By: Kelly Sue DeConnick & Christopher Sebela (story), Filipe Andrade (art), Jordie Bellaire (colors)

The Story: Captain Marvel does her best impression of T-shirt Superman.

The Review: I came down pretty hard on Carol’s denial last issue, and was rightfully called out for it.  While I maintain that the lengths she carried it at the time stretched credibility, I think my feelings spring from a perhaps unfair expectation of her character.  I always figured that with Carol’s military background and leadership chops, she’d be the type of person who, when confronted with a problem, would do something about it rather than avoid it.

At any rate, if I felt Carol was being stupid, at least I wasn’t the only one.  Tracy (whom I’m beginning to love more every time I see her) takes her friend to task for her ridiculousness (“Earth’s mightiest dumbass!”) before piling on a number of cutting insults (“…you’re funny lookin’ on your best day and you couldn’t sell a joke if your life depended on it!”).  It’s okay, though; all of her ire, like mine, comes from a place of love.  Neither of us want to see Carol bury her head in the sand like a common dummy.

Nor do we want to see her dead or lobotomized, two of the possible consequences of this mysterious lesion of hers.  While DeConnick-Sebela’s use of pseudo-science in this issue is fairly impressive, even convincing, all of that explanation is mostly irrelevant.  The crucial thing you need to get out of it is the bleak prognosis Carol must face, particularly the risk of losing all her memories, which she has reasons to feel especial pain over.

Until Dr. Nayar starts doing something about it though, there’s nothing left for Carol to do except use her waiting time wisely.  Now that Tracy has put her foot down about Carol’s flying (and I do love that the weight of Tracy’s command is such that Carol will obey it completely), we get to see our hero experiment with a couple alternatives.  Mastering Captain America’s hover-cycle proves a cinch for the master pilot, though DeConnick-Sebela don’t work the shtick of the learning process as much as they could.  It’s the Superman-jumps, though, that Carol really takes to; at least she’s defying physics on her own power in that case.

I’m not sure I really like the use of (new character?) Dakota North, P.I., in this issue.  I never really enjoy seeing characters walk in to serve a specific task for the hero, then walk out.  It undermines their individual importance and begs the question of whether they even have a life outside of being a tool for the lead.  Still, she gives Carol a good lead on this fake-Deathbird (“Newbird”) that’s been hounding the good captain lately, though ultimately, Carol’s real enemy remains a mystery.

While I’ve grown used to Andrade’s work by now, I still regard it as mostly unsuitable for this tile.  Even with Bellaire providing the cleanest, purest colors possible, Andrade’s loose approach to linework just looks messy and erratic.  His favored use of the medium and distant shot for these small panels are his way of concealing his weaknesses, of avoiding close-ups where you can see every unnerving, garish detail in his work: oversized lips, the bizarre proportion of everyone’s anatomy, how every female character looks largely the same (begging the question of why Tracy looks so young in this issue).

Conclusion: While the dialogue and liveliness of this series remains its strongest selling point, there’s nothing particularly extraordinary about its plot nor especially with its art.

Grade: B-

– Minhquan Nguyen

Some Musings: – Dakota mentions she has something to cheer her friend up.  “Pictures of a shirtless War Machine?” Carol asks hopefully.  Ah.  Guess Carol either has a little crush on somebody.  A much better choice than Frank Gianelli, frankly.