Sunday, December 15, 2013

Captain Marvel #17 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

OK, Carol moving into the crown of the Statue of Liberty is just about the coolest thing ever.  (JJJ, Jr. telling her that it wasn't his problem whether she'd be able to afford the rent was possibly the funniest thing ever.)  But, the highlight of this issue is Kit telling Captain Marvel that the Captain Marvel lessons that she mentioned throughout the issue were something that she was going to give to Carol and not something that she expected Carol to give to her.  I mean, I totally cried.  I held it together during the "I am Spartacus" moment earlier in the issue, but I'm only human.  This series, man.  It's always been as much about Carol's gang as it's been about Carol, since the former helps show the awesomeness of the latter.  Carol's gang essentially expanding to include all of New York seems the perfect metaphor for explaining just how awesome she really is.

My only complaint is that DeConnick really fumbles the ball when it comes to the villain.  I'm still not exactly sure what Grace Valentine's app does or what it's connection to philosophy (or "absolute objectivism") is.  Moreover, I'm not sure why she needs some second-rate magazine to publish a piece about it for her to have self-worth; after all, as several people mention throughout the series, it seems that the millions of downloads in and of themselves would be sufficient validation.  (Wanting a magazine to publish a piece on you to feel like you've made it seems so old economy.)  DeConnick hints that Grace has something else up her sleeve with the whole data-mining scheme, but her villainy really seems to come from this unexplained need for validation.  As such, she just seems totally unhinged, rather than a character driven to villainy for some sort of valid reason.  Moreover, given that she portrays an image of herself holding someone hostage, I'm pretty surprised that everyone seemed to let that drop.  I mean, shouldn't someone be trying to help her partner?

At any rate, this issue brings an end to this version of Carol.  DeConnick has managed to take us on a tour of the last 45 years of Carol's history, integrating parts of her story that no one really managed to bring together in quite the same way.  Although she's lost her memory, the Carol that we have here is, possibly for the first time, the sum of her parts.  With that firm foundation, we seem ready to see what Carol can really do, something DeConnick clearly intends to do now.  If she can just do a little better job on introducing new villains, this next series should be even better than this one.

*** (three of five stars)

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