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‘The Mighty Captain Marvel Vol. 3: Dark Origins’ review: Delightful and infectiously entertaining

A fun book anyone can enjoy.

Sometimes you get lucky when you dive into a series. Maybe word on the street it’s not great, or sales are down and it might be taking a sabbatical, but that shouldn’t stop you necessarily. The Mighty Captain Marvel volume 3 is out this week and it may just be the sleeper hit you had no idea was worth reading.

So what’s it about?

The official summary reads:

As Captain Marvel, Carol Danvers has traveled to almost every inch of the planet – and beyond! Now she’s heading somewhere uncharted! Join Carol on her new cosmic journey through the past and future, as Captain Marvel takes flight in an adventure you won’t want to miss! They say you can’t go home again…but what about a creepy, twisted version of your childhood home? That’s where Carol finds herself – and, as the earth-shattering secrets of her Dark Origin are finally revealed, the Marvel Universe will be forever changed! You’d think a familiar face would be comforting…but this Peter Quill doesn’t seem in a friendly mood. And then there’s the conundrum of Zeta Flight! Carol learns the hard way that this mysterious group may have given her a bad reputation…but how does it even exist?!

Why does this matter?

Aside from this character blowing up in a big way a little under a year from now, this is written by novelist turned comic writer Margaret Stohl with art by Michele Bandini who both bring a fun energy that makes this worth a read. It’s also rather easy to jump into with much of the story taking place in a mirror universe where surprises are prominent for new and old readers alike.

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

It’s almost like that mirror has a double meaning…

I really dug the elseworlds tilt of the story in this book which flips the head on some great space themed characters. It starts off in the ordinary Marvel Universe, but due to complications in chasing villains Captain Marvel soon finds herself in a flipped universe with some big surprises. Groot for instance, is Root (and looks like a giant carrot) and you won’t believe who the good guy is in the universe. Stohl does a great job with these flipped characters and it keeps your interest to see how strange and off putting these characters can be.

Star-Lord, who dubs himself Starkill in this weird universe, has a fantastic dynamic with Captain Marvel as there’s some sexual tension, but they’re also nemeses. Stohl stretches the humor out of the variations of “nemesis” Starkill uses, which ends up being a great running joke. There are a lot of jokes in this book and Stohl utilizes every possible one many of which require the flipped character types.

This book also ends well with a good joke involving Captain Marvel’s mirror self. Overall the book does a good job reflecting the characters in their mirrored versions while highlighting Captain Marvel’s personality in reaction to all the flipped weirdness. There’s also a big idea involving alternate dimensions and planets that is quite inspired.

The art by Bandini is good with very expressive facial expressions that help put you into the mood of each character. One of Bendini’s strengths is exploring extreme close ups in scenes. You get a sense of how far forward the camera is pushed which works in emotional moments but also comedic moments too.

I can’t get over how silly it is that Groot is a carrot.

It can’t be perfect can it?

The ending comes at you very abruptly, wrapping things up over the course of only a few pages. I don’t know if the arc was cut short, but it’s slightly strange we’re given a twist only to have that twist reverse itself over a few beats. It makes the entire adventure somewhat lessened in its impact, especially since we have no idea if we’ll see these mirrored characters again.

Is it good?

I was surprised at how much I loved this book, but maybe that’s because I’m a sucker for elseworld stories. Captain Marvel’s personality is delightful and infectiously entertaining in this sci-fi styled story.

The Mighty Captain Marvel Vol. 3: Dark Origins
Is it good?
Highly enjoyable romp into sci-fi weirdness.
Captain Marvel is well written and the mirror universe plot is inspired
The art is excellent and does well to hit those comedic beats
The ending, and twist, are ushered out too quickly

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