The cosmic Captain Marvel may be one of the company’s most recognizable heroes at the moment, but make no mistake: the final chapter of Carol Danvers’ story is coming. And to tell the tale in Captain Marvel: The End, the publisher is turning to two proven talents in writer Kelly Thompson and artist Carmen Carnero. But this voyage into the future may not be all sparkle and starlight.
When The End line of one-shots was announced, it was a bittersweet proposition. Fans would love to see the kind of poetic prose and poignant portrayals inevitable in the ‘final stories’ of Captain America, Miles Morales, Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel, and more. But goodbyes are never easy. Once the official details about the books were released, Carol’s story stood apart. While other Avengers remained on Earth to age as they fought the good fight, Carol’s mission took her towards a more… cosmic destiny. Screen Rant got the chance to speak with Thompson about Captain Marvel: The End, and offer readers a preview of Carol’s ‘homecoming’ this January. Find the full interview and pages below.
Captain Marvel: The End is coming along at a really exciting time for you as a writer on the main Captain Marvel book, with the introduction of Star (and her coming story), and a darker chapter in Carol’s life that you knew ahead of time was going to be a bit of a shock to readers. Was it a no-brainer to also tackle ‘the final Captain Marvel story’?
Kelly Thompson: I low-key would have been fuming if Marvel hadn’t given me a chance to write this Carol story! That said, I was hesitant as we began, it was almost like there was too much flexibility. But as soon as I started getting into what it could be and the emotional impact, I knew we had something special, particularly since we had Carmen Carnero drawing it. It’s so emotional and so much of that is down to Carmen. I ended up just loving the world we built here, I honestly wish I could do a whole series set in 2051 with those characters. Y’know what? Everyone buy ten copies so Marvel lets me do that!
Your current run of Captain Marvel isn’t lacking in twists, trials, and standout moments. But how do you even begin to tell a story that is literally ‘The End’ of a character you love?
KT: I just tried to go back to the things I believe are the core of Carol Danvers – the cosmic exploration, the never give up spirit of her, the deep and abiding love she has for her friends, the self-sacrifice that comes so naturally to her. When you add all of that to the way I knew she could and should level up over time in a story like this — it all just fell together really naturally
Can you speak about that process, of taking all of the character work and exploration of Carol that I’m sure you had already been doing, but then projecting that out almost half a century? Was it a case of tracking the Carol you’re writing now, or trying to tell a story that can stand entirely on its own?
KT: Well, it’s not half a century, that was a mistake in the solicit, it’s set in 2051. So for readers it’s not 50 years in the future but 31 years in the future. I think Carol in “The End” is certainly consistent with the character I’m writing in Captain Marvel now…but a lot has happened to her in those intervening years – both good and bad. When we first see her she’s in another galaxy, still fighting for justice, and she’s basically left earth, and almost her humanity itself behind. She’s magnificent but more closed off and lonely than the Carol we knew. More thoughtful and melancholy…more distant. And then something changes that.
The first details offered are obviously tantalizing for Carol’s fans, with talk of her in “the deepest reaches of the cosmos to spread peace and justice,” now returning for a final chapter. What can fans expect, without spoiling any specific plot points?
KT: Well, as mentioned, the solicit is a bit misleading. I would say that she has already BEEN into the deepest reaches of the cosmos to spread peace and justice, and now, something mysterious is bringing her home.
This series is also a reunion for yourself and Carmen Carnero, so was that partnership just as you had left it? I know fans of your work are going to have their excitement for ‘The End’ boosted a bit higher, so what can you tell us about working with Carmen, and what’s in store for the visuals?
KT: The great thing was that Carmen started this very soon after she wrapped her Captain Marvel arc, so I didn’t have time to miss her…but as we wrap this story up I am very aware of how much I’m going to miss her. Especially because, no exaggeration, I am certain this is the best work of her career. It’s a very demanding script with a ton of emotion and some big action, and a bunch of world building and character cameos — and the design work that comes with that. She always blows me away with her work, but this was next level. I was tearing up when looking at her inked pages as I did a lettering pass on the script.
I think the idea of Carol ‘evolving’ into a new kind of character comes across in the cover art immediately, with a new, more cosmic Captain Marvel uniform and design. Can you speak about the process of creating this really breathtaking look for Carol? What is the message readers should take from the new design?
KT: This version of Carol has very much leveled up. She has evolved into a form that is sort of beyond just being Carol. For design we wanted something that still felt like Carol and had her Hala Star because it’s so core to the character, but we wanted her to present more as a cosmic being…a goddess even. Mostly I sent text to describe what we were aiming for, but I did include a lot of the more wild older Binary designs. These days when we show Carol super powered up and “going Binary” it’s just presented as flames, but I love the old Binary stuff – the sort of white hot glowing form – that feeling that she’s beyond just human now, y’know?
I think the only message I can say that isn’t too much of a spoiler – is that the design and Carol’s overall look definitely has meaning to the story.
Captain Marvel: The End #1 will arrive in your local comic book shop on January 29th, 2020.
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