Review by Tony Keen
Alis volat propriis, a phrase that appears nowhere in this volume other than on the cover, is Latin for “she flies with her own wings”. It’s the state motto of Oregon, where Kelly Sue DeConnick lives. But it could easily be the motto of Carol Danvers, the independently-minded and self-reliant hero now known as Captain Marvel, so is an appropriate overall title for this this somewhat heterogeneous volume. This collects the last of DeConnick’s writing on Captain Marvel, from 2015, though she does go on to write a brief run of Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps.
In 2012 it took DeConnick a little while to work her way into Carol Danvers’ character, but her writing has subsequently never been less than good, and sometimes absolutely delightful, as well as being funny throughout. The opener here is co-credited to Warren Ellis, though it displays far more of DeConnick’s traits and interests than it does his, and is more towards the good end of the above-mentioned spectrum. Once again the Haffenseye pirates, whose success rivals that of the pirates in the Asterix series, return with a plot against Captain Marvel, this time kidnapping her cat (which is really an alien flerken). The story’s fine, but is wrongly paced – it needed either to be longer or shorter.
An episode of the Black Vortex crossover event works fine in the context of the Black Vortex collection, but here appears out of nowhere, and readers are denied the resolution. It would have been better dropped, as the Infinity crossovers were from the Avengers/Captain Marvel collection The Enemy Within. While omission here would have resulted in thin collection, it might have made more sense (though reduced Marvel’s profit margins) to include the Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps miniseries.
Any flaws in the previous material are more than compensated for by the final tale. Captain Marvel returns to Earth after her year in space, to learn one of her friends has passed away during her absence. There’s hardly any superheroics – Carol punches out the Rhino in a couple of panels and that’s about it. Instead there’s a story that is in equal parts sad, funny and life-affirming, a perfect illustration of what was so good about DeConnick’s run. David Lopez’s art throughout is delightful, and he really suits the character. Rounding out a fine creative team, Lee Loughridge colours with subtlety and skill.
This marks the true end of Kelly Sue DeConnick’s run on Captain Marvel – Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps is a slight Secret Wars tie-in. Rarely has Carol Danvers been so well-written than under DeConnick, and this will in the future be seen as a classic run. All work mentioned here is now also found in the fourth volume of Captain Marvel: Earth’s Mightiest Hero.