Kelly Thompson has had a solid start to her run on Captain Marvel. Placing Carol Danvers in a situation were there are only a few superheroes to keep the people trapped on an island in New York has forced her to step up as a leader. This is the best possible situation to show who Carol Danvers is as Captain Marvel. Having familiar characters like her best friend Spider-Woman, Jessica Drew, on the island with has helped establish the situation Captain Marvel finds herself and others in. Now with She-Hulk joining the situation could either improve or get more difficult for Captain Marvel. Let’s find out what happens next with Captain Marvel #3.
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Artist: Carmen Carnero
Colorist: Tamra Bonvillain
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: As She-Hulk falls from the sky she transforms back into Jennifer Walters. Captain Marvel powers up to breaks free from the grasp of the Metal-Men. She then rushes to catch Jennifer before she hits the ground.
When Jennifer comes to she wonders what happened. Captain Marvel tells her that where they are some heroes powers aren’t working, which looks to be the case for Jennifer.
With the battle still going on Captain Marvel tells Jessica Drew that they need to finish things quick and get back to the base. Jessica, Echo, Hazmat and the others work together with Captain Marvel to take down the remaining Metal Men.
Once things are clear Captain Marvel pins Som to a wall and demands to know why the Metal-Men wanted him in one piece and talked about Carol as a bride to someone. Som responds by quietly apologizing.
Back at their base Som reveals he is the son of Nuclear Man and his name stands for “Son Of Machus.” Carol question why would Nuclear Man would want Som back. Som says that his dad wants him to follow in his footsteps as Nuclear Man.
Carol then asks why she was called “The Bride” by the Metal-Men. Som doesn’t know but he theorizes that Nuclear Man wants her to produce a strong child with her.
Carol takes everyone to the hallway and tells them that while they can’t trust Som they need to keep him safe while also no longer sharing confidential information with him. Everyone agrees to that. Carol tells Echo to keep tabs on Som, Hazmat to look into the depleted power situation and Jessica to asses the population at the base for capable people to help them. Jessica wonders what Carol will be doing. Carol states she is going to tell Som he is free in order to start him on a path of getting comfortable.
Back inside the meeting room Carol talks with Som alone. Carol tells Som that the others vouched for him and they will continue to work for him, especially since it is to dangerous for Som to be on his own where he could easily be captured. Som thanks Carol for letting him be free to help them and promises his motives for taking down Nuclear Man are pure. Carol warns Som that she hopes that’s true or else Nuclear Man will be the least of his problems.
In the Med Bay Hazmat talks to herself how she will likely get a nickname she does not want since She-Hulk is also a Jennifer and a big time Avenger. Jennifer tells Hazmat she is awake and can hear what she said. Jennifer tells Hazmat that given their powers its clear Nuclear Man is afraid of them enough to find a way to depower them.
Carol shows up to check on Jennifer. Jennifer says she is okay. Carol asks about what is going outside the barrier. Jennifer states that Captain America, Iron Man and Thor were unable to get through the barrier. After joking about it Carol brings Jennifer up to speed on how they are building an army with the women on the island to take down Nuclear Man and his mysterious barrier.
A little later Carol holds a rally with the gathered women about what they are going to do to take down Nuclear Man. Everyone is inspired by what Carol says. Over some time Carol and the others work on training all the women and building weapons to fight.
Sometime later Carol talks with Jessica and Jennifer about reinforcing their defenses. Jessica mentions their supplies are running low. Jennifer says they could possibly look into the unexplored areas of the island. Carol tells Jennifer to draw up a plan and use their new fliers for the mission.
Som appears and states he found a way into the Citadel. Som shows everyone the plans he found and an area that appears unguarded. Som states they could send a small recon team in to make it is a viable option. Carol says they will need a lot of firepower and asks Som to be the team’s guide. Som thanks Carol for the opportunity. Carol asks Som to give the three of them a minute, which he agrees to and leaves the meeting room.
After Som leaves Echo appears and states that Som though his inner guilt is weighing heavily on him he is clean. Carol says that is good because this plan hinges on him.
Two nights later outside Nuclear Man’s Citadel Som leads Captain Marvel and Spider-Woman into a secret sewer system. As they walk through the area Captain Marvel starts getting an uneasy feeling.
When they come across Nuclear Man’s facility a loud alarm sounds after they are detected. Captain Marvel tells Spider-Woman to take Som back to the base to talk to the others about changing their attack strategy immediately. Spider-Woman wonders why Captain Marvel is staying behind. Captain Marvel states she has to provide a distraction to make sure Spider-Woman and Som make it back to the base safely.
Before leaving Som reveals that Nuclear Man has something specifically planned for Captain Marvel. He goes on to reveal that she was lured to the island with his idea. Som explains himself that while Nuclear Man was looking for a powerful woman to bear his children Som drew Captain Marvel because he thought she would be the hero to save everyone. Captain Marvel says he was right and tells him and Spider-Woman to leave before the Metal-Men show up.
