As Captain Hydra’s Secret Empire crumbles, what of Earth’s strongest defenders, outside the planetary defense shield? Can they hold out against the Chitauri? Will they ever make it back to land? Mighty Captain Marvel #8 has your answers! Is it good?
Captain Marvel, Alpha Flight, the Ultimates and the Guardians of the Galaxy have been at it for weeks. They’ve defeated wave after wave of Chitauri drones, intent on meeting their queen on Earth, but there’s no end in sight. They’re tired. They’ve taken injuries. And they’ve just about had enough.
It’s not all bad, though, as there are plenty of precocious civilians around to help out! Blue Marvel surely would not have figured out that simple trigonometry on his own. And Rocket’s got a surprise of his own! Would have been much better during week one! Don’t be so weepy, Carol, it’s almost over!
Yes, Mighty Captain Marvel #8 is one of those “normal guys figure it out before the super folks” stories. Margaret Stohl’s characterization of Carol Danvers is in the exact opposite direction, as she’s filled with more self-doubt than maybe at any time since she’s put on the red and blue. This certainly does not seem to be the character that pushed Tony Stark into Civil War II.
Carol’s basically given up before some suspiciously timely and fortuitous things happen, and everything works out within the span of a couple pages. So much of Mighty Captain Marvel #8 is filled with hemming and hawing that the actual solutions have little time to breathe and can feel unearned.
The same can be said for much of Michele Bandini’s art. The space-scapes in the beginning are nice, but the actual storytelling seems truncated. The emergence of Captain Marvel from the belly of a beast is head-scratching rather than triumphant, as the whole scene just appears on one page, with no lead-up. When a fallen hero rises to turn the tide, it’s just another panel, with no artistic emphasis to make the moment soar as it should.
Erick Arciniega’s colors are fine, again, but maybe a little too bright for what we’re supposed to take as a desperate story. All the characters look good, though, and it’s all internally consistent, so at least it’s cohesive.
Mighty Captain Marvel #8 is an underwhelming but not awful conclusion to a vital part of the Secret Empire story. After much labored soul-searching, the ultimate resolutions come a little too quickly and are compressed into too small of a space, depriving them of their deserved gravitas. The art is unremarkable and sometimes fails to capitalize on opportunties to stoke the readers’ emotions, combining for a flat, rote telling of a tale almost through bullet point form. It’s not a terrible comic, but it’s not very engaging, either.