4 Words to Live By: A Comic Review

Updated: Dec 17, 2019

OK so just sayin, I promise I’ll never have a review this long again. Not that I don’t feel like any other comics I’ve read deserve this type of treatment. Truth be told they don’t but if there’s any semblance of a heart in my chest it’s been touched by this particular writer. So almost three years ago I was in my local comic book shop and there was a new book on the shelf that caught my eye. I had always been a Carol Danvers fan. My first X-men comic ever was an issue where Rogue and Wolverine were captured on a train bound for Genosha and Rogue’s personality had shut itself off and Carol Danvers’ had taken over. Through the years even though she was still in Rogue’s head, Carol was one of my favorites. I didn’t read Avengers at the time so Carol to me was still this strength inside Rogue that would pop up and kick ass when Rogue just couldn’t deal anymore. Over the years I had picked up a few of the 1977 Ms. Marvel books from $1 boxes and then started finding the 2006 Ms. Marvel series so seeing a new Carol book on the stands was great and I immediately started reading it.

Shortly after I started reading Captain Marvel I had just started my foray from strictly Marvel books to indie comics and this gorgeous pink cover on the stands stood out. The writer was Kelly Sue DeConnick who I was thoroughly enjoying her take on my beloved Carol Danvers so Pretty Deadly #1 SCREAMED “buy me” and I did. I read it and wanted more. The gorgeous Emma Rios art and these words that I had never seen the likes of before pulled me in and held me captive in my head. The next week I bought the second issue but didn’t add it to my sub list. I then somehow missed the third issue and this is where my story begins. I bought the 4th and 5th issues when they came out but dared not read them until I had number 3. I hit every comic shop in town and couldn’t find it. In the back of one of the issues I saw where Ms. DeConnick had posted a blurb about her email newsletter for something called Milkfed Criminal Masterminds. I joined the newsletter and on a whim I emailed to ask if she had a spare copy of issue #3. I honestly didn’t think I would get a response and it was more along the lines of me expressing my attraction to her comic and I was complaining out loud that I couldn’t finish reading it. Again I truly thought nothing of it. About three days later I got a response from Kelly Sue asking for my address. I was kinda shocked that I even got the reply but I shot out my address and a week later I had a package in the mail with a signed copy of issue #3. I gushed out an email thanking her profusely and I finally finished reading Pretty Deadly. That one act of kindness gained her a lifelong fan. I continued on with Captain Marvel. I went back and found every copy of Avengers Assemble she wrote. I bought an entire run of Avenging Spider-Man off Ebay to get the 2 issues she wrote. I went and found back issues of Ghost which she co-wrote with Chris Sebela who also ended up becoming a favorite of mine. I emailed her every so often with stupid questions and no matter what she answered. In 2014 at HeroesCon in Charlotte I finally got the chance to meet her. I was ridiculously nervous and when she saw me, she recognized me (from my costume) and immediately got up to give me a hug. I thanked her profusely again for sending me that one copy and told her how without that issue I kind of wasn’t sure where she had been going with the book. She agreed that issue 3 definitely pulled it all together for her too and we stood there chatting about her book for a few minutes. My daughter came up to me and I immediately introduced her in a beaming manic episode. Ever the gracious hostess Kelly Sue shook her hand and we took the now infamous “duck-face selfie”.

What the fuck does any of this have to do with a comic review? What comic are you even reviewing? OK you’re right. I’ll get on with it. Tonight I read the 4th and final issue of Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps. The 4 issue mini-series was Kelly Sue’s contribution to the Carol Danvers corner of Marvel’s Secret Wars crossover. Also, it was Kelly Sue DeConnick’s swan song of writing Captain Marvel. The story in all 4 issues was solid and definitely had shout-outs to some of the real life Carol Corps. Kelly Sue had incorporated characters into the Captain Marvel universe over the years that were shout-outs to people she respected and admired and this series was no exception. The story itself ended with the words that rang so very true from the very first Captain Marvel arc she did. The mantra of “Higher, Further, Faster, More” is something every truly devoted Carol Danvers fan knows and is something I personally hold in high regards as words to live by. Kelly Sue pushes her readers to the heights of her imagination while still grounding us in the reality of our and her character’s own humanity. Through her writing I personally have been inspired to not settle for the day to day bullshit I’ve just muddled through for years. Those 4 words inspired me to push myself further than I ever felt possible regardless of the consequences. This past year I had my first comic writing published. I honestly and in all sincerity believe that would not have been possible without me ever reading those 4 little words. In this final issue Kelly Sue gave a last page sign off thanking all the people that made her run on Captain Marvel possible. I want to take this opportunity to thank you Kelly Sue for what you have given of yourself to all the fans and readers. You left a part of yourself in that and every book you do.

I’ve been continuing my quest to become a writer. This website is a step in that direction as well as other avenues I’ve been pursuing. Every time I get a rejection I don’t look at it as a negative. I look at it as another chance to try again. And every time, EVERY TIME, those 4 little words ring in the back of my head:

Higher, Further, Faster, More.

Kelly Sue DeConnick and Carol Danvers taught me that.

#comics #CarolCorps #CaptainMarvel #RjMarchese

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