Captain Marvel #16 Review

Captain Marvel #16 Cover

Captain Marvel’s “The Last Avenger” storyline has been a solid story thus far. Kelly Thompson has challenged Carol Danvers’ in a way that has helped spotlight her relationship with her Avengers teammates. Things got especially shaky as Captain Marvel took on Black Panther and She-Hulk led her to become captured by Vox Supreme. Now that Captain Marvel has become part of whatever experiment that Vox Supreme is running as part of his greater plans. Let’s find out what happens next with Captain Marvel #16.

Writer: Kelly Thompson

Artist: Lee Garbett

Colorist: Tamra Bonvillain

Story Rating: 3 Night Girls out of 10

Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10

Overall Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: As Vox Supreme begins his procedure Captain Marvel activates a device Iron Man created for her earlier. The device sends a shockwave that hurts Vox Supreme and removes the special black costume he was controlling Captain Marvel with.

Now free Captain Marvel grabs Captain America’s shield and nails Vox Supreme with it.

Captain Marvel #16 Vox Supreme
Captain Marvel successfully uses Tony Stark’s device on Vox Supreme in Captain Marvel #16. Click for full-page view.

A little while earlier, Tony Stark tells Captain Marvel his device can only be used once before overloading. The rest of the Avengers then say they will work together and with other reserve members to secure the nine Kree Refugee Camps. Captain Marvel worries that Vox Supreme’s bombs are actually planted inside people. Black Panther and Captain change the plan for them to bring those with the bombs planted inside them into Singularity’s dimension so Tony can dismantle the bombs from a secure location.

Before Captain Marvel leaves Captain America hands her his shield believing she will need it more than him.

Back in the present Captain Marvel dominates Vox Supreme in their fight. Vox Supreme gets desperate and lets out a loud sonic scream. The shockwaves from the scream destroy a container behind Captain Marvel and she is doused in a green chemical.

Suddenly the Supreme Intelligence begins talking through Vox Supreme. Captain Marvel realizes Supreme Intelligence and Vox Supreme have merged. Vox Supreme/Supreme Intelligence talks about how much of a waste Captain Marvel is and that they are using their Creation Machine to create the perfect kings of the universe.

As Vox Supreme/Supreme Intelligence talk Captain Marvel suddenly transforms into a version of the Hulk who has traits of all the Avengers due to the green chemical she was covered in earlier. This gives Captain Marvel an additional power boast that once again allows her to smash Vox Supreme around the complex.

Vox Supreme uses another sonic attack that causes Captain Marvel to throw up the green chemical in her body, and starts reverting her to her previous form.

Across Earth Singularity works with the Avengers, including reserves like Hazmat, Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew), Echo, and Spectrum, to discover the Kree who had bombs implanted in them were all children.

Back on the Moon, Vox Supreme and Supreme Intelligence mock Captain Marvel, who continues to lose her Avengers Hulk form. They then plan on placing Captain Marvel in a container while continuing their plan to destroy the current Kree.

Captain Marvel #16 Avengers Help
Avengers help save the Kree in Captain Marvel #16. Click for full-page view.

Elsewhere Thor senses Mjolnir wants to go to Captain Marvel. Thor lets Mjolnir go and the hammer flies towards the Moon.

Back on the Moon, Vox Supreme finishes placing Captain Marvel in a special container. Suddenly, Mjolnir flies into the facility and breaks the container.

Captain Marvel, using the power of Thor that is still inside her Avengers merged form, is able to use Mjolnir to smash Vox Supreme across the facility.

With Vox Supreme knocked out Captain Marvel uses her own power to burn the chemical that caused her Avengers merged form out of her body. As she goes back to normal Captain Marvel is unable to lift Mjolnir since Thor’s DNA was also burnt away.

The Avengers suddenly appear in the Moon facility, with Thor screaming at Captain Marvel for allowing Mjolnir with the green chemical she puked up. Captain Marvel apologizes for that and thanks her Avengers teammates for all their help. Captain America says Captain Marvel did what she had to do to save people. Tony makes a smart remark that Captain America can say that since he didn’t get beat up by Captain Marvel like he did.

Later, with everyone gone, Captain Marvel uses a powerful blast to destroy Vox Supreme’s Moon facility, along with the Avengers clones inside. 

Afterwards Captain Marvel notices Singularity nearby and goes over to hug her as thanks for being such a great friend.

Some time later, Captain Marvel drops Vox Supreme, who has been placed in a special container, off at RAFT. One of the RAFT agents reveals to Captain Marvel that Star recently escaped and they can’t track her down. Captain Marvel says she will be on the case to track down Star.

Captain Marvel then tells Singularity to not be a stranger. Afterwards Captain Marvel thinks of her current life and the experiences she’s had.

At her apartment, Carol changes and tells Chewie that she missed her. Chewie shows Carol her bowl to signal being hungry. Carol says Chewie wins and goes to get her food. End of issue.

Captain Marvel #16 Chewie
Carol Danvers spends some well-deserved time off with Chewie in Captain Marvel #16. Click for full-page view.

