Captain Marvel #128

by Charles Martin on January 31, 2018

Captain Marvel #128
Writer: Margaret Stohl
Artist: Michele Bandini
Colourist: Erick Arciniega
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel Comics

A conga line of double-crossing dumps Carol and Peter "Starkill" Quill out at the feet of Thanos the Just, potentate of law and order in the crazy Mirror Universe she's still stuck in.

Margaret Stohl's script has an excellent pace and one or two fascinating ideas (is Good Thanos implying that the Prime 616 is a hell-universe where other realities banish their worst villains?), but unfortunately, it's also stuffed with overwhelming negatives that get in the way of enjoying the story. 

While the dialogue has improved slightly compared to the past few issues, that's the very faintest of faint praise: "At least only part of the workshop is on fire this time." Draxx calls out Starkill's pronunciation of "mon-ay" as annoying and lame, but the skinny green literalist misses the half-dozen other cringe-worthy turns of phrase his author is trying to push as cool slang. 

The script is full of decisions and dialogue that turn nonsensical under even the slightest bit of examination. Starkill's Ravagers are upset about the boss's decision to go to Thanos, so they mutiny and … head straight to Thanos anyway? Natasha says the Zetas have been ditched and the next page features the Zetas front and centre along with the Ravagers? And the twist ending crosses well over the line from "wow, shocking!" to "wait, what?" territory.

So, any good news? When you're looking for silver linings, count on Michele Bandini's art to save the day. As always since he joined this title, he's working his fingers to the bone to make sure Carol and the madness around her look as beautiful as possible. 

I can't say enough good things about the expressive faces he delivers for Captain Marvel and friends. Mr. Bandini also makes alternate-universe still-alive evil Natasha look awesome. Having a character like that stuck in a script where she says things like "[I] didn't really pack for a vacay" hurts that much more when she looks so good.

Carol is due to pop up in Infinity Countdown in a few weeks lugging the Reality Stone. When it's time to explain the stone's origins, I think she's likely to sigh and rub the bridge of her nose and say something like, "There was a whole … Mirror Universe … Thing." And that is about all you need to know about this story arc; only the most die-hard Carol fans (and those of us who love the way Michele Bandini draws her) will want to slog through the plot-hole-y details.

Our Score:


A Look Inside


Charles Martin's picture
This issue gives us canonical evidence of Carol's sparklefists making a "PEW PEW PEW" noise. Is that excusable cuteness, or have we hit peak "Yaas Queen"-ery? Discuss!