This might be a sensitive subject to some.
Of all the glorious deaths you might imagine for a warrior such as Captain Marvel, cancer is definitely the least one you would expect. Following an attack by the villain Nitro in Captain Marvel #34, the champion and protector of life faces the inevitability of death and in encountering the many phases of his life struggles to accept the end – one which we typically view as a heroic feat.
It is a very poignant read, keeping the reader engrossed in Mar-Vell’s journey to resignation up until it’s reverential end. It has impeccable use of “silent moments”, completely devoid of text and allowing the weight of the moment to sink in. The shades and hues employed by the colors, courtesy of colorist Steve Oliff, compliment Jim Starlin’s melodramatic writing to a T, pronuciating the weight of each moment further and further. My only “gripe”, rather than complaint , is the artwork itself by the selfsame Jim Starlin. While it is highly impressive and borderline photorealistic that easily blends into the surreal at times (typical of Starlin), the way he hypersexualises the human figure – women in particular – halts the serious tone altogether. There were moments – particularly in one moment which is meant to portray a bittersweet conversation between the protagonist and the love of his life, Elysius, where I could swear she would have fit perfectly headlining a skeevy magazine.
Regardless, it is a different, poignant read that strays from the regular superheroics and meditates on the nature of death, and one’s journey to accepting it as part of life even when you mean to protect it, and handled beautifully. In my eyes, that alone makes it worth a read.
The Death of Captain Marvel review by Raphael Borg