While she helped save the Marvel Universe during War of the Realms the world hasn’t been kind to Captain Marvel. Especially after Carol Danver half-Kree heritage was revealed to the world. This secret, which Carol only just learned about from her Kree mother during The Life of Captain Marvel, led to major ramification for Carol’s entire life. With that secret revealed her ties to the Air Force have been cut by the US government and she has lost just about all of the support from the public that previously loved Captain Marvel. If that wasn’t bad enough Carol’s life it seems as though her powers are not working to their full capacity. Adding in a hot, new superhero in the form of the unknown Star has taken the spotlight away from Captain Marvel. How will things go now because of all this for Carol Danvers? Let’s find out with Captain Marvel #9.
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Artist: Carmen Carnero
Colorist: Tamra Bonvillain
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: At her home in Harpswell Sound, Maine, Carol Danvers tells Agent Abigail Brand that she is stepping down as leader of Alpha Flight. Agent Brand tries to get her to take that back but Carol says that with everything going on she does not want to give Alpha Flight a bad name because of the connection to her.
Carol ends up hanging up on Agent Brand when Rhodey enters the room. Carol and Rhodey flirt for a bit as he is trying his best to distract her from everything going on. Carol says she has something that he can help her with but it will be less fun than what Rhodey may have planned.
A little later Carol and Rhodey are somewhere underground Manhattan in order to investigate Doctor Minerva’s planning. Carol mentions that when Minerva approached her recently she planted a tracker on her. She goes on to say that while she does not trust Minerva that she can’t disregard that the Kree are currently facing extinction.
They eventually get to a vault door that Carol blasts through. Inside they find a lab with the kraken creature Captain Marvel and Spider-Woman fought before the events with Nuclear Man. Rhodey also finds the tracker that Carol put on Minerva with a note that says “Hello Carol.” The lights in the lab suddenly go out.
Over at Stark Unlimited Jessica Drew shows Tony Stark the secret footage she recorded from Carol’s sparring session with She-Hulk. Tony says he can only do basic analysis on Carol’s current power levels based on the footage. He goes on to state that what he can tell from the footage is that Carol’s punching power was reduced and her heart rate is off. Tony tells Jessica he needs Carol to come to his lab so he can run a full analysis.
Somewhere in Manhattan Captain Marvel flies Rhodey to safety as the kraken creature in the lab starts attacking. Captain Marvel tries to fight the creature alone but is swatted away by it. Captain Marvel continues to struggle to even put a dent in the creature. All she can do is keep it away from the civilians running away.
Eventually Star shows up and quickly defeats the creature.
As everyone is cheering for Star, Iron Man shows up and tells Captain Marvel she needs to come with him to his lab. Captain Marvel agrees.
Back at Stark Unlimited Carol can’t stop talking but eventually Jessica and Tony are able to get her to stay still to run a full analysis. Tony and Jessica discover some sort of organic material in Carol’s chest they don’t recognize.
After more analysis Tony has found that the organic material in Carol’s chest is some sort of advance nanotech that has grown inside her. Carol soon realizes what it is and decides to walk out before sharing with Tony what that is.
Captain Marvel walks through the city alone. Spider-Woman finds her and says she knows that Carol is scared to use her powers right now as they could end up causing her to fall during flight. She then offers Captain Marvel a ride to Maine in a car she “borrowed” from Tony.
Later that night, once they get back to Harpswell Sound Captain Marvel shows Spider-Woman the underground hideout she built under her childhood home, with some help from Tony. Captain Marvel then shows Spider-Woman that she has a version of the device that showed up in the scans of her chest. She says that it is a Kree weapon.
A little later, Captain Marvel decides to fly back to Manhattan and investigate Minerva’s lab alone. While getting back to the lab Captain Marvel contacts Tony to ask him to find the girl she saved from the first kraken creature attack (Captain Marvel #1) and analyze the body of the first kraken creature he took with him.
Captain Marvel then continues searching the lab for Minerva and starts busting down walls. When she does Captain Marvel is shocked to find a bloody Minerva chained to a wall. There is a message written on the wall in Minerva’s blood that says “You’re not as smart as you think you are.” End of issue.
The Good: Kelly Thompson delivered a tightly written issue with Captain Marvel #9. Being placed in a corner with Carol Danvers not sure about what is going to happen next in her life as Captain Marvel is the best thing that has happened for this series. How that ends up affecting Captain Marvel’s interaction with other heroes like Iron Man and Spider-Woman made this an issue that sets the stage well for the rest of this arc.