The Good: Captain Marvel #16 is such a mix bag of an ending for “The Last Avenger.” There are things that Kelly Thompson does a very good job nailing, such as Captain Marvel’s relationship with her Avengers teammates. But there are equally a number of decisions made with how “The Last Avenger” ends that leaves you scratching your head.

Sticking to the positives first, Thompson continues to show how Captain Marvel has been growing out of her solo hero mindset that she knows best. This is a direction she has been taken on for the last few years, especially since Civil War II. Thompson has slowly gotten Carol away from that and that is once again seen in the interactions she has with her Avengers teammates in Captain Marvel #16.

What worked best was how Thompson is able to mix in some good, witty banter between Captain Marvel and her Avengers teammates that fits with who they are with each other. Small things like Tony Stark being his sarcastic asshole self while being honest about how his device is a one time only use fits. It particularly fits with where Tony and Carol are in their friendship. Carol internally thanking Tony when the device works as advertised was a nice payoff to how Thompson has continued to develop their relationship over the course of her run on Captain Marvel. At the same time, Thompson wrote this and all the interactions in a way that shows the Avengers do trust each other when all is said and done.

Captain Marvel #16 Avengers Appear
Avengers reflect on Captain Marvel defeating Vox Supreme in Captain Marvel #16. Click for full-page view.

The relationship building between Captain Marvel and Singularity was also well handled. It wasn’t in your face but Thompson did a lot to show how valuable Singularity was to Captain Marvel’s victory. Having them interact multiple times towards the end of Captain Marvel #16 added to how fans should see Captain Marvel’s friendship with Singularity as an important one. In doing so, Thompson is also able to continue building up the supporting cast that can be used for the rest of her run on this series.

Lee Garbett continued being the consistent force throughout “The Last Avenger” and he was that once true in Captain Marvel #16. Even when things get crazy with Captain Marvel morphing into a merged form of the Avengers the artwork stays consistent so it fits into the world of this series. Garbett does a good job making Captain Marvel’s Avengers merged form come across as pure raw power when she goes into action against Vox Supreme.

The Bad: For all the things I enjoyed about “The Last Avenger” the story does fall apart where it mattered most, with Vox Supreme. Up to this point Thompson built Vox Supreme as a menacing villain who was several steps ahead of Captain Marvel and everyone else. The addition of Supreme Intelligence being part of Vox Supreme elevated how he should be perceived as a major threat. But instead of going further into why that is Captain Marvel #16 makes every move to show Vox Supreme as an extremely short sighted villain who makes one mistake after another.

The big one is that as soon as Captain Marvel starts pushing him in their fight he just makes things worse for himself by accidentally dousing Captain Marvel in the chemical that had the Avengers DNA in it. That was a moment where you just think of how stupid the villain actually is. It takes you out of the story as Vox Supreme leads himself to his own downfall.

Going with this direction for how Vox Supreme is defeated just makes you wonder how he was even able to get as far as he did with his plan. Even with the Supreme Intelligence inside him Vox Supreme did not have any sort of safety measure in place for Captain Marvel’s transformation to not happen. This in turn makes you wonder if it would’ve actually been better if Captain Marvel just had Singularity teleport all the Avengers into the Moon base to quickly defeat the villain. 

Vox Supreme rants before his quick defeat in Captain Marvel #16. Click for full-page view.

Especially since Vox Supreme never actually threatens to use his ace in the hole of the explosives in the Kree children to his advantage. While Captain Marvel and the Avengers did think of this Vox Supreme just seemed to forget his own plan. It just all made Vox Supreme come across as a monster-of-the-week type villain that you should forget now that “The Last Avenger” is over.

Because of how poor Vox Supreme’s portrayal was in this issue it made Captain Marvel’s transformation into a Avengers merged Hulk type person be an extremely cheap out for this story. There was just nothing about seeing the monster Captain Marvel-Avenger hybrid that screamed being the appropriate payoff for “The Last Avenger.” It was just a cheap power up to defeat a villain who did not require Captain Marvel to be wielding both Captain America shield and Thor’s hammer to defeat.

Speaking of which it was such a shame that a big moment like Captain Marvel using Captain America’s shield and Thor’s Mjolnir was used in this ending that was such a disappointment. This is a moment that if a writer is going to go with for a big payoff should be reserved for a character defining story. 

That is why Captain America lifting Mjolnir in Avengers: Endgame was so significant. It was a moment that when it happened you felt that the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe built up to have. That was not the case in Captain Marvel #16. It was just treated as a moment that you will forget by the next issue since it did not speak to Captain Marvel being worthy. It was just part of a power up that was a deus ex machina to end “The Last Avenger” on.

Captain Marvel #16 Avengers Hybrid
Captain Marvel transforms into an Avengers hybrid in Captain Marvel #16. Click for full-page view.

Overall: “The Last Avenger” had all the makings of a strong story. Unfortunately this storyline ends with a final chapter that makes the entire story come across as forgettable. The only saving grace for Captain Marvel #16 was the solid job Kelly Thompson continues to do with how she uses Carol Danvers relationships with the Avengers in this series. Sadly, that is not enough to help make the final battle between Captain Marvel and Vox Supreme any less disappointing.

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