Marvel definitely put a lot of hype behind this title, so the quirkier art styles are a bit confusing to me. You’d think they’d have gotten someone like Phil Jiminez or Amanda Conner, with a really mainstream look and a knack for drawing pretty women. Heck, I think cover artist Ed McGuinness has been doing a great job! Put him on interiors!
Overall, a decent read, but not without its flaws.
CAPTAIN MARVEL #4
Written by Kelly Sue DeConnick
Art by Dexter RSoy with Al Barrionuevo (pages 16-20)
Cover by Ed McGuinness, Dexter Vines and Javier Rodriguez