Captain Marvel #32 Review

by Charles Martin on September 01, 2021

Captain Marvel #32 Review
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Penciler: Sergio Dávila
Inker: Sean Parsons
Colourist: Jesus Aburtov
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Publisher: Marvel Comics

This issue opens with Carol getting a rare "stop and smell the roses" moment, superhero-style. She takes the time to glory in the feeling of flying for flying's sake.

And then she gets bushwhacked by an unknown assailant wearing her Avenger-killing costume from the Vox Supreme arc.

A furious battle ensues, and this is no misunderstanding brawl. Captain Marvel comes out on top (of course), but she learns this is just the opening round in a much larger fight.

I don't feel the need to go into any spoiler-y details about how the plot develops; the arc title displayed on the cover ("Last of the Marvels") gives an ample hint to the story's direction. Suffice it to say that fans will not be disappointed by this latest challenge for Captain Marvel.

There's a great deal to admire in Kelly Thompson's script for this issue. It starts off free of dialogue, relying solely on Carol's internal narration to move the story along. That movement accelerates as the comic goes on, building to a breakneck pace that sweeps the reader right into the urgency that the protagonist feels.

Sergio Dávila and Sean Parsons amplify Ms. Thompson's words nicely with a big helping of dynamic art. Mr. Dávila has a real knack for strong fight poses, and this action-heavy issue gives him plenty of opportunities to show off his prowess. Mr. Parson's inks bring the characters into sharp focus. 

Jesus Aburtov brings the same high level of intensity to the colours. He's comfortable turning the saturation knob up to 11 to make Carol and her antagonist pop, and he still finds a little extra room at the top of the spectrum to make the copious energy zaps land as powerfully as possible.

I didn't fall completely in love with the arc that introduced us to Vox Supreme, and this new story is shaping up with a lot of similarities. But I find myself more invested earlier on this time around. Both stories have the thrill of urgency attached to them, but in this latter case, it feels more organic. For one thing, this story is, progressing (so far) entirely in real time; no flashbacks or time skips. That makes a big difference.

That sense of time pressure bearing down on Captain Marvel also helps to smooth over the little gaps in logic that are par for the course in this volume. Here, Carol assumes that Vox Supreme just has to be her main antagonist. It's a reasonable assumption to make -- but I wouldn't be at all surprised if a twist throws the Big Bad role to somebody else. I wouldn't be surprised, but I would probably be delighted if the twist were clever enough. And this title has always been pretty big on clever.

Captain Marvel #32 launches its protagonist into another desperate struggle with a ticking clock. This initial chapter goes heavy on the action, and it does not disappoint. But the creators have an intriguing "whodunnit" queued up right behind all the fighting, and thanks to superlative skill throughout the creative team, this comic has an excellent chance of sinking its hooks deep into readers.

Our Score:


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Charles Martin's picture
Of the zillion things Kelly Thompson does right with Captain Marvel, one of my favourites is the way she handles Carol's relationship with Tony Stark.