Captain Marvel then confronts the Metal Men. She easily busts up the ones that confront her. Captain Marvel then goes deeper into the Citadel where she finds Metal-Men under construction.
Suddenly someone punches Captain Marvel so hard she goes flying through several pillars and a brick wall. When she recovers Captain Marvel is shocked to see the person who attacked her is Rogue.
Rogue tells Captain Marvel she is going to finish what she started years ago. End of issue.
The Good: At this point we know everything we need to know about the situation Captain Marvel and friends are in. There is no need to address what is going on again even as a new player in She-Hulk enters the island. Instead, Captain Marvel #3 focuses on moving the story forward rather than looking back. And that is what is key in making this entire issue a major success for Thompson’s early run on Captain Marvel.
Time is the best friend for Captain Marvel #3 in the fact that Kelly Thompson waste none of it to keep the story moving forward. Everything that happens in this issue moves with a purpose. Even in the dialogue heavy scenes Thompson was able to keep a good pace for the entire issue so the issue never felt slow.
Keeping the story moving at a brisk pace especially helped not make the dialogue heavy scenes feel like a slow down. Everything that happens in Captain Marvel #3 is about developing the mini-world that Carol Danvers and her allies are trapped in together. Having that purpose made each interaction Carol has come across as an important part to the overall story.
That is where the real strength of Captain Marvel #3 being the chemistry between Carol and her allies is given an even bigger spotlight. Thompson does not waste time in building the trust between Captain Marvel, Spider-Woman, Hazmat, She-Hulk and Echo. These are all people who have been through a lot of events where they have had to step up. They all understand that about each other and it adds to the level of trust they each have.
This is also helpful in positioning Captain Marvel as the leader of this rebel group. Thompson does a great job in showing us that Carol is a natural leader. Carol being in this position isn’t because she is the most powerful person on the island. It is because she is someone as Captain Marvel and Carol Danvers who can bring hope to any situation she is in.
We see both her methodical mind and power level on full display throughout Captain Marvel #3. There isn’t a time that Carol does anything without thinking. Every decision she makes keeps in mind the long-term goal of getting everyone safely off the island and taking down Nuclear Man.
This in turn helps elevate everyone around Carol. Thompson did a good job in positioning everyone in a spot where their respective character arcs can shine. For both Spider-Woman and She-Hulk it was about seeing them as the right- and left-hands for Carol. Fans already know who these two are and having them in this role used their status very well. The same goes for Echo, who Carol was able to give a role that made use of her strengths in the art of stealth to keep an eye on Som.
Hazmat had a bigger arc as Thompson is investing time to slowly integrate her into this series. Slowly peeling back where Hazmat is in her life is a very good way to ingratiate readers to her since she has been a minor Marvel character up to this point. By seeing how she is still dealing with her own insecurities after originally being viewed as a potential villain. Seeing this along with what we know about her powers opens things up in a natural way for Carol to step in as a mentor for Hazmat once this is all over.
Finally learning who Som was something Thompson needed to address. It was good to see that she didn’t stretch out the reveal that Som is Nuclear Man’s son out very long. Revealing this fact right away allowed Thompson to explore who Som is as an individual. And from what we learn Som does seem to be a good guy who honestly wants to help everyone. Though because this part of Som’s character was revealed so quickly it does put into question if he is telling the full truth or has other motives.
Rogue appearing at the end of Captain Marvel #3 was an unexpected conclusion to this issue. Just seeing Rogue on the same page with Captain Marvel felt like a major moment given the history between the two. Though Rogue’s appearance creates several questions since it looks like she is working with Nuclear Man. That would be a major shift for Rogue, which creates interest in what Thompson actually has planned for this new clash between Captain Marvel and Rogue.
Carmen Carnero continues to be a consistent driving force who keeps Thompson’s story moving forward. Carnero does a great job in capturing everyone’s unique look. She in particularly does a great job with drawing the impact of big moments. From Captain Marvel powering her way through Metal-Men to when Rogue drove Captain Marvel through a wall. Everything Carnero drew put over how powerful these characters are. At the same time, Carnero was also able to match character reactions with the dialogue Thompson wrote for each character. This made dialogue heavy scenes even stronger.
The Bad: The one thing that continues to hold back this first story arc on Captain Marvel by Thompson is Nuclear Man. As an antagonist Nuclear Man has not been properly developed into anything other than a one-dimensional villain. His lack of screen time in Captain Marvel #3 showed that he is not a key character that will draw in reader interest. All Nuclear Man is at this point is a means to get a cool team up between Captain Marvel and some of her closest allies. The remaining issues of this story arc have a lot of heavy lifting to do to make Nuclear Man a villain readers will remember being a big challenge for Captain Marvel.
Overall: Kelly Thompson showed throughout Captain Marvel #3 that she has gotten a firm grasp on who Carol Danvers is. The chemistry Captain Marvel has with her allies made everyone on the heroes side shine in this issue. Along with the great artwork by Carmen Carnero, Thompson’s first story arc Captain Marvel continues to improve with each passing issue.
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