Since I skipped out on the Empyre event I decided to also take a break from Captain Marvel since the last few issues were tie-ins to that event. Now that the Empyre tie-in arc is over it is time to catch back up with where Captain Marvel is at. How much did Empyre change things for Carol Danvers? Let’s find out with Captain Marvel #22.
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Artist: Lee Garbett
Colorist: Tamra Bonvillain
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 6.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Somewhere in Upstate New York War Machine calls out Captain Marvel for picking a mission to be their date. As they kiss Spider-Woman and Hazmat call them out for making out. Captain Marvel reveals the reason she is in a good mood is because she just got reinstated into the Air Force. Spider-Woman is happy for her friend. Captain Marvel then mentions after this mission she and Rhodey are going to go on a vacation to celebrate.
Captain Marvel, War Machine, Spider-Woman, and Hazmat come across a mysterious ship. Suddenly some tentacles from the ship start attacking everyone. Unable to move, Captain Marvel is then suddenly hit by a bright light.
When Captain Marvel comes to she falls right in front of Fantomex and a mysterious woman. The woman attacks Captain Marvel with an energy weapon.
An adult Gerry Drew tells her, who we learn is named Sora, to stop. Gerry then reveals Captain Marvel is in the future 2052 world (the one shown in Captain Marvel: The End where the future Carol Danvers ended up powering the sun back on). Emma Frost (in her diamond form) appears and tells everyone they should get back to their base.
Captain Marvel mentions that she was with War Machine, Spider-Woman, and Hazmat before coming to 2052 and wonders if they are also in this future world with her. Gerry mentions that his mom and Hazmat are still alive in this future but that War Machine died. Carol Rhodes (Rhodey’s daughter who he had with an unnamed woman) confirms War Machine died during what’s called the second “Last War.”
As Captain Marvel takes this information, specifically that Rhodey has a daughter in the future and it’s not hers, Emma Frost tells Sora (who we learn is Forge and Psylocke’s daughter) to ask the others to keep an eye out for past versions of War Machine, Spider-Woman, and Hazmat. Sora does this by contacting Katie Barton to pass along the information.
Suddenly demonic creatures appear and attack the group. While they all hold their own the demonic creatures continue to appear in overwhelming numbers. Captain Marvel launches a full power energy blast that wipes out the demonic creatures.
Afterwards, while getting back to their hideout in, Captain Marvel discovers a wall called “The Lost” that includes all the names of heroes that have fallen in this timeline, which include Rhodey’s name on it.
The future Jessica Drew appears and happily reunites with the younger version of Captain Marvel.
At the heroes hideout Captain Marvel explains her situation to Jessica . Jessica then goes into the story of this future world that includes how her Carol Danvers spent a long time in space before returning to Earth and saving everyone by sacrificing herself to reactivate the sun. Jessica goes on to say that since then they’ve been able to reclaim more of the surface and have found more survivors. She then mentions how they’ve also learned that someone named OVE that may be a threat.
Emma Frost appears and says they may have new information on OVE. Emma Frost says that the creatures they fought earlier are demons from Limbo which could mean Magi kos OVE or being held by whoever is OVE.
Carol Rhodes rushes in the room and tells Captain Marvel, Jessica, and Emma that they need to see something.
In the main courtyard Luke Cage appears and announces that he has a message for Captain Marvel from OVE. End of issue.
The Good: Coming back with Captain Marvel #22 felt like a new beginning. Kelly Thompson treats it as that with this story arc beginning with Carol Danvers getting ready for the next phase of her life. Setting up that fresh start made how the superhero lifestyle Carol has as Captain Marvel impacting all that was able to hit the right notes.
Starting out with Carol Danvers trying to treat the mission they are on as a date with Rhodey was a nice change of pace. As Spider-Woman and Hazmat mention, it has become increasingly rare to find Carol in a spot where she is happy. It is something much needed as Thompson sets up the future of the series with Carol back in the Air Force. While that is not expanded on further Carol rejoining the Air Force has potential to bring about new stories and expand her role as a leader in the Marvel Universe.
Starting out in this way was also a good way to get the reader into where Carol currently is at. It allowed the trip to the 2052 future from Captain Marvel: The End to have bigger impact in how shocking the continuity was for Carol. Specifically learning that Rhodey has a kid with someone else clearly shook Carol up as she was just in a happy spot in her relationship with him. While this 2052 Marvel Universe continuity isn’t set in stone Thompson uses this as an opportunity to set up Carol and Rhodey’s relationship as a part of this series that will be explored more.
The trip to the 2052 Marvel Universe was also a refreshing setting change as it opens gives way for more unexpected things to happen. Especially with how this series has been tied up with things like Empyre and War of the Realms almost every other storyline this visit to the future gives Thompson a chance for a reset. We can have new interactions between Carol and other Marvel characters that will have a different tone than they would in the normal Marvel Universe.
We see that with how Carol interacts with Emma Frost throughout this issue. While there is a contentious relationship that is there Thompson does good work in keeping Emma Frost as someone aware of the dangers of the world. Especially with the possibility that Magik is the big villain of this story, Emma Frost makes sure everyone is watching out for the larger threat that they are currently facing.
The seriousness of the threat made how the characters that are still alive in this world acted much more understandable. While someone like Gerry and Jessica Drew were happy to see Carol again Sora, Fantomex 5, Carol Rhodes, and Katie Barton were constantly on guard. Which made how all their skills were showcased when fighting the demons from Limbo an effective way to establish these characters as badasses in quick fashion.
The appearance of Luke Cage at the end of Captain Marvel #22 was an interesting note to end on. Thompson and Lee Garbett made it a point to show that Luke Cage’s name was on “The Lost” wall that Captain Marvel found Rhodey and other heroes name on that have fallen. Luke Cage still being around and now working for whoever OVE is creates many questions about what is going on with this future in 2052.
As always Garbett delivers solid artwork throughout Captain Marvel #22. He does a good job in carrying over the designs of all the characters in the 2052 continuity that we saw in Captain Marvel: The End. Each character looked like they had there own story to tell that was shown in what their designs were and their respective fighting styles.
The Bad: While Thompson does her best to inform the reader about this Marvel Universe that takes place in the year 2052 there are still notes missing with specific characters that are missing. Things like why Emma Frost is staying in her diamond form would’ve helped get over what happened to this world and why this continuities Captain Marvel had to reactivate the sun. As is Captain Marvel: The End is a one-shot that readers will need to read to get the full context of the story that starts in Captain Marvel #22.
Also though it is a story arc that I look forward to it is a shame that we didn’t get much of a build up to Carol’s decision to return to the Air Force. Here reinstatement in the Air Force should be a big deal that should’ve been developed over a few issues. It’s a big deal given Carol’s background but it is just introduced back in Captain Marvel #22 without development. It makes the recent Empyre tie-in issues come across as something that got in the way of this series developing this major aspect of the series.
Overall: Captain Marvel #22 was a solid start to a new story arc. Kelly Thompson gives this issue a aura of being a fresh start after Captain Marvel took part in the recent Empyre event. Bringing in the setting that was seen in Captain Marvel: The End was also a nice change of pace to create new dynamics between Carol Danvers and other fellow superheroes.
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