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‘The Life of Captain Marvel’ #4 review: Entertaining and at times inspiring change to Carol’s origin

This issue changes everything about Carol Danvers and Captain Marvel.

Buckle up Captain Marvel fans, because this issue is about to blow the lid off what you thought you knew about your favorite hero. It also opens with some kick ass action in both real time and flashback forms!

So what’s it about?

The official summary reads:

After Pioran’s death, Fushi lives alone on a desert island. One day, a girl named Hisame-a descendant of a former enemy-arrives to lead Fushi to a village once destroyed by Nokkers. When Fushi reenters society, he learns he has become central to the legend of the Immortal, whom some seek, and others fear…

Why does this matter?

This issue more or less rejiggers the Captain Marvel origin and will change what you think about the character. It’s momentus, and it comes at a time that makes me wonder if the origin here may reflect what the movie will reveal.

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?

This flashback gets intense. Credit: Marvel Comics

This series was firing on all cylinders with its first two installments, building up Carol’s hometown and supporting cast very well. It’s dealt with the very real situation of learning information about your family and dealing with it as an adult. It has been genuine and its character drama has been more interesting for it. This issue turn the action up to eleven–which was sorely lacking in the last few issues–and drops a lot of details in regards to Carol’s origin. In the pantheon of heroes Carol Danvers may have the most retcons of her origin so it’s all the more fascinating to see what Margaret Stohl does here.

I will stay away from spoilers, but I will say the opening pages reveal an interesting flashback that make Carol’s mother all the more intriguing. I’m not the most familiar person when it comes to the Kree and Stohl introduces their culture well. This leads to an exciting fight sequence before things calm down and the story gets really crazy.

Upon reflection, I think Stohl has done a great job with Carol’s origin. It makes sense, empowers the character, and cleans up the nagging weirdness of previous origins. One of the most enlightening elements of the origin is how it makes Carol an even more empowering character. Not all parents are perfect and Stohl knows that, but at the same time you get a very true to life turn in Carol’s parentage that will feel important and inspiring for many. Parents are only trying to give their kids the best life and prepare them for success and Carol’s youth is explained in a way that you can relate to, but also fits well for her heroic journey. After putting this book down I could see different avenues this series might end on or future arcs Stohl (or others) could explore and that’s exciting.

The art in this issue is shared between Erica D’Urso on flashbacks and series regular Carlos Pacheco. I’m a fan of artists switching between flashbacks and it helps solidify the time change here. The action is fun and Pacheco’s dialogue-heavy scenes are easy to follow and maintain the emotions of the characters.

You’re a what now?! Credit: Marvel Comics

It can’t be perfect can it?

The looming alien threat that has been chasing Carol and her family for three issues is obnoxiously ignored, which leads to a predictable cliffhanger. It’s kind of strange that these characters, who should know better, simply sit down and chat knowing full well the threat could return.

Is it good?

I enjoyed this issue immensely, not only because it delivered solid action the series needed, but because Stohl approaches Carol’s origin in a meaningful and mature way. After reading this issue it’s safe to say this changes Captain Marvel forever.

The Life of Captain Marvel #4
Is it good?
I enjoyed this issue immensely, not only because it delivered solid action the series needed, but because Stohl approaches Carol's origin in a meaningful and mature way. After reading this issue it's safe to say this changes Captain Marvel forever.
Well told flashbacks and big time reveals keep your interest all the way through
Well rendered both in flashbacks and in the now
Big origin changes with a meaningful parental choice that many will relate to
The characters neglect a threat and it seems a bit bone-headed

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