The new Marvel Team-Up series got off to a solid start with fun crossover between Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel. The chemistry between the pair of superheroes showed that Marvel Team-Up can be a strong addition to Marvel’s publishing line. The story arc also acted as a passing of the torch moment as Spider-Man handed the reigns of the series over to Ms. Marvel. That is appropriate given that Ms. Marvel is the Spider-Man of her generation of heroes. She, along with Miles Morales, is by far the most popular next generation hero. Giving Kamala Khan’s Ms. Marvel the Marvel Team-Up series should help continue to elevate her status. Now that elevation comes with a team up with the hero that inspired her to become Ms. Marvel: Captain Marvel. How will the Marvel Family team-up turn out? Let’s find out with Marvel Team-Up #2.
Writer: Clint McElroy
Artist: Ig Guara
Colorist: Felipe Sobreiro
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 4 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: At a Damage Control warehouse a security guard is talking to his wife while on patrol. He is suddenly knocked out from behind. Someone then steals a Kree Mandroid. The robber is stopped from killing the guard by his partner. The mysterious partner asks the guard’s wife if they know where other Kree weapons are held.
The next day Captain Marvel and Ms. Marvel visit Damage Control’s 6th warehouse where some Kree tech was stolen recently. Captain Marvel asks Ms. Marvel why she did not keep watch of the warehouse as requested. Ms. Marvel reveals that she was recently grounded because she has been spending evenings and nights sneaking out to do her superhero stuff. Captain Marvel says she will help Ms. Marvel out to give her parents a reason to let her go out on evenings and nights.
Sometime later Kamala Khan’s parents turn Carol Danvers offer of an “internship” down as they believe Kamala has been making bad decisions lately. Carol gives more info about the “internship,” saying that Kamala will be able to learn from Chabris Matanat, someone Kamala’s father is familiar with. Kamala’s mom then thinks that Carol is only giving Kamala is being given the “internship” as a token because she is Pakistani like the physicist. Carol brings up the fact that they “picked” Kamala because of her fantastic writing made her a strong pick along with six other students.
Kamala’s mom says that she recognizes the opportunity as being great but is just being protective mother because of how dangerous the world is right now.
This reminds Carol of when her mom was killed by the Kleaner where she learned of her mom’s own past with the Kree.
Kamala gets Carol’s mind back on the topic so she can talk about the honorarium. This quickly gets the attention of Kamala’s parents.
A little later Kamala celebrates that their “internship” story worked on her parents. The celebration is quickly stopped when Carol gets a message that a Kree weapon has been discovered in Harpswell Sound, Maine. (Carol’ Danvers’ hometown.)
While flying to Harpswell Sound Ms. Marvel learns that the stolen weapon was the same one that killed Carol’s mom. Ms. Marvel wonders if this means the Kleaner is back. Captain Marvel says she hopes that is not the case.
Captain Marvel and Ms. Marvel investigate the damaged area. As they do they are attacked by a Kree Mandroid. Captain Marvel immediately starts fighting the Mandroid.
When Ms. Marvel is about to join the fight she is attacked by a Kree Supremor. As they fight the Mandroid and Supremor individually Captain Marvel gives Ms. Marvel the information on both Kree weapons. Captain Marvel and Ms. Marvel are able to easily defeat the Mandroid and Supremor.
The Mandroid asks someone named Wastrel if they can use lethal force. Ms. Marvel wonders who Wastrel is.
Someone in a hoodie flies in and says they are Wastrel. The person greats Captain Marvel as “Carol Danvers.” They then take off their hood to reveal himself as an older Mar-Vell, much to Captain Marvel’s shock. End of issue.
The Good: Continuing the momentum from the first story arc, Marvel Team-Up #4 focuses on the characters it chose to spotlight. In this case we get to see Captain Marvel and Ms. Marvel spend some time together. That is not something we have gotten a lot of in the last few years even though they are characters closely tied together. Though not everything ends up working about this team-up.
What Clint McElroy nails down with Marvel Team-Up #4 is the pacing. The first part of this story arc moves along at a good pace. Even when we get a dialogue heavy scene in the middle of the issue there McElroy makes sure to keep the story moving. That is a credit to his understanding of how to use Captain Marvel and Ms. Marvel’s personalities to keep the story pushing forward.
Throughout this issue McElroy also captures the different energy that Captain Marvel and Ms. Marvel bring to Marvel Team-Up #4. Captain Marvel is the serious veteran superhero who understands the Kree world. Ms. Marvel on the other hand is much more of the young hero who is still wide-eyed amazed by the things she gets involved with in her life as a superhero.