With her powers failing her Thompson chose to keep Carol Danvers calm through most of Captain Marvel #9. This made it clear that Carol is a veteran hero that understands how freaking out externally is the worst thing she can do right now. Sure, we see her concerned about her future as Captain Marvel. We get that through her facial expressions while interacting with Spider-Woman, particular. At the same time, she is careful to make decisions that are rational in her current situation.
We see that with the opening of Captain Marvel #9, in which Carol steps down as the leader of Alpha Flight. This opening scene was an important tone setter for the rest of the issue. Because through Carol’s conversation with Agent Brand, Thompson is able to show how strong of a support system Carol has. Even though Carol is a big alpha character who is more likely to do things on her own she doesn’t have to. Carol allowing Agent Brand, James Rhodes, Tony Stark and Jessica Drew all help her in their own way shows that she is able to put aside her alpha personality. It’s a subtle character choice that Thompson is able to use to show how Carol is a veteran hero at this point.
Taking Captain Marvel #9 also opened things up for Thompson to explore the different types of relationships Carol has throughout the Marvel Universe. From the intimate relationship with Rhodey to her friendship with Jessica Drew to her frenemies-like relationship with Tony Stark, each interaction had a different undertone. Thompson tapped into that fact perfectly as she kept everyone within the character Marvel fans are familiar with.
The interactions with Jessica and Tony, in particular, stood out the most. The relationship Carol shares with these two complement one another well. With Jessica, we see that Carol is the most open with as they have been best friends for such a long time. And Carol knows that no matter how hard she tries there is no hiding anything from Jessica. Carol showing Jessica her secret Batcave-like hideout shows this trust. Not much time is wasted in Jessica goading Carol to let her help. This is an important dynamic to continue to explore as Jessica is by far the strongest supporting character in this series.
Carol’s interaction with Tony was much different. These two have been at each others head for so long it is hard for either one to turn off the underlying antagonism. We see that with how Carol could not help herself when she through a dig at Tony. Then there is the fact that Carol doesn’t share with Tony, like she does with Jessica later, that she actually knows what is inside her chest. At the same time, Thompson does a good job showing that Carol and Tony’s relationship is improving since the Civil War II days. They now share a relationship that is heading more towards sibling-like, which is a good direction to take these two.
With all this character development, it was interesting to see how Carol has come to accept her Kree heritage. Since learning about her mom being an elite Kree warrior, we are seeing Carol come to terms with that. That’s shown with how Carol is internally battling her desire to help the Kree as they face extinction.
But while she wants to do that she cannot let go of everything they’ve done to her in the past. How Carol is constantly watching out for whenever Minerva could show up and betray her is an example of that. Their past with each other will automatically make Carole not trust Minerva and whatever she offers her. Carol immediately jumping to Minerva being responsible for the kraken creatures attack showed that animosity will be hard to get over.
Having that has a backdrop for this story made of who is coming after Captain Marvel and stealing her powers a bigger mystery. There still aren’t that many clues on who they are or what their motives are. But since they have access to Minerva’s lab they likely have some connection to the Kree. And seeing the state they left Minerva in at the end of Captain Marvel #9 they are clearly dangerous.
What possible connection all this shares with the new superhero, Star, will be very interesting to find out. Keeping the character’s appearance limited in the first two issues of this arc is a smart move by Thompson. There is mystery now built We still have no idea who Star really is other than she is taking all the superhero attention that Captain Marvel used to get from the public. The sudden appearance of Star is to conveniently placed with when Carol is having trouble with her Captain Marvel powers. How she relates to the story will be very interesting to find out.
Carmen Carnero once again delivers solid artwork throughout Captain Marvel #9. Her artwork is consistent for the most part. The art especially excels at the facial reactions. That is important as Carnero’s art gets across the current state of mind Carol is in. Because while she is doing her best to be tough there is a concern that Carnero is able to get across in Carol’s face. That gave more weight to all the interactions Carol had throughout Captain Marvel #9.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: Captain Marvel #9 was a tightly paced comic book. Kelly Thompson creates greater interest in the direction of Carol Danvers powers failing her. The mystery around that along with the different interactions she has with characters like Iron Man and Spider-Woman a strong second chapter to the “Falling Star” story arc.
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