Captain Marvel #14 is a lot lighter in tone than the last two issues. This is mostly due to how much we’ve figured out at this point. With new light shed on Carol’s plan, fans can smile again knowing the good Captain has not actually gone rogue.
While Carol’s methods have been ruthless and unforgiving, her reasons have finally become clear. With this new villain mashup “Vox Supreme” puppeteering her every move, Carol has to be careful and quick thinking. Especially with the lives of countless Kree refugees at stake.
From the start, this issue follows a different pace from the previous two. We don’t jump into Carol pounding on her next Avenger target hard and fast like before. In fact, we actually start with a little humor instead.
Thompson seems to be slowly adjusting her readers (and potentially herself) back to a comfort zone after shocking them in issue #12 with what seemed to be Carol killing Thor. It’s an interesting way to present this to us. First, shock the fans and grab the attention of the public in general. Then slowly bring us back to her usual style and so the old fans are comfortable and the newcomers see what she’s all about.
After establishing what Carol’s working with as her plan right now, we do get back to her taking on her next target. Since we now know it’s all a ruse, it loses that dark tone, but Vox Supreme makes up for it in a few ways.
For starters, Vox’s design is just eerie overall. His method of forcing Carol into doing this is somewhat cookie-cutter for villains, but it is still effective. Especially since he’s detonated one his bombs from the start.
What we now have is a story that is still very different from Thompson’s usual works but is still familiar enough to not feel completely foreign. But most importantly, is the story still interesting now that the question “is Captain Marvel going to kill all of the Avengers?” has been answered?
The honest answer is yes. While the hook was “Evil Carol” what we have now is the mystery of this new villain’s full plan. What is Vox Supreme’s goal? Why did he appear now? And why is he using Carol specifically?
Captain Marvel #14 even makes these questions more apparent. Tony and Carol are both unsure what to make of it. Carol even attempts to dig at Vox’s plans before he shuts her out completely. We haven’t been given much to work with ourselves in figuring it out, and even though she’s clearly not evil, Carol is still fighting the Avengers. This is still an active hook for the series.
Visually this comic is no slouch either. Each character shown has very defining features that stand out in their design. Thor’s monstrous upper body contrasts with Tony’s smaller physique but Tony’s overall more put together compared to Thor looking so rough. Carol, on the other hand, looks tired. Yes, the large shadows around her eyes really bring that home but more than that her expressions have this distaste to them.
The colors for this issue by Tamra Bonvillain are well decided on. Vox’s pallet reminds me of a can of Monster Energy Drink, which is both weird and cool given his overall design. The backgrounds are very immersive from the space theme inside Singularity, to the vast dry area of Northern California.
Captain Marvel #14 is lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles who also adds to the contrast between Tony and Thor. Thor is expressed very loud and bombastic while Tony, entirely because Carol damaged his windpipe, is struggling to speak at all.
This was a necessary issue to take a break from most of the nonstop action the previous two had. It explains the situation Carol is in more while also leaving us with many more questions on where we go from here.
This story arc has been fairly welcoming to anyone who may not have kept up with Captain Marvel in recent times. I’d still recommend checking out Thompson’s entire run with the character, as well as her other works. But anyone with an interest in the story arc alone can jump right into Captain Marvel #12 with average knowledge of the Marvel Universe and go from there.
I hope to see Carol continue to take on the remaining Avengers almost as a test to see if she could. But I am more interested in knowing where the grand scheme of this tale is leading. As such I will continue to look forward to each issue and I still recommend checking this story out for anyone who hasn’t.