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Comic Review: Captain Marvel #17

Captain Marvel #17 Marvel NOW

Aw shucks, Captain Marvel. I missed you.

Kelly Sue DeConnick is back in the driver’s seat and artist Filipe Andrade returns to ride shotgun in the familiar, heartwarming Captain Marvel #17.

After galavanting through outer space with the Avengers as part of the Infinity crossover, Carol Danvers is back on Earth. She’s also back to being Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Carol Danvers, and it’s a long overdue return.

Let’s face it: watching Carol fight space ships with fire hair looked cool, but it’s tough for a comic to have heart when it’s meant to serve an event like Infinity.

Captain Marvel #17 makes up for that. It’s got heart. It’s got a heart three sizes bigger than the average Who. It really makes it easy to reconnect with Carol and her very supportive supporting cast.

This issue is very much a love-in for Captain Marvel. She gets the key to New York (and the key to a New York monument) while also reuniting with all the friends she kinda sorta remembers (she did suffer brain damage, as you may kinda sorta remember).

Captain Marvel #17 also features Carol’s 8-year-old friend Kit, the little blonde girl who practically founded the Carol Corps. DeConnick writes a hilarious and genuine opening sequence where Kit helps a friend make his Iron Man costume for school, only to see it torn apart by bullies. Carol shows up to save the day – looking glorious with the quick lines that only Filipe Andrade can draw – and she helps reassure Kit’s little friend.

And while setting bullies straight is great, Carol’s really there to set up a playdate with Kit: super hero lessons, Thursday at 8 a.m.

But that playdate is put in jeopardy when Grace Valentine – an angry software developer with a worldview that would make Ayn Rand blush – decides to crash the Captain Marvel celebration with some flying military drones. Valentine feels a bit like a female Lex Luthor in that she hates Captain Marvel’s superhuman abilities and believes she, not Cap, should be an object of public affection.

DeConnick builds Valentine up well, nursing her along from a gilted op. ed. writer to a vengeful tech maniac over the course of one issue. Valentine gets a little over the top in a few places, but in general she feels like a worthy antagonist for Captain Marvel.

Valentine also helps bring out the Carol love, as Captain Marvel fans help distract Valentine’s drones by showing off their Carol Corps swag.

The unabashed love for Captain Marvel plays well, and DeConnick really makes it fit the story. This issue is, in many ways, a celebration of the character and how far DeConnick has taken her in this run.

It helps that Filipe Andrade is a part of that celebration. Andrade’s fast, flowing, expressive art style is here to bring Carol back to her basics. This comic has always employed talented, off-beat artists, and Andrade was onboard before Infinity took over with its regimented story and more mainstream artwork. As much as DeConnick does to bring back her Carol, she wouldn’t do nearly so well if she didn’t have Andrade helping her.

Captain Marvel #17 is one of the best issues of Captain Marvel in recent months. It’s a wonderful jumping on point if you’ve never read it, but also a great celebration of how far DeConnick and her rotating cast of artists have taken this character.

It’s all Carol love.

And speaking of love, the last few pages tease Carol’s new biggest fan: Kamala Khan, the soon-to-be debuting new Ms. Marvel.

Read this comic.

It’ll put a smile on your face (and maybe a tear).

9 out of 10

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