Carol Danvers has integrated herself into a unit of female pilots aspiring to become astronauts in 1961 and is training with a younger version of one of her mentors, Helen Cobb, a true hot dog of a pilot. When not showing off their skills, the women hang out at The Whiskey Tenor a bar that Carol’s father took her to as a kid, after Helen had acquired it. Carol makes a remark that sets Helen off and the older pilot starts questioning who Carol really is. Another pilot, nicknamed Oklahoma receives the news that their program is being shut down, so Helen and Carol decide to get a last bit of revenge. Helen traded a strange and mysterious artifact to the government in exchange for this opportunity to become astronauts, so she means to get it back, which entails breaking into a secure facility filled with guards.
The women acquire the artifact, but are surrounded by guards, leaving Carol no choice but to reveal her secret and become Captain Marvel. She tries to reason with Helen, since she believes that she needs the artifact to fix time, but she is worried about revealing too much. Suddenly, Helen/Carol’s T6 appears in the sky, signalling another time jump!
Last issue, I stated that while I loved Kelly Sue DeConnick’s dialogue and characterization, yet I found the plot less engaging. This issue, things balance out quite a bit! The plot is really coming together and is a lot more coherent this time around. Maybe it just took a few issue for this book to find its groove, but this was hands down the most instantly enjoyable issue of this series so far. Once again, DeConnick just has a way with female voices that very, VERY few writers possess. The connection between Carol and Helen is honest, realistic and very entertaining.
Emma Rios steps into art duties this issue. Rios has a quirky, almost indie style. Her work is really excellent, but my concern is that it isn’t very mainstream. I hope casual readers don’t pick it up, flip through it and put it down because it isn’t your usual super hero comic style. If so, they’re missing out. The facial expressions are fantastic and she gives the quieter moments a different energy than the action scenes, so when the action kicks in, you can really feel the change! Very well done! There’s also a retro vibe to it, which is appropriate for a time travel story, I suppose.
I feel like I may have been overly rough on this series in the past, but I love the character and am really hoping this take on her is successful. (Successful enough to cross over into the movie franchises, which is rumored.) I only worry about the less-than-mainstream art, because I’m worried that it could scare off less daring readers. I would say Rios’ art is a bit easier on the eyes than Dexter Soy’s, so maybe that will help. But I definitely feel like this issue really pulled things together and that suddenly the book has found its proper balance.
CAPTAIN MARVEL #5
Written by Kelly Sue DeConnick
Art by Emma Rios
Cover by Terry and Rachel Dodson