Previously in CAPTAIN MARVEL, our titular hero found herself getting smacked in the face by none other than Rogue. Of course, the two don’t really have the best history. Ever since Rogue absorbed Carol’s powers and memories when they first met, the relationship between them has been rocky, to say the least. Now, in CAPTAIN MARVEL #4, the two reunite. Unsurprisingly, the reunion is not a positive one as the two immediately engage in a fight to the death.

Writer Kelly Thompson’s run on CAPTAIN MARVEL has definitely had its ups and downs. Nuclear Man’s character, in addition to his bizarre plans to reproduce with Captain Marvel, has been one of the run’s overarching weak points. However, Rogue’s entrance into CAPTAIN MARVEL #4 supersedes Nuclear Man’s role as her interaction with our titular hero grants us character and plot development that this series desperately needed.

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CAPTAIN MARVEL #4 page 1. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Bad Blood

The issue kicks off with an intense retrospection from Carol herself. She states that she has spent most of her life hating Rogue due to the fact that Rogue once drained Carol of her powers and memories. This time around though, Rogue’s mindset is entirely different as Nuclear Man has assumed total control of her. He tells Captain Marvel that he wishes for her to kill Rogue. Ultimately, Nuclear Man wants Carol to prove herself to him prior to their union. He wants to know that she can get rid of the one person who truly renders her vulnerable.

Thus, Nuclear Man literally pits the two against each other in an arena. To further her dismay at the situation, Captain Marvel also learns that Rogue’s abilities have “evolved.” As introduced in MR. AND MRS. X #5, Rogue can now absorb one’s abilities without even touching them.

Consequently, as Captain Marvel fights Rogue in the arena, Rogue slowly drains her. However, in the midst of the fight, there are moments where Rogue breaks through Nuclear Man’s control. In those moments, she implores Captain Marvel to kill her.

Surprisingly, Captain Marvel responds to Rogue with an unexpected ask. She tells Rogue to absorb all that she has, an act that would result in Captain Marvel taking over Rogue’s body.

Rogue agrees, and, soon enough, Carol Danvers assumes Rogue’s body. Of course, the entire process is terrifying for Captain Marvel as it triggers all the memories of her initial experience with Rogue. However, she fights on and confronts Nuclear Man, whose war has only just begun.

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CAPTAIN MARVEL #4 page 2. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

The Verdict on CAPTAIN MARVEL #4

CAPTAIN MARVEL #4 proves to be this series most shocking and eventful issue as Rogue’s entrance pushes Captain Marvel over the edge. We see her physically and mentally challenged in a way we had yet to see in this run. I enjoyed the way Thompson intertwined Captain Marvel’s retrospection of her initial meeting with Rogue with this present encounter. This retrospection gives a raw perspective of Captain Marvel’s trauma in association with that initial encounter.

It is also heartbreaking to see Rogue constantly trying to fight back on Nuclear Man’s control, particularly when she asks Captain Marvel to kill her so that they could stop their fighting. Thus, now with the two sharing a body, it will be interesting to see their relationship evolve.

Now, Nuclear Man is still this series’ weakest aspect. His plans to wed and have a child with Captain Marvel are undoubtedly strange. Though the ambiguity of his plans as revealed upon the conclusion of this issue opens the doors for perhaps a more intriguing evil plan.

So, overall, CAPTAIN MARVEL #4 is a strong issue that finds its success in its compelling portrayal of Rogue and Captain Marvel’s tense relationship.

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Color Me Shocked

The artwork of this series has never been my favorite element of this series. In this issue, there are moments where the artwork comes across as inconsistent, a shortcoming common to preceding issues. However, there are a handful of highlights in CAPTAIN MARVEL #4’s imagery.

I love the vulnerability penciller Carmen Carnero and colorist Tamra Bonvillain bring to the sequence in which Rogue absorbs Carol’s powers. There is a multitude of details in this sequence that are quite striking. From the tears in Rogue’s eyes to the onslaught of memories to Carol’s submission to Rogue, the sequence is powerful, to say the least.

Additionally, I love the moment where Rogue/Captain Marvel breaks their collar and literally fires up before Nuclear Man. The image comprises a fierce energy that galvanizes the reader.

Thus, sequences such as these really elevate the issue as they exemplify significant motifs of the issue in addition to the dispositions of the characters themselves.

What Lies Beyond

CAPTAIN MARVEL #4 gave this series the push it needed. Up until now, the series struggled in obtaining concrete developments of its primary characters and a grounding of the plot.

Now, everything has changed, for the better of course.

Thus, CAPTAIN MARVEL #4 shines as it gives us an unexpected twist and brand new plot developments to explore. It reignites a series that was falling into a static state.

Now, anything is possible.

CAPTAIN MARVEL #4 by Kelly Thompson, Carmen Carnero, Tamra Bonvillain, & Clayton Cowles
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
Though Nuclear Man is still the series' weakest point, CAPTAIN MARVEL #4 beautifully depicts Rogue and Captain Marvel's conflict in a raw, intense manner that elevates the issue and overarching run.
85 %
the war is on
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