It’s very rare that we see a run that isn’t a guaranteed hit like Spider-Man or Batman hit the big 50 issue mark, which is what makes it so much more insane that Captain Marvel managed to hit it, and I mean that with the best of intentions. It’s been a joy to go on a ride with Kelly Thompson’s Carol Danvers, joined by an assortment of artists, inkers, colourists, and letterers, which is why it makes sense that we’d end with an introspection of Carol, looking back on everything that’s happened.
The issue picks up a while after the ending of the last arc, where Binary – Carol’s duplicate made of her energy who came to life – sacrificed herself in order to save everyone. We see her filled with grief and mourning, wondering if everything she’s done had a point – if the people critical of her and her powers had a point.
Carol is at her lowest here – the lowest she’s been throughout the entire run – and it’s up to Jessica Drew to try and pick her back up. Jessica tries to cheer Carol up through various means, none of which seem to work for Carol until the very end. It’s an interesting exploration of her grief, something that I feel we haven’t seen in comics for a while, and certainly not from Carol’s angle – and the way she deals with it feels just how she would, which is just a showcase of how well Kelly Thompson gets her.
Both Javier Pina and David Lopez are on art duties this issue, the former tackling about two-thirds of it, while the latter handles the rest – along with Yen Nitro on colours. The art is excellent throughout, and the split between Pina and Lopez doesn’t feel jarring, given the way the story does the switch. Pina and Nitro do something awe inspiring where every character in a two page spread crowded with people all look visually distinct enough to point out who’s who. Lopez also has two gorgeous splash pages back to back, during a scene that perfectly encapsulates who Carol Danvers is.
I understand that for “#50 reasons” they ended up doing all of this in one issue, but I do wish that there was more time to truly explore Carol’s grief – that would’ve made it hit harder. But even so, this was a stellar issue, one where the team flexes their muscles and shows off how well they understand the titular character, in one of the best ways to really do an exploration of a character.
Hats off to Kelly Thompson and the team once again for making it to 50 issues. It’s inspirational to see a run go on for this long – and speaks to just how popular Captain Marvel is as a character. As someone who enjoyed the vast majority of the run, I’m going to miss it a lot – and I can’t wait to see what KT has in store with Birds of Prey, out this September! I’m also very excited for the other two Captain Marvel books coming out soon. Next month we’ll be getting the Captain Marvel: Dark Tempest mini-series by Ann Nocenti and Paolo Villanelli, followed by Alyssa Wong and Jan Bazaldua’s relaunch of the main title in October!