Captain Marvel #27 Review

by Charles Martin on March 17, 2021

Captain Marvel #27 Review
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Artist: David Lopez
Colourist: Tríona Farrell
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Captain Marvel with a solid supporting cast, a good status quo, an excellent writer, and David Lopez on the art? It's a throwback to the heady days of the Carol Corps, when we saw there was a lot more to Carol Danvers than "wearing the classic, politically incorrect costume and kicking butt in giant wedge heels." This issue is a big present, with a bow on top, for fans who came aboard in the KSD era.

It's also a great comic for anybody who likes the "superheroes deal with the mundane insanity of real life" sub-genre.

It starts with Jess crashing through Carol's window (for the first of two times), determined to do her best friend duty and confirm that Carol hasn't died or crawled into a bottle in the 12 days since she broke up with Rhodey. 

What gets her out of bed and back in costume is the need to defend Central Park against "giant cats merged with angry snakes and … ridden by sexy wizards." 

Kelly Thompson does a world-class job with this issue's script, seamlessly swapping between insightful internal monologue and snappy banter-dialogue with the supporting cast. I love that she adds variety by tapping both recent and ancient history -- we get new sister Lauri-Ell and old friend Monica Rambeau backing Carol here.

(And what terrific timing, by the way, even if it's a happy accident: Getting Monica on-panel right after her MCU debut is serendipitous.)

While the script delivers ample absurdity with Jessica's cheer-up ploys (she forces Carol into speed-dating as well as fighting magic cat-snakes), Ms. Thompson also brings a darker edge to Carol's breakup depression. 

The low point finds Carol contemplating (again) a bottle of whiskey. She knows, and states, that it's the worst possible coping strategy for her heartbreak. It's a path she's rejected before, but it's still. So. Tempting. 

She finds a less-bad alternative in the last act, but it's far too surprising and satisfying for me to spoil it.

Now, what is there for me to say on the visual front? David Lopez's return to Captain Marvel is a triumph. He still has unique, total control over Carol's body language and facial expressions. He tackles a vast range of emotions with complete success, producing attractive and memorable moments practically non-stop. 

(Invest in a digital version of this issue, Carol fans: It's a gorgeous fount of potential memes, avatars, and reaction images.)

Mr. Lopez also sells the grounded, real-world settings required for most of this issue with a flood of accurate details. Carol's home and the bars that come into play later on are all achingly real. It's no surprise that assistant editor Kat Gregorowicz can share a full artist's rendering of Carol's apartment on the letters page; Mr. Lopez has defined the space right down to the houseplants.

Tríona Farrell's colours also play a considerable role in this issue's visual excellence. Warm tones abound, and she adds more magic to David Lopez's faces with well-executed shading. The inevitable comparison is with Mr. Lopez's Captain Marvel work in years past. Where those earlier comics used bright, almost aggressively flat colours, here, Ms. Farrell conjures up greater depth by modulating the tones to bring the characters into three-dimensional life. It's a perfect complement to the artist's realistic details. 

There are also some inventive uses of pure white to represent negative space in the final pages; that's a brilliant idea on somebody's part and I like to think it's Ms. Farrell's.

Captain Marvel #27 is a fun comic with an ample supply of wacky antics to jolly Carol (and readers) over her breakup. But it's not exactly a "breather" episode, a one-off, or a quick fix. There will be Consequences to Carol's choices here, and the insightful creative work dives deep into the pain she's feeling. It's written with an exquisite blend of humour and heartache, and it doesn't hurt that the art is magnificent.

Our Score:


A Look Inside


Charles Martin's picture
I fell in love with this issue from panel 1. Look closely! The details! The face-down broken picture! The phone not charging! The way the fitted sheet has slipped off the mattress (probably several days ago) and Carol doesn't care! It's a perfectly recognizable, perfectly realistic depression cave.