Having these two different types of characters allowed this team-up to be immediately different from the one between Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel. Ms. Marvel’s personality shines much more as she is the one that is delivering the witty banter, rather than going back-and-forth with someone who has a similar sense of humor. As this series has become a vehicle to elevate Ms. Marvel this is the right direction to take as she is able to bounce off differently with different superheroes.
It was a nice surprise that McElroy continued the new direction for Captain Marvel’s character as she has been more open to taking the younger heroes under her wing. We’ve seen this with her interactions with Hazmat over in her series. Captain Marvel doing the same with Ms. Marvel was a smart thing to do since the young hero worships her. Carol immediately springing in to give Ms. Marvel’s parents a reason to allow Kamala to secretly continue being a hero shows that.
The scene with Kamala’s parents was a good showcase of how Carol is quick to adapt to whatever is thrown her way. Kamala’s mom continuously pushed Carol into a corner about the “internship” offer she was presenting Kamala with. Carol did a good job keeping her cool and having an answer to almost everything that Kamala’s mom threw her way.
At the same time the motherly worry Kamala’s mom showed was a good way to present Carol’s recent discovery of her true Kree origin story. This is something that Marvel Team-Up #4 needed since McElroy chose to go with a Kree based story. Following-up on the Life of Captain Marvel story, no matter how disappointing that mini-series was, emphasized that Carol’s mom being secretly being a former high-level Kree warrior is the status quo Marvel fans should know. Bringing this back into play helps cement this fact since it is likely something that will be brought up in the Captain Marvel 2 movie in a few years.
Basing this team up between Captain Marvel and Ms. Marvel around the Kree was a good way to bring in the latter into the world of her idol that inspired her entire superhero life. Having Ms. Marvel get a chance to learn more about the Kree will help further build out the overall Captain Marvel Family. That is something that is needed since it doesn’t feel right that Kamala and Carol interact hardly interact with each other when the former has taken on the Ms. Marvel name. Establishing a greater connection between the two through an adventure with the Kree will help out their overall direction.
When Marvel Team-Up #4 was in the middle of an action scene Ig Guara artwork was at its best. The action was fast and delivered on the impact of both Captain Marvel and Ms. Marvel’s respective powers. The more action heavy this arc is the better it will look.
The Bad: Marvel Team-Up #4 was far from being a homerun. Though the portrayal for both stars is mostly well done McElroy falls into the same pitfalls many writers have fallen into when writing Captain Marvel. And that is the fact that McElroy couldn’t resist having Carol Danvers have her hardass moment. These moments can make or break comics with Carol in them and unfortunately that is what happened here.
The scene in question is after Kamala and Carol finally convinced the former’s parents to accept the fake internship. This should’ve been a celebratory moment. Especially since this entire thing was Carol’s idea and she specifically told Kamala she had her back. That did not fully come across in the aftermath as Carol told Kamala to calm down. This should’ve been a nice bonding moment between the two. Instead it came across as a job Carol was told to do rather than something she chose to help after noticing what Kamala’s current predicament was.
Also given that her hometown was attacked by the thieves stealing Kree technology it was surprising that Captain Marvel did not act with more urgency. This is something that should be personal to Carol as her Kree and Earth lives were once again crossing paths. And given how the last time this happened her mom died then Carol should’ve been rushing to figure out who is responsible. Instead she just treats this as another adventure she can take her time with as she calmly flew herself and Ms. Marvel to her hometown.
Though the Mar-Vell appearance at the end was a nice surprise it didn’t have the punch it should have. His entire presentation in the few scenes he was in did not have the presence one would expect. Especially as this will be some fans first real experience with Mar-Vell I hope McElroy writes him more like the veteran hero that commands respect rather than a retired old man looking to reclaim his old glory.
Guara’s artwork when it came to the dialogue heavy scenes were a bit stiff. They didn’t have the same pop that one would like to see. Though he tried to give a more animated look to all the characters it did not work as intended. The scenes all looked a bit dull. That is something that can hopefully be improved on as Guara gets more comfortable drawing these characters.
Overall: Marvel Team-Up #4 was a solid start to this series’ second story arc. Clint McElroy did a good job developing the chemistry between Captain Marvel and Ms. Marvel. Not everything about this issue clicked, specifically with key choices with how Carol Danvers was portrayed. That said if you are a fan of Captain Marvel or Ms. Marvel then Marvel Team-Up #4 is something you should check out.
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