By Kelly Thompson, Carmen Carnero, Tamra Bonvillain & VC’s Clayton Cowles
Captain Marvel #5 wraps up Kelly Thompson’s first arc with an exciting, confident and often rewarding action packed issue that gets the most out of a Rogue and Captain Marvel team-up that was set-up in issue four after the standard superheroes fighting each other scene. Whilst the issue felt very much like a routine final battle issue, with not much in the way of surprises, it was still engaging enough created by the dynamic of the cast of characters that Thompson puts together. The interactions between Rogue and Carol are a constant source of entertainment, and there’s a pitch-perfect She-Hulk scene that echoes Hulk’s defeat of Loki in Whedon’s The Avengers.
One of the main problems of the first arc has been the focus on Nuclear Man as a largely forgettable villain and although Captain Marvel #5 can’t really rectify that with the book moving a bit too fast at times in a hurry to get to the end, it’s the protagonists that Thompson is having the most fun with. The effortless chemistry with anyone regardless of who she’s interacting with even if she was fighting them to the death in the last issue will never not be a delight, and audiences will crave more for team-ups in the future. But the book never lets its vast cast overshadow the fact that this is a Carol Danvers book first and foremost and there are several stunning pages where you get to see her in action, brilliantly drawn by Carmen Carnero with slick and dynamic colours from Tamra Bonvillain.
The combat scenes have a constant, dynamic back and forth feel to them that never understate the importance of the characters. Emotions are clear and easy to find, giving depth to the characters. There’s a single panel of Rogue and Carol about to ‘kick the crap out of A Nuclear Man’ makes everything that this series has been building up to rewarding, especially when coupled with that She-Hulk panel. Every character is drawn and written to perfection and their rebellion-styled, war-torn costumes will never not be a highlight. VC’s Clayton Cowles gives each word an impact with his letters, with the whole creative team working together to get the best out of the characters.
As a conclusion to the first arc, Captain Marvel #5 goes out on a high. It may not be the best Captain Marvel arc ever but it’s been plenty of fun and this punch-up is among the more entertaining brawls from the recent selection of comics. It has all the wow factor that you’d expect despite its flaws, aided by that extra character interaction wow factor. The Nuclear Man never stood a chance. It’s almost a shame to see this book dragged into a mandatory War of the Realms tie-in next issue, but if Champions has proved, sometimes the best things can come outside of the main event, and given how well Thompson has written Carol’s interaction with other characters here, at least seeing her team-up with Doctor Strange and Black Widow should be a highlight at least.