Homecomings tend to be envisioned as an uplifting event, one that reminds us of the nostalgia of childhood and fond memories. Unfortunately for Carol Danvers, her homecoming has not been so joyous. Rather, she has endured unforeseen family tragedy in the midst of discovering hidden family secrets. Thus, THE LIFE OF CAPTAIN MARVEL has brought new, almost insurmountable battles to one of the mightiest Avengers. Now, in THE LIFE OF CAPTAIN MARVEL #4, the battles continue as more revelations come to the surface.

Margaret Stohl has composed a beautiful story during her run on THE LIFE OF CAPTAIN MARVEL, one that has resonated with fans and critics alike. Much of Stohl’s success in capturing the essence of Captain Marvel has been her unyielding deconstruction of the titular character.

Readers have gotten to know the woman behind the Captain Marvel suit in such a raw and intimate manner that has truly never been seen before. Thankfully, that deconstruction continues in THE LIFE OF CAPTAIN MARVEL #4.

the life of captain marvel #4
THE LIFE OF CAPTAIN MARVEL #4 page 2. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

No Bedtime Stories

THE LIFE OF CAPTAIN MARVEL #3 had the astonishing reveal that the Kree soldier seemingly pursuing Carol Danvers was actually pursuing Carol’s own mother. Additionally, the issue revealed that Marie Danvers is indeed a superpowered Kree warrior!

Thus, THE LIFE OF CAPTAIN MARVEL #4 takes a step back as it dives into Marie’s past. Bred by war, Marie was trained to be a merciless warrior at an astonishingly young age. As a result of her dedication and skills, she became the youngest captain of the Kree’s Elite Guard. One of her missions took her to Earth, where she maintained possession of the Amulet of Pam’a, a device meant to conceal her Kree identity.

Interestingly, her mission on Earth became a life. Marie compromised her mission so that she could pursue love and establish a family, a path no Kree soldier had ever known before. Thus, Carol Danvers is, in fact, Car-Ell, daughter of Mari-Ell. When Carol was exposed to the psyche-magnetron explosion that seemingly gave her powers, the explosion actually triggered the birth of her innate abilities.

Unfortunately, the balance of Marie’s Kree and human identities was no easy one. The letters Carol previously discovered, the ones that implied her father’s affair with another woman, were actually written to Marie’s Mari-Ell identity. Carol’s father wished for that side of Marie to return to him.

However, Marie promised to devote herself as a mother rather than a warrior to her children.

The Verdict

After Marie explains her origins to her daughter, the villainous Kree soldier appears once again, charging Marie for her betrayal of Kree duty and thus sentencing her to death.

Consequently, THE LIFE OF CAPTAIN MARVEL #4 brings a dramatic ending to an issue full of emotional intensity. As a result, Stohl once again adds a marvelous issue to the series. She nails the characterization of Carol’s mother, a character who has had to make impossible decisions and face heartbreaking conflicts regarding those she has loved.

THE LIFE OF CAPTAIN MARVEL #4 once again reminds us of this series’ best aspects. It’s raw. It’s incredibly poignant as it engages in a new method of telling a superhero’s story.


the life of captain marvel #4
THE LIFE OF CAPTAIN MARVEL #4 page 3. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.


In regard to the artwork of THE LIFE OF CAPTAIN MARVEL #4, artist Marcio Menyz’ coloring truly shines through. He implements a warmth throughout the issue, one that embodies the coziness associated with home. His coloring also brings a unique juxtaposition to the emotional depths of the issue’s narrative. Despite that juxtaposition, the tones of the narrative and imagery never feel inconsistent or mismatched. Rather, they create a perfect blend that encompasses nostalgia and conflicting sentiments.

I also love the contrast between Carlos Pacheco’s present day sequences and Erica D’Urso’s flashbacks. Both sequences are distinct in their styles, yet they never compromise detail. They flow together seamlessly, providing smooth transitions between varying points of the story.

Therefore, THE LIFE OF CAPTAIN MARVEL #4 tells a gorgeous tale in its imagery. The artwork perfectly exemplifies the direction of the story, depicting every theme, action, and reaction to a tee.

the life of captain marvel #4
THE LIFE OF CAPTAIN MARVEL #4 page 4. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

What Lies Beyond

THE LIFE OF CAPTAIN MARVEL #4 is an incredible tale. The series has been incredible since its start, and it has failed to miss a step since then.

I am incredibly excited to see what lies ahead for Carol Danvers and her family. Their adventures have certainly been unpredictable thus far. So, I suppose we can only sit back and enjoy what unexpected turns lie ahead.

THE LIFE OF CAPTAIN MARVEL #4 by Margaret Stohl, Carlos Pacheco, Rafael Fonteriz, Erica D'Urso, Marcio Menyz, & Clayton Cowles
THE LIFE OF CAPTAIN MARVEL #4 is absolutely mesmerizing as it continues to bring unapologetic authenticity to each and every page.
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