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Comic Review: Avengers: The Enemy Within #1

Avengers the Enemy Within #1 cover by Joe Quinones

The first installment in writer Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Captain Marvel crossover begins with a funny and engaging series of team-ups for Carol Danvers in Avengers: The Enemy Within #1. With Scott Hepburn on art, the spectacular action and the range of emotion written into this story make it well worth the read.

Though billed as an Avengers book, this feels more like a Batman: the Brave and the Bold team-up kind of story, with Carol Danvers as the constant. The story takes place in her corner of New York City, and her problems are the focus.

Chief among those problems remains the fact that she’s forbidden to fly (which she loves more than anything) because doing so worsens a dangerous lesion in her brain.

But the enemy in her head – that enemy within – isn’t her only problem.

The friendly old lady from the park has gone missing, and Carol is convinced it’s someone trying to get at her. She quickly discovers that the missing old lady is just the first in a series of personal attacks on the home life of Captain Marvel that is putting her increasingly on edge and tempting her more and more to break out and use her forbidden flight powers.

Add to the mix the fact that Carol needs an Avengers-appointed babysitter (Spider-Woman, then Thor) at all times to keep her grounded, throw in a bunch of bad guys trying to goad her into flying and you’ve got all the ingredients to produce one stressed out superhero.

And that’s what makes this comic so good. Kelly Sue DeConnick has been taking Carol Danvers apart and exploring how she ticks as far back as Captain Marvel #9, when Carol first learned of her brain lesion. Since then things have only gotten worse, and that adversity has produced an excellent string of character-driven issues.

By throwing in more friends and more enemies, DeConnick has only amped up all the elements that make hard-headed Carol so enjoyable.

Scott Hepburn’s art is fairly strong, though he struggles a bit with his faces. Thor in particular looks weird, but on the whole, Hepburn captures the often slapstick humour of DeConnick’s script. He also does justice to the fight scenes, which include a T-rex battle and a clash with three female wrestlers-turned-supervillains.

Avengers Assemble #16 will be Part Two in this five part crossover event for Captain Marvel.

With DeConnick at the helm, you can bet this will be a funny, heartfelt and human event that will have a lasting effect on Carol Danvers.

What more could you ask for out of a crossover event?

8.5 out of 10

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