Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps #4 (HERE BE SPOILERS!)

I've been dreading this issue, since it represents Kelly Sue DeConnick's last Captain Marvel story.  As she notes in her letter at the end of the issue, DeConnick launched "Captain Marvel" in 2012.  I really think that it's fair to say that she's responsible for Marvel's commitment to improved diversity as a result of the success of the series and its successor.  It may be a bold statement, but I think that it's an accurate one.

It's hard to remember that it wasn't clear that we'd be where we are now just three years ago.  But, reading some of my posts from that time, a lot of focus was definitely put on the fact that Carol was Marvel's only series featuring a solo female character.  No "Ms. Marvel," or "Silk," or "Spider-Gwen," or "Spider-Woman," or "Thor."  It was just Carol.

Needless to say, it was a high-risk/high-reward endeavor.  If DeConnick failed to grab people with the story that she was telling, then it easily would've been seen as a referendum on diversity in comics.  Women can't sell comics!  Don't push us outside our comfort zone ever again!  I don't understand the trolls that feel threatened by the concept of diversity, but some of them seriously, seriously are.

Thankfully, they were disappointed.  DeConnick's Carol combined strength with vulnerability and resolve with humanity.  DeConnick also assembled around her just about the best supporting cast in the history of comics.  She created a dedicated (ahem, really dedicated) following, and Marvel realized that maybe, just maybe, it could sell comics that featured characters that weren't just straight white guys.

I really do think that DeConnick and her collaborators did that.  They opened that door, and I wanted to take this time to thank her for that.  Thanks, Kelly Sue, for giving us Carol and everyone that comes after her.  Trail, blazed.

(In terms of this actual issue, it's OK.  It doesn't really resolve anything, per se, since we don't see what Carol sees when she and the Banshees enter space.  But, it does underline the importance of Carol's supporting cast, as it's Helen and Kit that allow Carol to get past the Thors and into space in the first place.  Is it a little overly convenient, that they both have this sudden change of heart?  Yes.  Am I willing to buy it for DeConnick's last issue writing Carol?  Yes.)

** (two of five stars)

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