With reinforcements on the way and her sights set on winning, Captain Marvel #36 concludes the “Last of the Marvels” saga and sets off a new one.
“The Last of the Marvels” has been interesting in that it’s had the scope and vibe of a crisis crossover, but you could very easily imagine it being padded out into a much longer, highly-eventized storyline with more spin-offs and tie-ins than you can shake a stick at. This becomes much more apparent in issue #36, with Carol joined in battle by the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy. Usually it’s just one or the other! But even with the expanded cast for this finale, I wish the issue had more time to let Carol mingle with her fellow “Marvels” (which they’re apparently calling themselves now because of corporate synergy) rather than just have Iron Man be the one mostly volleying with her.
There’s arguably been enough of that in this arc already, but why not keep it going? Especially if they’re building up the “Marvels” now to be a core family dynamic rather than the loosely-connected network of superheroes with semi-related powers and backstories that they’ve been for years. Carol’s relationship with Monica in particular is one that I feel has been underserved and ignored, but it has so much potential. (It seems The Marvels, at least, will give them more attention than the comics have…)
There’s also the matter of Binary, who makes their grand debut in this issue… sorta. We all know “Binary” is one of Carol’s many past identities. Captain Marvel #36 introduces a new Binary that isn’t Carol, but rather, a separate entity partially born from her energy aura. While I am intrigued to see where that goes (and solicits indicate it will go somewhere), this new Binary already seems a bit derivative of the Phoenix Force as depicted. That, plus the fact that Vox Supreme’s “sludge” feels like a symbiote swap for internal continuity reasons, doesn’t inspire much confidence. But who knows! Maybe not.
I think writer Kelly Thompson’s run thus far has been full of a lot of fun ideas, and the fact that it’s lasted as long as it has (especially compared to previous recent Captain Marvel volumes) with no obvious end in sight is a testament to her ability to deliver consistently entertaining superhero comics. She’s also had the benefit of working with some of Marvel’s best up-and-coming talent, with penciler Sergio Dávila marking his sendoff from this title with slick visuals worthy of an actual event series.
Captain Marvel #36
- Writer: Kelly Thompson
- Artists: Sergio Dávila (penciller), Sean Parsons with Roberto Poggi (inkers)
- Color Artist: Erick Arciniega
- Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
- Cover Artists: R.B. Silva, Jesus Aburtov
- Editor: Sarah Brunstad
- Publisher: Marvel Entertainment