Monday, 21 September 2015

Captain Marvel Vol 3: Alis Volat Propriis by Kelly Sue DeConnick

Captain Marvel Vol 3: Alis Volat Propriis by Kelly Sue DeConnick and illustrated by David Lopez is the third collected volume of Captain Marvel comics (well, or the 5th or 6th depending on how you want to count, but there is a "3" on a spine) that started with issue #1 in 2014 (see my reviews of Vol 1 and Vol 2). It's also the collection of the last comic issues before the Secret Wars mega event, when the Captain Marvel series is replaced by Captain Marvel & The Carol Corps.

Captain Marvel's time as an astronomical avenger has pitted her against some of the worst the galaxy has to offer (lookin' at you J'Son). The Haffensye Consortium has been tracking Captain Marvel and Tic for weeks. Now, they've finally caught up to them both! Captain Marvel was barely able to survive the last time she squared-off against the Haffensye - think she'll be so lucky again?

Because this is the last normal collected volume of Captain Marvel of this run, it's a bit shorter than usual, comprising of only four issues. The first two form an arc that's mostly about Chewie the cat (and I suppose somewhat crucially ties up Tic's storyline). Aside from the recurring issues Marvel has with plausibility of space physics — Astrophysics: Marvel's one weakness! — I really loved this story. Partly because Chewie had a bit of a Mad Max moment and partly because I think I finally understand how Carol's suit works in space. So that was issues #12–13 and they were a nice way to tie up Carol's time in space.

However, issue #14 was a dud. It was part of some sort of cross-over event ("The Black Vortex") which has apparently mainly taken place in a bunch of other series. The story only made borderline sense and did not end with an actual conclusion, which was disappointing. I took half a star off the volume's rating for issue #14 being such a nonsensically incomplete story. (Would it have killed them to add in another issue to round things off, especially given how short the volume is?)

The last issue was lovely though. Carol goes back to Earth and the story ties up the loose ends of her relationship with Tracy, who has been a constant background presence throughout DeConnick's entire time on Captain Marvel. It was bittersweet but a really nice way to leave things. I love it.

If you've been enjoying Captain Marvel thus far, I strongly recommend picking up this volume, even if you're a bit put off by its shortness. That said, if you have the option to grab just issues 12, 13 and 15, then that's probably a satisfactory alternative. In the meantime, I am eagerly awaiting the collected Captain Marvel & The Carol Corps and also A-Force.

4 / 5 stars

First published: September 2015, Marvel
Series: Captain Marvel (2014) Volume 3 and the end of the run, though it is followed by Captain Marvel & The Carol Corps
Format read: Trade paperback
Source: Non-Amazon online book shop

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