“The Last of the Marvels” has started with mixed results. The first chapter set the table for Captain Marvel and her allies to deal with a major crisis. Unfortunately the second chapter didn’t hit the way the first did for “The Last of the Marvels.” It all comes down to the fact that the big bad of this story is just not that interesting. Vox Supreme has been a one-note villain since first being introduced. Hopefully that is something that is improved upon quickly to make “The Last of the Marvels” a success. Let’s find out with Captain Marvel #34.
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Artist: Sergio Davila
Inker: Sean Parsons
Colorist: Jesus Aburtov
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: While floating in space within a metal casket Captain Marvel is unable to break out of from the inside. Captain Marvel focuses on manipulating her energy to create a Binary-like energy clone that destroys the casket from the outside.
Just after reabsorbing the Binary energy Captain Marvel is hit by a powerful blast by Mar-Vell wearing the Vox Supreme special black suit. Mar-Vell leads Captain Marvel to a nearby planet.
Captain Marvel approaches Mar-Vell emotional to see him back. When they are about to embrace Mar-Vell starts chocking out Captain Marvel. Realizing the Mar-Vell in front of her is a clone Captain Marvel fires multiple energy blasts at the clone.
When she goes to check if the Mar-Vell clone is knocked out Mar-Vell hugs and kisses her. This infects Captain Marvel with Vox Supreme’s virus. As Captain Marvel suffers from the effects of the virus Mar-Vell takes her back to Vox Supreme’s lab.
At Vox Supreme’s lab, Vox Supreme adds Captain Marvel to the others he has collected. Before beginning his experiment Phyla-Vell appears to stop what is going on. Unfortunately for her Mar-Vell and Vox Supreme overwhelm Phyla-Vell with attacks from several directions.
As that goes on Captain Marvel uses this chance to channel her energy and breaks free from her restraints. Captain Marvel then appears in her Binary form and surprises Vox Supreme with a powerful attack. Captain Marvel then stands over Vox Supreme ready to fight. End of issue.
The Good: Captain Marvel #34 is a comic book that highlights both the strengths and weaknesses of “The Last of the Marvels” storyline. On the strength side, most of the issue focusing on Captain Marvel and Mar-Vell was a big improvement over the previous issue. Unfortunately, the overall weakness of this story once again appears whenever Vox Supreme is physically in a scene.
Captain Marvel using the perilous situation she is in to learn to better use her powers is a great way to show growth with the character. It shows great maturity with Carol Danvers character that rather than growing angry and frustrated that she would instead actively look for a solution. This is how you grow a character within a storyline that adds to how Carol is being challenged.
It all leading to Carol evolving her powers so she now can access her Binary powers made the entire moment meaningful. The surprise that Carol even has that she was successful showed that as Captain Marvel she still hasn’t reached her peak. Opening herself up to adapting the powers she has to pull off something like creating a Binary energy clone of herself adds to the possibilities Captain Marvel has in the future.
Bringing in a clone Mar-Vell was a smart next step for this story. Given that this storyline is called “The Last of the Marvels” it would not have been complete without Mar-Vell serving an important role in what takes place. Even a clone of Mar-Vell is something because Thompson shows how deep Mar-Vell and Carol’s connection was. Even as Carol knew in her mind that this wasn’t Mar-Vell she couldn’t help but drop her guard as she let her emotional connection to him supersede every rational thought.
This made the villain turn as this Mar-Vell is being controlled by Vox Supreme work. Even when Mar-Vell was overwhelmed by Captain Marvel he still was able to take advantage of how she wasn’t going all out. Mar-Vell used the small opening Captain Marvel gave him to make it so he could get Vox Supreme’s control virus inside her. It all pushes the narrative of how “The Last of the Marvels” is trying to explore the legacy of this franchise through the connections all those in the Captain Marvel have with each other.
Phyla-Vell providing Captain Marvel the time she needed to recover was a nice contrast to the role Mar-Vell is serving being by Vox Supreme side. Phyla-Vell also was able to get some good shots in and only was starting to lose the fight because it was 2-on-1 against two powerful foes. But now with Captain Marvel back in action we have the set up for her and Phyla-Vell to work together against the threat to the legacy they’ve both carried.
Sergio Davila artwork was solid throughout Captain Marvel #34. Davila made the big moments like Captain Marvel accessing her Binary powers and Phyla-Vell’s big entrance work. There was also a good amount of emotion added to the scene during the confrontation between Captain Marvel and Mar-Vell. The way the entire scene played out visually you understood why Carol would drop her guard in this battle.
The Bad: The biggest thing holding back “The Last of the Marvels” is Vox Supreme. As much time as Thompson has dedicated to putting over Vox Supreme as Captain Marvel’s nemesis he just doesn’t live up to that expectation. The character is just so one-note that he brings down the interest in the scenes he is in. The character just does not have the charisma you expect to from a big end boss-like villain that he has been set up to be for “The Last of the Marvels.”
Which is something that could’ve all been fixed if Vox Supreme simply took over Mar-Vell’s body to fully drive home how he is attacking the Captain Marvel legacy. All of the set up is made in Captain Marvel #34 for Vox Supreme to do so to really stick it to our hero. But that is not what happens. Instead we are just going around in circles with Vox Supreme doing the same thing of controlling others that he has done since the beginning. Nothing about his plot screams new or interesting.
Which is incredibly unfortunate because “The Last of the Marvels” has all the elements to explore the Captain Marvel legacy. It all just comes down to the big villain of the story bringing down the intrigue of everything that is going. And when your antagonist fails to do their part in the story than you do have half a story that just ends up just falling apart.
Overall: Captain Marvel #34 is at its best when Kelly Thompson and Sergio Davila focus on Carol Danvers various battles. Specifically, Carol’s battle with Mar-Vell carried the emotion you expect such a reunion to happen. Unfortunately, the big bad of this story in Vox Supreme continues to fail as a compelling villain. Until that part of “The Last of the Marvels” is fixed the full potential of the story that is promised will never be reached.
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