If you’re a Carol Danvers nerd (hi) you know that Carol and Rogue go way back. At one point, Rogue drained Carol’s powers and personality, leaving her near death. Carol’s memories were restored by Professor Xavier, but she had no emotional attachment to them. Her personality, meanwhile, resided in Rogue’s head for a long time and nearly drove Rogue crazy. Good times, good times. They’re both pretty traumatized by the whole mess.
Which is why having the two of them throw down in Captain Marvel’s fourth issue had me bracing for impact.
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Artist: Carmen Carnero
Colorist: Tamra Bonvillain
Cover Artists: Amanda Conner & Paul Mounts
There’s no pulling punches here (I’m sorry, I can’t stop myself); Carol is dealing with her trauma as she and Rogue fight, especially once she realizes that the only way to stop Nuclear Man is to let Rogue absorb her entirely, then take over Rogue’s body. She makes Rogue promise to let her go back once the fight is over. She’s terrified, and it’s conveyed through every single way that comics can: every layout, every facial expression, every line of dialogue is picture-perfect, the exact moment needed to convey the depths of revisiting this trauma. This is how they can win the war—by pushing past her terror and getting to the steel of her resolve.
I really loved this issue. Hazmat’s mask has been exchanged for a clear one, meaning Echo can read her lips. The looks between Jess and Jen as they worry about Carol? Gorgeous. The fear on Carol’s face as Rogue drains her powers? Priceless. The artist and colorist did some exquisite work showing the energy transfer between the two characters; it’s clear but never overwhelming. I love it, from the dramatic moments to the small details.
And if you’re just turning up because the Captain Marvel movie was badass, this series is a great jumping on point for the character. The first page even gives you a quick recap of the Rogue and Carol’s history together, so that you’re not confused why these two fighting is a problem. The final image of a merged Rogue and Carol is one that will stick with you—especially as their lady team shows up, ready to fight Nuclear Man and his army.
With the way Marvel is running arcs, issue #5 should wrap this one up. The pacing has been excellent; too often, books have that “wait, I have one more issue?!?!” feeling as they creep towards what is going to be a conclusion of sorts. This time, I feel like the smaller plot issues have been resolved, and we’re now ready for a battle of epic proportions.
I’m so ready.