Captain Marvel: The End #1 Review

by Charles Martin on January 29, 2020

Captain Marvel: The End #1 Review
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Artist: Carmen Carnero
Colourist: David Curiel
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Publisher: Marvel Comics

It's 2051, decades after an aggressively vague apocalypse ruined Earth. Captain Marvel, now wandering the galaxy as a shiny chromium freelance hero, is shocked to receive an "Avengers Assemble" message.

Of course, a few heroes survived the apocalypse, and of course, Carol missed them on her first painful trip to the ruins of Earth. But now, after getting to meet a host of young heroes grown up (Kelly Thompson favourites along with some new descendants of familiar names), she has work to do. 

The Earth needs saving, and she's got a salvation or two left in her.

The immediate problem is taking down a super-tough radioactive bug-monster, which is doable (but not too easy) with Carol's help. More importantly, and reflecting well on Kelly Thompson's prior Captain Marvel work, she provides the leadership required to bring out the best in the post-apocalyptic heroes.

This whole adventure looks gorgeous thanks to the close collaboration of Carmen Carnero and David Curiel. As I mentioned at the outset, future Carol spends most of her time as a shiny multi-coloured energy being. (Rather like Karolina Dean, come to think of it.) 

Mr. Curiel makes the energy effect look consistently impressive, painting an ever-changing halo of colours around Carol. But at the core of the character, he preserves all of Ms. Carnero's expressive linework. It's a terrific way to emphasize Carol's otherworldliness throughout the story without losing track of her humanity.

I led off by calling this comic's apocalypse "aggressively vague" and I have to stand by that opinion. Carol herself dismisses the details of the disaster. There was a supervillain, Earth's heroes screwed up their plan to defeat him, yadda yadda yadda. 

Are those details actually important to this story? No. But unimportant is not the same as uninteresting! Dismissing them emphasizes this story's "what if" status in the wrong way. 

Rumblings about the apocalypse aside, I was otherwise quite satisfied with Ms. Thompson's script. Carol's homecoming presents her with an array of new and familiar faces, and the interactions between the characters have the perfect blend of bittersweet reunion. Plus, of course, plenty of sass -- you can't escape sass when Emma Frost survives the apocalypse. ("You can't kill fabulous, darling.")

In Captain Marvel: The End, Carol Danvers finds a good death when circumstances conspire to let her save a post-apocalyptic Earth -- as well as friends she thought were lost. It's beautifully illustrated and smartly-written. Although it doesn't make itself a must-read, it does deliver more of the quality character work that's made the current run of Captain Marvel so delightful.

Our Score:


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Charles Martin's picture
I wonder if any of these "End" comics are not going to feature an apocalypse. Is that a prerequisite of the premise?