Captain Marvel is in the middle of a crossover with the X-Men franchise as she is dealing with the threat of the Brood, who have captured Rogue and Binary. This story is ahead of the bigger crossover with the main X-Men series that will begin in February. With the current story Captain Marvel and the X-Men roster she is teaming up with at the moment have all unknowingly found themselves captured and trapped in a simulation by the Brood. With this situation can Captain Marvel and the X-Men find out the truth about their current situation? Let’s find out with Captain Marvel #45.
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Artist: Sergio Davila
Inker: Sea Parsons
Colorist: Arif Prianto and Yen Nitro
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Inside the Brood simulation, Psylocke starts feeling off. Gambit mentions to Psylocke the Rogue he talked to is not his wife. Realizing they can’t let their captors know they can tell something is off Psylocke’s psi-blade punches Gambit out of the simulation.
Waking up Gambit sets himself free by using a knife to cut some of his flesh connected to the Brood’s device. Regaining his powers Gambit first breaks Captain Marvel out so she can defend him while he sets everyone else free.
Once she is free Wolverine decimates the Brood, leaving only one alive so that Psylocke can analyze its brain.
Psylocke learns from the Brood’s mind that there are two powerful energy signatures in different parts of the base with one likely being Binary.
After taking care of a horde of Brood together Captain Marvel splits the group into two teams to go to the areas with the different energy signatures. Captain Marvel, Psylocke, and Spider-Woman are on one team with Gambit, Wolverine, Polaris, and Hazmat on the other team with Psylocke mind-linking everyone so they can keep track of each other.
Elsewhere in the base the Brood Empress is happy to see Captain Marvel and X-Men falling into her trap so the Brood can use their powers for their endgame. End of issue.
Captain Marvel #45 has all the elements of a good story. We see that our heroes don’t easily fall for what the Brood did to them in the previous issue. What gets in the way of the story being better is the overall flow being stopped by what could be considered filler content to reach a page count.
Gambit and Psylocke being the characters that first recognize and don’t keep falling for the simulation that the Brood put the team in was a good play. Kelly Thompson does a good job at showing how Gambit knows Rogue better than anyone and would immediately recognize when he is not talking to his wife. Similarly, as the only psychic on the team, Psylocke would be the one person you expect to pick up on mental tampering. This made the plan Psylocke quickly came up with a logical one as she made sure they didn’t give away that she and Gambit picked up on what the Brood were doing.
The only thing that hindered this was how we could’ve really cut the Gambit escape to be much quicker. There was a little too much talking through every step Gambit did to escape that could’ve been trimmed to give way for more time so action sequences don’t just last two pages.
Also, Thompson does not make Carol Danvers come across as particularly great in the first half of Captain Marvel #45, specifically when Gambit is breaking her free. Carol came across as ungrateful and an asshole that was really just distracting Gambit from setting her free. A lot of her comments just made her come across as unlikeable.
Thompson does recover Carol’s character in the second half of Captain Marvel #45 when Carol realizes Gambit literally had to cut part of his flesh off to free everyone. This did seem to be a moment when things clicked and we get Carol back to being more of the team lead we’ve seen her be during this story arc. You can see this makeshift team of Avengers and X-Men needed such a leader. Captain Marvel’s leadership continues to be the standout in this arc as we see Carol inspiring the others to follow through her actions and words.
The real strength of Captain Marvel #45 is how we see Thompson and Sergio Davila utilize everyone’s powers and skills. This isn’t just a Captain Marvel showcase. As previously mentioned, we see both Psylocke and Gambit be key in driving the story forward. Then we see Wolverine and Polaris being the tanks they are. Davila certainly took the chances given to make each member of the Avengers and X-Men that make up this team stand out in their own distinct way.
The Brood Empress showing that she was ready for everything that the heroes did in Captain Marvel #45 is a good set-up to keep the intrigue going for this story arc. We see that the Brood are after the most powerful characters to fuel whatever their latest plans are. With the likes of Captain Marvel, Binary, and Rogue in those plans you are given that this is a plan that is a major threat to the entire galaxy. This leads to why the current X-Men core team will be joining the story as their help will definitely be needed.
Captain Marvel #45 is a solid but flawed latest chapter to the Revenge of the Brood storyline. The first half in particular has many instances of panels that come across as filler content. It’s the second half of this issue where Captain Marvel #45 finds a strong flow of good character moments and strong action visuals.
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10