Review by Tony Keen
This second volume collecting Kelly Sue DeConnick’s excellent run on Captain Marvel picks up with the cliff-hanger that ended the previous book, and continues to build on her strengths as a writer.
At the core is a story that crossed over in 2013 and 2014 from the Captain Marvel series into Avengers Assemble, at that time also being written by DeConnick, and which has previously been collected as Avengers: The Enemy Within. This is the first time this story has been presented as Captain Marvel’s continuity, though Carol Danvers is right at the heart of it. It’s really good, involving a figure from Carol’s superheroic past, some heartbreaking decisions, an act of great bravery, a situation not reset at the end, and, in a coda that follows, one of the finest written individual superhero comics published this decade.
The collection is expanded with more DeConnick stories never reprinted in previous Captain Marvel collections. That alone makes this volume attractive to Carol Danvers fans who already have The Enemy Within. This material includes Captain Marvel’s participation in the Infinity event (co-written with Jen Van Meter), a two-part Avengers Assemble narrative that recounts the same events from Spider-Woman’s perspective (again with Van Meter), and a two-part tale that pairs Carol and Spider-Man right at the point where she took up the Captain Marvel identity (so chronologically it ought to have been presented in Volume 1). Neither are as outstanding as the best of the Enemy Within material, but they’re not bad, and it’s nice to have them.
The consistent problem of the first DeConnick Captain Marvel series was the lack of a regular artist, and often the lack of an artist appropriate to the material. The Avengers issues do better here, with Matteo Buffagni and Barry Kitson the best in this collection. Also good are (mostly) Pat Olliffe and Terry Dodson. The problem is with the Enemy Within chapters from Captain Marvel, where neither Scott Hepburn nor Felix Andrade really produce work appropriate to the character. Meanwhile, Amanda Connor’s covers show what could have been done.
Nevertheless, this is still worth reading simply for DeConnick’s writing.