The end is here. The end of Kelly Thompson’s biggest Captain Marvel story arc to date is here. “The Last of the Marvels” hasn’t been a massive hit. The strength of the story has certainly been everything with Carol Danvers part in the story. The challenge she has faced with trying to save her fellow Marvel Family has worked well. Unfortunately it’s the antagonist, Vox Supreme, has continued to be as uninteresting as he was when originally introduced at the beginning of Thompson’s Captain Marvel run. Can the finale of “The Last of the Marvels” provide us a satisfying conclusion? Let’s find out with Captain Marvel #36.
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Artist: Sergio Davila
Inkers: Sean Parsons and Roberto Poggi
Colorist: Erick Arciniega
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: On New Hala Captain Marvel leads the Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, and the Marvels in fighting against Vox Supreme and his mindless army powered by the Sludge (a Kree micro-organism).
As the fighting goes on without ending Captain Marvel tells Lauri-Ell the Accuser to gather Spectrum, Iron Man, Star-Lord, Moondragon, and Black Panther. Moondragon analyzes one of the Sludge suits to see that it is a primordial ooze. This gives Captain Marvel a plan to defeat Vox Supreme’s army and has Iron Man help in relaying the plan to the other heroes.
The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, and the Marvels then work together to hold of Vox Supreme’s army long enough for Iron Man to create the device Captain Marvel came up with. As Thor powers the device Captain Marvel and Binary take off to get in position for when Vox Supreme tries to escape.
Finally powered, Iron Man uses the sonic device he built to cause all the Sludge power suits to leave their host body safely. The heroes then quickly contain all the Sludge power suits so they don’t latch on to anyone.
As the happens Vox Supreme tries to escape in his spaceship. Captain Marvel and Binary quickly destroy the spaceship and face off against Vox Supreme.
Vox Supreme talks about his plan to create beings that are perfect combinations of Mar-Vell’s DNA with the Phoenix Force’s energy. Vox Supreme then reveals that Binary is actually what he was aiming to create the entire time and now is going to make her his.
Binary angrily launches an energy attack that completely obliterates Vox Supreme in retaliation for thinking she is his property.
Captain Marvel congratulates Binary on saying her first word during that attack.
Captain Marvel and Binary then rejoin the other heroes to tell them that Vox Supreme is done for but possibly still a threat somewhere else. Captain Marvel thanks everyone for helping her out and says she will clean things up from there.
Ms. Marvel, Spectrum, Phyla-Vell, Binary, Marvel Boy, and Genis-Vell stick around to help out Captain Marvel. End of issue.
The Good: The conclusion of “The Last of the Marvels” was more of the same when it comes to what worked and didn’t work for this story arc. Vox Supreme just never built up the credibility to be an intriguing villain to serve as the main antagonist for the story of this size. Luckily he wasn’t in this issue all that much so the focus of Captain Marvel #36 was mostly on the best part of the story, which was Captain Marvel teaming up with the Marvels, Avengers, and Guardians of the Galaxy.
In terms of scale Captain Marvel #36 certainly nailed what the conclusion of a major storyline the majority of this comic book run has been building towards. Over the course of her run Kelly Thompson has put in a lot of work in repairing Carol Danvers relationship with her superhero friends. That was a major hill to climb given how much Carol’s character was damaged during Civil War II. Credit to Thompson to understanding this and making sure that each interaction Carol has had during this Captain Marvel run was building towards making this team-up as impactful as possible.
Opening Captain Marvel #36 up with Carol and Tony Stark fighting Vox Supreme’s army off together back-to-back as Captain Marvel and Iron Man is an example of that payoff. These two have been at odds for so many years before Thompson’s run on Captain Marvel that it was truly refreshing to see them work together. It showed that they have regained the respect they had for each other without pointing that out. Thompson allowed the dialogue to flow naturally so the bond they share is highlighted rather than the contentious past.
That extended to how great it was to see the Marvels, Avengers, and Guardians of the Galaxy all teaming up together to take down Vox Supreme’s army. There was no in-fighting going on. This was a straight superhero uniting story where all these teams knew they needed to work together to stop a major threat.
This further helped to highlight how Captain Marvel stepped up as a leader. She made sure when bringing Spectrum, Iron Man, Star-Lord, Moondragon, and Black Panther that it didn’t give Vox Supreme an opening to defeat the other heroes. Her first thought was on doing this efficiently so that no one got seriously injured while coming up with a plan to end all the fighting. This made how she worked with Moondragon and Iron Man to come up with be a great character moment for her overall arc.
Further driving home Carol’s growth since the first issue of this Captain Marvel series was how she made sure to be prepared when Vox Supreme was going to escape as soon as Iron Man executed her plan. This recognition of what Vox Supreme would do is a great way to show the history Captain Marvel has with fighting the villain that she had multiple stages to her plan.
While Vox Supreme as a character was boring it was interesting to learn that his plan went to explain why Binary has become her own sentient being. Being a combination of Mar-Vell’s DNA with the Phoenix Force’s residual energy helps to further separate Binary as her own character. She is not simply Captain Marvel’s energy copy. How Binary develops from here will be very interesting to see.
With Captain Marvel #36 Sergio Davila delivered some of his best artwork to date. With how many characters he had to draw with the Marvels, Avengers, and Guardians of the Galaxy all fighting together against Vox Supreme army Davila always made sure to not to make pages to cluttered. Every character stood out to enhance how big the scale of the fight was. My favorite moment that he drew was how he combined Binary saying her first word with her attack that obliterated Vox Supreme.
The Bad: When all was said and done Vox Supreme was as uninteresting as he was when first introduced. Thompson was just never able to reach that next level with Vox Supreme to make him the giant threat that “The Last of the Marvels” tried to make him out to be. Even in revealing his plan towards the end of Captain Marvel #36 came across as a final second hail mary in an attempt to make Vox Supreme a major threat. But the villain was just so one-note that he really brought the story down because he didn’t have the credibility you want from a story that’s on this scale. I honestly would’ve rated the story one or two points higher if another Vox Supreme was better developed as a villain.
Overall: Captain Marvel #36 was a satisfying conclusion to “The Last of the Marvels” storyline. The only thing that kept this story from reaching a higher level was how uninteresting Vox Supreme was the entire time. Other than that, every development around Captain Marvel and her team-up with the Marvels, Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy was so much fun to see. The end this story provided a great showcase for how much Carol Danvers has grown over the course of Kelly Thompson’s run on Captain Marvel. And that is really what you want to see as a fan and will keep you coming back to see what Thompson has planned next.