This week, Captain Marvel gets a little help with her friends, or as the preview puts it, from the Accuser Corps (actually a thing from 1992!). Carol is now the Accuser serving for Hulkling, but she’s on a side mission to prove her sister is innocent. This issue covers a lot of ground to enact justice, but with the Universal weapon and a few friends, it’s nothing she can’t handle. This Empyre tie-in is more of a side mission, making it an easy read for anyone, but is it good?
For the most part, it is in fact good. Kelly Thompson is capable of writing some of the sharpest dialogue in superhero comics today and you see it from the first page onward. That’s incredibly important given the number of characters in this book and the interesting dynamics between them. Carol has her Accuser Corps which consists of War Machine, Hazmat, and Spider-Woman, who are supercharged with electric cosmic power hammers. They’re ready to back her up and get to space, but of course, there’s an exchange between them before they can leave that’s hilarious. This book lives and breathes by these scenes, which are throughout the book and even take place during the action sequences.
This even extends to Hulkling, who is growing tired of Carol and her friends, making his life harder. Thompson has a great handle on every character, making them sound natural and believable. That extends to Carol’s sister Lauri-ell, who has a matter-of-fact way of speaking that works well in contrast to the spunky heroes in the book. This is coming from a person who would read an entire book of Lauri-ell watching daytime TV with Carol’s cat, mind you, but it works and feels entirely new thanks to the unique dynamics in play.
The book is gorgeous, and Cory Smith knocks the action out of the park. Each character gets to shine and each hero gets to fight their own beastie with their hammer, not only showing their unique approach to fighting, but also visually stimulating the reader with cool visual ideas. Hazmat takes the cake with the energy that spins out into a bullseye and Spider-Woman’s agility is on full display in her scene.
It looks cool, and that’s also thanks to color artist Tamra Bonvillain, who maximizes the glow effects of each hammer and the energy. There are even cool details in War Machine’s boot, or the subtleties of a red laser splashing Carol in the back. Speaking of that laser, Adriano Di Benedetto inks this book superbly as well. Details get new meaning under his inks.
There is a bit of a clunky nature to the book getting Carol and her Corps from Earth to the bad guy. It takes up three pages to get things moving along. This is comics after all, and sometimes page count matters to the plot as much as well-laid plans.
Captain Marvel #20 is your standard crisis-leads-to-battle-leads-to-consequences story, but it’s amped up thanks to the lively and vividly rich characters. The dialogue breathes life into every moment and makes the book a joy to read from the quietest scene to the most bombastic.