Last month both Captain Marvel and Ms. Marvel closed out on their first major arcs, establishing a great story and direction for both titles. Amazingly, both titles have found strong readership with their respective reboots, and of the two Ms. Marvel has been the most successful with the debut of teenager Kamala Khan, daughter of Pakistani immigrants. In spirit, both titles are strongly linked and I think it is great that they were both relaunched at the same time (roughly) and that the quality on both titles, especially Ms. Marvel, has been so high. That is extremely gratifying.
This week, in Captain Marvel #7 we see the beginning of a new arc as writer Kelly Sue DeConnick brings back Rocket of the Guardians of the Galaxy for some madcap adventures with Carol, Tic and the former’s cat Chewie. The cat is quite the star of this new arc it seems, and I had fun reading the new issue, though I thought that it was a bit too gratuitously silly and funny. The art however, with new artist Marcio Takara, was as good as it was with David Lopez in the last issues, so that helped balance things out. With Ms. Marvel #8, we see a new arc once again as the Inhuman Queen Medusa sends her trusted companion Lockjaw to keep an eye out for Kamala, following Wolverine’s tip to Captain Marvel about the young hero. It is a damn good new story arc here and Adrian Alphona is back again, so the art too is awesome.
The new issue starts off by showing us one of Carol’s recent recurring nightmares, where she fails to save her friends and her former lover James (?) Rhodey aka War Machine from certain death. It is an interesting, if weird, setup for this new arc and hopefully we are going to see something come of it, because it is kind of a big deal I think. However, soon as Carol wakes up, we are treated to some great interactions between her and Tic, as well as her and Rocket. Rocket is quite possibly one of my all-time favourite comics characters, mostly because of how fun he is to read about and how matter-of-fact badass he is. Kelly Sue keeps that front and center in this comic, and it couldn’t be better really.
There are a lot of things going on in this comic, and everything comes back to what happened with Carol and the Guardians of the Galaxy when they met a few issues back. Something comes back to haunt both Carol and Rocket, with the reveal itself being delightful and entertaining to no end. The expressions of surprise on their faces are just pure gold.
With this new issue, we also get to see Marcio Takara take over pencilling duties from David Lopez and on the whole I like his work more than I did David’s. His art is much cleaner and much more consistent as well I’d say. His take on the characters is also different than David’s, though not too much so that keeps things quite fresh. Lee Loughridge’s colours seem to work much more with Marcio’s pencils, than they did with David’s, and that was also nice, though David and Lee had a good tuning between them towards the end of the first arc.
This is a great issue for this new series, but it is a little too static for my tastes. The best thing here is definitely how well Rocket is a foil for Carol and Kelly Sue writes both characters really well.
The last arc on this series was a small 2-parter that introduced none other than Wolverine to the series. It was a nice tie-in for Kamala, opening her up to the larger Marvel universe and also indirectly making her a part of the Inhuman world once again since at the end of the last issue Wolverine sent a heads-up to Captain America about her. We know that Steve Rogers is working alongside the Inhumans as SHIELD’s liaison and he is in a great place as a result to inform Queen Medusa of the Inhumans about strays such as Kamala, who have no concept of their true heritage and who have slipped under Medusa’s radar as a result.
And Medusa has sent her pet dog Lockjaw to help Kamala out and keep an eye out on her for Medusa. Lockjaw makes his grand entrance in this issue and Kamala’s reaction to his appearance is latinum-pressed gold. She is gleeful and excited and their team-up here is very, very exciting to read about. He gives her access to things that she wouldn’t have otherwise and in that G. Willow Wilson shows that Lockjaw isn’t just here for kicks but also to help contribute to the plot in a fairly realistic way.
But still, I think the award goes to Kamala’s friend Bruno, who has the aboslute best lines in this issue. I love Bruno. His cynicism is going to serve Kamala really well I feel, keep her grounded as it were.
The best thing however, is that Adrian Alphona is back on the series with this issue. Adrian helped kick off the title with G. Willow Wilson and having Adrian back is a cause for much rejoicing because all the great things about the art on the first full arc of the series are now evidence once again. The expressions, the body language, the scenes, the settings, everything is pitch-perfect here, just as I wanted it to be. And of course, can’t ignore Ian Herring’s excellent colour-work either, because that is one of the strengths of the series, undeniably.
All in all, too great an issue with a mind-blowing cliffhanger!