The jet-packed stranger's plunge from the sky gives Carol a chance to show off her pilot skills, while Spidey demonstrates that wingwalking is a doddle when you have sticky feet. Soon the heroes are embroiled in a confrontation between the young woman and the battle-suited 'Blackbird'. And just when things seem to be calming down, a sudden escalation ensures this story continues next month.
I'm a little disappointed that we don't see more of Carol in Captain Marvel mode, but what we do see is good - she's a confident, likeable hero once more, having finally shed the stench of the Civil War event. And it's good to be reminded that Carol doesn't need powers to be a hero - she's a first-rate flier. Given that this issue's writer, Kelly Sue DeConnick, is handling the new Captain Marvel book, I'll definitely be checking out Carol's series.
DeConnick also gives us a delightfully zingy Spidey - witty without trying too hard, and while airborne action is out of his comfort zone, seeing someone in need ensures he adapts quickly. Plus, I like the easy friendship between him and Carol a lot.
It's fun to see the young woman, who spends a fair amount of time trying to decide on a superhero name - the authorites call her a bank robber, she says 'cameralistic liberator' - out-gab Spidey. I could see her being annoying as a constant prattling presence, but here she's a breath of fresh air.
Penciller Terry and inker Rachel Dodson look to have had a ball bringing DeConnick's breezy script to life, giving us some priceless Peter and Carol facial expressions. And their action scenes power us through the book; you can practically hear Carol's plane as it buzzes a bridge in a tasty split-panel spread. Credit to colourist Edgar Delgado, too, for trusting that we'd not get bored with a constant blue sky - the naturalism, ironically, grounds the drama in the sky. It helps that he uses a beautiful blue, of course.
I'll need to see more of Carol's new costume before I decide whether I'm fully on board with it - for one thing, I'm not used to her fighting sans mask. I believe she's getting a Kree helmet, so let's see how that works. The new haircut isn't here, happily; I've seen various interpretations of it, some better than others, and heard DeConnick explain the thinking behind the meringue-cum-Mohican - but I simply don't like it. If Carol can't have some variation on her traditional long hair - which the Dodsons and Delgado make look great here - a simple buzz cut might be best.
Poor printing on a couple of pages makes the dialogue difficult to read, so I'll check out the digital version that comes with this $3.99 issue. I'd still rather pay $2.99, though, that's a fair price for 20pp of entertaining superheroics.
Still, this issue bodes well for the next stage of Carol Danvers' comics career. I wish her, and the creative team, luck.