Captain Marvel’s “The Last Avenger” has been a big step up for the series after stumbling with the previous “Falling Star” arc. What’s made this particular storyline stand out thus far is how Captain Marvel has been forced to deal with a threat in a much different way than she has before. The direction this story has taken with Captain Marvel forced to not only fight but also take out her Avengers teammates has been highly intriguing. It has tested the character in a way she was not expected to be tested by a villain. Now that we are at the third chapter of the story where will Kelly Thompson take things next? Let’s find out with Captain Marvel #14.
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Artist: Lee Garbett
Colorist: Tamra Bonvillain
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: In the Singularity pocket dimension Thor freaks out over there being clones of him. Captain Marvel says they should worry about that some other time as she has to get going.
Captain Marvel then opens a closet within the pocket dimension that houses all of the Avengers clones. Tony Stark tells Captain Marvel that they can take on Vox Supreme together. Captain Marvel says she knows that but the real problem is the bombs located on Earth that Vox Supreme planted.
Thor brings up that he and Captain Marvel can take out Vox Supreme while Tony disables the bombs. Captain Marvel says that can’t be done either because as soon as Vox Supreme senses Tony or Thor outside the pocket dimension he’ll blow up the bombs.
Tony is still not sure about giving Vox Supreme clones with their DNA in them. Captain Marvel hopes that whatever Vox Supreme is planning takes time they can use.
Tony then asks about the suit Captain Marvel is wearing. Captain Marvel says while she doesn’t know exactly how Vox Supreme is using the suit to track her she knows he has some sound based power. Tony thinks that sound may be the way to getting Captain Marvel out of that suit. Captain Marvel states she’ll owe Tony if he can figure out how to get Vox Supreme’s suit off her but for now she is continuing her plan.
Later, Captain Marvel goes to the Moon and hands over the clone body of Tony Stark to Vox Supreme. Vox Supreme tells Captain Marvel she is taking to long to do the job he gave her as she only has twelve hours left. Captain Marvel says she will get the job done.
Before going on her way Captain Marvel asks why Vox Supreme why she is part of his plan. Vox Supreme talks around giving a clear answer, only saying his intentions are noble and will not fail like the Kree.
After Captain Marvel leaves, Vox Supreme talks to another voice inside him. They go back and forth about Captain Marvel. They end up agreeing that for now Captain Marvel is giving them what they need for their plan.
Outside Palo Alto, Captain Marvel is hit by a powerful laser shot at her by Black Panther. Black Panther reveals he already knows what Captain Marvel is doing and won’t go down as easily. Captain Marvel understands from the blast that Black Panther doesn’t know it is her behind the black and red mask.
Black Panther fires another shot at Captain Marvel. This time Captain Marvel absorbs the energy from the blast.
Seeing that his blaster did not work Black Panther immediately charges at the masked Captain Marvel to fight hand-to-hand. Black Panther is able to use his skills and his suit’s abilities to fight evenly with Captain Marvel for a while. Eventually Captain Marvel decides to end things before they escalate by blasting Black Panther into some nearby power lines.
When Captain Marvel approaches Black Panther’s body she is hit from behind by a powerful punch.
Captain Marvel looks up and sees She-Hulk getting ready to smash her. End of issue.
The Good: Captain Marvel #14 keeps the consistency of “The Last Avenger” arc going. Kelly Thompson excels when it comes to writing Captain Marvel as someone who is trying to figure out how to best defeat Vox Supreme while she has to listen to his commands. The interactions with the other Avengers furthers that storyline, though some problems show up with this part of the story.
When it comes to characters like Captain Marvel and Thor the big question is always how do they not just save the day by using their powers to solve everything. At this point, Captain Marvel has been clearly been established as one of the Marvel Universe’s most powerful characters. Which makes the way Vox Supreme has been positioned as a threat a creative way to give Captain Marvel a challenge in how to save the day. Even when she is still doing a lot of fighting against the Avengers, the problem Vox Supreme poses to Captain Marvel.
