REVIEW: ‘Captain Marvel,’ Issue #21

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Captain Marvel #21

Captain Marvel #21 is published by Marvel Comics, written by Kelly Thompson, with art by Cory Smith, inks by Adriano Di Benedetto, colors by Tamra Bonvillain, and letters by Clayton Cowles. With Westrel safely in custody, Carol Danvers and the Accuser Corp rush to Lauri-Ell’s aid. But with the Cotati advancing from all sides, and civilians in peril, can the Supreme Accuser make it in time?

As I’ve previously noted in some of my other Empyre reviews, there is an interesting theme I’ve noticed running through some of these crossover’s titles. Namely, the impact of parents on the lives of their children. How the choices made, often before an individual is even born, can have a profound impact on who they are. This theme pops up again here for Carol’s recently found sister Lauri-Ell.

Due to the circumstances of her birth, Lauri never got to meet her mother. But now, having met Carol, she finds many of her hopes for who her family would be realized. As much as other circumstances within Captain Marvel #21 promise profound changes for Lauri’s life going forward, it is perhaps the assurance that what she always believed about her family, and by extension herself, is true. Thompson does a wonderful job of writing Lauri-Ell through these momentous personal moments. Her talent for tender moments gifts extra poignancy to the character’s growth. Lauri-Ell, because she’s worth it. (Look. I’d been holding the joke in for three reviews already. I nearly cracked a rib!)

Aside from the aforementioned character growth, Captain Marvel #21 delivers an equally satisfying payoff to last issue’s cliffhanger. Some solid action and witty banter get delivered as the Cotati attack is addressed by our heroes. it is a fun resolution to the action side of the story. Particularly as it brought the return of Carol’s old friend Lieutenant Trouble. I hadn’t realized how much I missed this little terror and I hope her appearance here heralds more frequent visits from Carol’s self-proclaimed sidekick.

Supporting Thompson’s wonderful writing in Captain Marvel #21 is Smith’s art. The plethora of emotions, characters, and moments are all captured well by the linework here. Whether it is the solemness of Lauri-Ell, Jessica Drew’s cheeky nature, of Lieutenant Trouble’s youthful enthusiasm, each moment is captured with skill.

This splendid artistic presentation extends to the colors as well. Bonvillain continues to showcase a superlative understanding of color.

Lastly, Cowles delivers a stand out performance on letters. With a wide variety of sound effects being implemented throughout Captain Marvel #21’s battle sequence, Cowles does a great job of giving each one it’s own unique look to accent the type of sound it is representing.

With Captain Marvel #21 Carol’s battle through the Empyre storyline comes to a close. It successfully delivers a strong finish to this narrative diversion. And while it could’ve been just that, a diversion, it instead managed to deliver yet another promising character we can add to the already sterling line up of support players to Carol’s story.

Captain Marvel #21 is available on September 9th wherever comics are sold.

Captain Marvel #21
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TL;DR

With Captain Marvel #21 Carol’s battle through the Empyre storyline comes to a close. It successfully delivers a strong finish to this narrative diversion. And while it could’ve been just that, a diversion, it instead managed to deliver yet another promising character we can add to the already sterling line up of support players to Carol’s story.