Written by: Clint McElroy
Art by: Ig Guara and Felipe Sobreiro
Letters by: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Carol and Kamala have been tracking down a gang of thieves who have been stealing Kree technology from various Damage Control warehouses up and down the east coast. At the end of last issue, they finally confronted the gang only to find out that its leader is none other than Mar-Vell the long-presumed dead Kree supersoldier whose name Carol now bears. Or is he? Let’s find out…
Well, no, our Kree kleptomaniac is not the legendary Captain Marvel but the man whose identity the Kree spy borrowed all those (many) moons ago – Walter S Lawson. (The otherwise less than wonderful ‘Wastrel’ name now makes sense – it’s an anagram of ‘Walter S’. It’s still a bit pants, though.) Having had his identity stolen and also having (somehow) miraculously survived the plane crash out of which Mar-Vell dragged his (apparently not) dead body, old Walter has a rather understandable grudge against the Kree race. He’s in the middle of explaining his plan when Kamala lets slip that Carol is herself half-Kree and Walter gets all xenophobic and skedaddles under the cover of some kind of blackout gas and the patented Kree ‘aura of negativity’ which makes locating him impossible.
The next three pages basically show Kamala and Carol having a fall-out. Carol’s annoyed that Kamala let slip the secret of her dual heritage; as the junior partner in their relationship, Kamala feels understandably upset that Carol is upset and hangs out with Bruno at the local arcade for some much-needed r&r. (Actually, she doesn’t look that upset. And she’s not averse to using her powers to cheat so she can win the prize. Never mind.) This is ended by Carol reappearing, having clearly decided to cut Kamala some slack in the meantime and work with her to locate Wastrel and his slightly rubbish Kree helpers. Presumably, Bruno goes home, but at least he gets to meet Captain Marvel who, drawn by Ig Guara, looks pretty impressive in a slightly domineering sort of way. There are worse things that can happen to a guy.
The Marvels borrow a ship from Shuri, tracing and tracking Wastrel’s signal which has suddenly (and conveniently) reappeared. The final few pages explain that there is a reason for this and the whole issue wraps up with an ominous reveal which suggests next issue’s conclusion of this three-issue arc is going to be suitably explosive.
As issues go, this is fun enough in a straightforward, no-frills kind of way. The interest in this issue is less in the ongoing story than in the evolving relationship between Carol and Kamala. Whether you like this depends on how sweet a tooth you have for this kind of mentor/mentee friendship. I don’t mind it myself and, although the dialogue gets a bit much at times, that the two characters care about each other is both clear and naturalistically presented. Ig Guara’s art is growing on me a bit. His Carol is less severe than some versions of the character I’ve seen and the sequence in which Carol and Kamala fight a somewhat battered Kree Sentry is nice and dynamic. The issue as a whole is clearly intended to set up the grand finale, but it does that pretty well and the characterization as a whole is pretty engaging. The big gaping hole in the narrative is an explanation of what Lawson’s been doing for the last (ulp!) 50ish years, but there’s still time for that explanation which I hope we get next month.
A fun, inoffensive issue. Last month’s cliffhanger is resolved in a fairly sensible way; the relationship between Kamala and Carol continues to be presented as a genuinely warm and engaging one. The script is fairly tight; the art is mostly good. While not outstanding, this is good solid comic book storytelling. (And I really like that cover!)