Comic Book Review: Captain Marvel #13
Captain Marvel #13 presents the second and final part of “The 7 Seconds Before You Die,” a story arc bringing Warren Ellis aboard to join Kelly Sue DeConnick on storytelling duties. We see Carol push herself and her ship harder than ever before to rescue Tic and Chewie from Haffensye pirates. Carol’s courageous and innovative risk-taking in this issue reminds us how she was an ace pilot long before she ever became Captain Marvel, and between her flying prowess and her wit Carol could teach Han Solo a thing or two. With this issue, you’ll want to buckle yourself in tight and brace yourself for the jump to hyperspeed.
Artist David Lopez and colorist Lee Loughridge bring the heat in this incendiary space battle. The explosions and ship-to-ship combat are intense, but the drama in the moment really comes through in Carol’s expressions—like when the panels pull in tighter and tighter to a close up of her face right before she attacks the Haffensye ship. We feel Carol’s tension along with her. Loughridge’s colors enhance the drama of the moment, particularly with his keen eye toward the use of light and shadow. The pacing on this issue is great as well. The action comes at you fast and hard, but there are a couple of double-page spreads that make you pause and just soak in the moment.
While this issue piles on the danger, the story’s humor eases the tension a bit, and the times the story made me laugh are the times I liked best. Captain Marvel and her ship’s AI, Harrison, have hilarious banter, with Harrison winning in the cheesy joke department. There’s also something inherently funny about using “warp bear juice” from a “warp bear” to boost your ship’s speed. One of the funniest moments, though, has to be when Tic pulls Chewie and Captain Marvel into a hug—poor Chewie looks so anguished, and anyone who’s ever tried to hug a cat can relate.
This issue also brings Tic’s character arc to a close, at least for now, as she parts ways from Captain Marvel to helm her own ship. We see how Tic has grown over the course of the series; once flighty and impulsive, she has matured into a hero in her own right, with a mission and a sense of purpose. However, her departure in this issue is abrupt. Because Tic has been such an important and central character, I wish her departure had been given more emotional weight.
Captain Marvel‘s fast-paced action and spirited humor make for a fun read. Captain Marvel shows her considerable skill pulling off a death-defying rescue mission, her thrilling heroics sure to get the Carol Corps’ adrenaline pumping. We see in Tic how Carol’s influence inspires others to stand up and find the hero within themselves, and that inspiration draws us to Captain Marvel just as much as the thrills. This issue was such a wild ride, and I can’t wait for more.