After long months in space, Captain Marvel is coming home. What will she find now that she’s finally back on Earth? Your Major Spoilers review of Captain Marvel #15 awaits!
Previously in Captain Marvel: “After sustaining a traumatic head injury that robbed her of many of her memories, Carol Danvers left those she holds dear (including her friend and mentor, Tracy) and took to the star to regain her sense of self. As the Avengers’ emissary in space, Captain marvel made extraterrestrial friends, battled space pirates and even witnessed her cosmic potential. Filled with purpose and faith in herself, Carol’s come full circle and she can’t wait to reunite with those she loves…”
JUST A BIT TOO LATE
As this issue opens, Carol makes her way back home, landing her big spaceship (which looks an awful lot like a Kymellian ship from Power Pack, but I can’t find whether or not that’s the case, so I’m gonna assume “Sure, why not?”) and exiting to the expectation that her friends will be greeting her, finding…
…nothin’. Venturing inside, she finds everyone (including elderly Steve Rogers, her boyfriend Jim Rhodes, bestie Spider-Woman and someone else whose names escapes me) waiting with some bad news: Her mentor Tracy succumbed to cancer while she was gone. The bulk of the issue consists of Tracy’s final letter to Carol, shown as narration from her ghost (a lovely visual device to keep the issue vital and interesting) including the story of how Tracy met her lifelong love, the story of how her love died and Tracy and Carol throwing her ashes in the ocean. It’s super-emotional, and beautifully drawn throughout, and the ways that the characters deal with mortality are wonderfully drawn (and are both authentic and effective.)
STOP MAKING ME CRY, DeCONNICK
Carol and her friends eventually make their way to the same beach with Tracy’s urn, preparing to give her the same treatment that Teddy got, with a truly funny and touching upshot to it all. It’s another case of “You have to read this and I don’t want to spoiler it”, ending with a wonderful character moment for all involved, and a final page that gives life and dimension not only to Carol but to several of Marvel’s longest-serving characters. The art in this issue is lovely throughout, with Tracy’s flashback sequences standing out as notably beautiful, befitting the big sendoff issue before Secret Wars and the rebootlaunchvampjumping-on point that follows. In an interesting bit of meta for me, I stared at the cover for ten minutes wondering who Carol Danvers reminded me of before realizing that she has the face of Tina Fey, which may not be intentional, but is perfectly fitting for me.
THE BOTTOM LINE: A PERFECT SEND-OFF
After a tumultuous year of space adventure and blasty-type adventures, this issue is a quiet, emotional post-script that still packs a hell of a punch. As a goodbye to Tracy (and also to this volume of Captain Marvel’s story), it’s pretty much perfect, and reminds us that for all her powers and all her Avengers back-story, the thing that makes Captain Marvel work is her courage, heart and personal convictions. Captain Marvel #15 is the last issue that a book like this deserves, and one that all last issues should probably aspire to, netting a well-earned 5 out of 5 stars overall. You really need to go and check out this book before the madness of Battleworld takes over everything for the summer…