Not knowing what Vox Supreme’s motives are add to him as a villain. There is this mystery of what his intentions are. Thompson gives us enough to understand we should hate this guy as he leans towards being a villain that doesn’t know he is a villain. This helps in making the hate he has for the Kree come across as better as he is clearly fueled by that in some way.
Adding that there is this secondary voice to Vox Supreme is a nice hook for the character. There is now another question as to what is going on with Vox Supreme and which voice is the dominant one. The other voice being aware that Captain Marvel has her own plans going while they control her should make once everything blows up in this conflict come across better.
Thompson also does a very good job writing Tony Stark and Thor and showing the chemistry they have with Captain Marvel through their back-and-forth. It is clear that they’ve known each other for a while. Tony and Thor trying to tell Captain Marvel to allow them help her further the fact that right now Carol is backed into a corner. Captain Marvel has very little time to think of a solution other than the one she has come up with the use of the clone bodies.
At the same time, Thompson makes sure to keep Tony and Thor active as allies who will end up helping Captain Marvel in the end. Giving Tony the sub-plot of figuring out how Vox Supreme’s powers work and how he is controlling the suit Captain Marvel is wearing is a great way to use the character. It builds anticipation for how the Avengers will be able to help Captain Marvel overcome the whole conflict with Vox Supreme.
This all works to make the weight that Captain Marvel has to carry with going after her Avengers teammates feel greater. This is not something she at all wants to do but knows has to at least go along with it until she can figure out how to defeat Vox Supreme. This weight that Captain Marvel is carry allows you as the reader to envision how she is reacting behind the mask she is wearing while fighting Black Panther and the shock when She-Hulk appears.
Through all this Thompson also makes sure that we aren’t just seeing Captain Marvel dominate the Avengers. Just like her fights with Thor and Iron Man, Black Panther is shown to put up a good fight with Captain Marvel. Not knowing that the Avengers attacker is Captain Marvel explains why Black Panther, even with the surprise attack, wasn’t able to properly prepare for this fight.
Which makes things much more interesting for the upcoming fight between Captain Marvel and She-Hulk. Like Thor, She-Hulk is one of the characters in the Marvel Universe that can match the power of Captain Marvel. Especially in her current incarnation we know She-Hulk is much more on the level of her cousin. This creates an even bigger problem for Captain Marvel as she has to not only fight She-Hulk but do it knowing she has less than twelve hours to also overcome the threat of Vox Supreme.
Lee Garbett delivers solid artwork throughout Captain Marvel #14. Garbett’s artwork is at its best when drawing the action scenes that dominates the second half of the issue. Thompson shows confidence in Garbett’s choreography and storytelling abilities as she keeps the dialogue to a minimum once Captain Marvel and Black Panther have their showdown. The story of both fighters are told well through Garbett’s artwork. Why Captain Marvel and Black Panther are considered such tough opponents is conveyed through all the action. This helped make the impact of when She-Hulk delivers her clobbering punch to Captain Marvel hit harder.
The Bad: The one thing that does keep “The Last Avenger” back is the fact that Thompson does not explain why Captain America, Black Panther, Ghost Rider and She-Hulk aren’t together. Especially with the leaders we know Captain America and Black Panther to be it makes them look bad for not trying to unite the current and past Avengers against this unknown threat.
Just the fact that Thor was taken out should be enough to get the emergency signals out. Add in the public way Iron Man was also taken out by the masked Captain Marvel it should be an all-hands situation. Thompson will need to explain why this was not the case or else it’ll give the perception that “The Last Avenger” was just made to make Captain Marvel look superior to her Avengers teammates.
Overall: Captain Marvel #14 was another solid chapter in “The Last Avenger” storyline. Kelly Thompson keeps you guessing as to how Captain Marvel and, by extension, the Avengers will overcome the threat Vox Supreme has presented. Lee Garbett adds to the events of this issue with strong artwork that is at its best during the action.
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