By Brian Reed (writer), Lee Weeks (pencils), Desse Delperdang (inks), Matt Milla (colors)

Spoiler Alert

I normally do not like to include big reveals or spoilers in my reviews, but dangit, Captain Marvel #5 is almost impossible to review without doing otherwise. So, for those of you who don’t want to know what happened, stop reading now.

This mini-series has turned out to be one heck of a surprise. What started out as an epilogue of sorts to Civil War gradually morphed into the prologue to Secret Invasion. It’s really the only bridge that’s bound both events together (in a short span of time), and I’ll say, it’s been done masterfully by Brian Reed and Lee Weeks. When this series began, it started at a simmer and as each issue passed, the fire got hotter. Well, with issue #5, we now have a story that can’t be ignored. People are talking about this series and this issue – and for good reason.

Captain Marvel is a Skrull. There, I said it. You happy?

Of course, it’s been eluded to for a couple of issues now, but with this final issue we see what’s happened and how he became who he is. Skrull scientists locked down his form using the original Captain Marvel’s DNA. They also spent an enormous amount of resources recreating his Nega Bands. But when they committed a fatal flaw during the reprogramming of his mind, this Mar-Vell Skrull kept his sense of purpose. For all intents, he believes himself to be Mar-Vell, despite knowing the truth. And it’s very interesting how this dynamic plays out.

Part of me wanted Mar-Vell to revert to his Skrull ways and become a villain, but the direction Brian Reed went – keeping him a symbol of peace on Earth – was much more satisfying. The conclusion of this book was equally as satisfying, giving us resolution to the Church of Hala and the supporting characters. Its open-endedness will undoubtedly echo for some time to come, perhaps giving way for another “Return”. I’m sad to see this series end, but somehow I know we haven’t seen the last of Mar-Vell. (Grade: A)

– J. Montes