In "Avengers: The Enemy Within" #1, writer Kelly DeConnick picks up straight from the end of "Captain Marvel" #12, but pours out enough exposition for any reader to walk right in to Carol Danvers' life without prior reference. The story opens with Captain Marvel and Spider-Woman posting flyers for a missing friend of Carol Danvers. It's an odd sight to see these two brilliantly-clad ladies strolling through the streets of New York tape gun and staple gun in hand, posting papers anywhere they can, but it sets the table for the story, making these two pillars of Marvel's super-heroines instantly relatable.
DeConnick's banter between the teammates and longtime friends centers on Carol Danvers' struggle against the lesion in her brain, to be the hero she knows she can be and her compulsion to do more. The writer doesn't just fill this story with dialog, and gives the duo a chance to let loose against the Grapplers. That tips the story forward, leading to another battle against dinosaurs, with Thor at her side. DeConnick sprinkles this book with real life -- grief, frustration, happiness and humor all jockey for the lead. Through it all, DeConnick makes it clear that the last thing Captain Marvel wants to think about or protect is herself. Others rely on her and she relies on them needing her around. It makes for great drama and also defines the supporting cast around Captain Marvel.
Scott Hepburn zips in to handle the art chores with Jordie Bellaire coloring things up. Bellaire's work is bright and wonderful, but grounded in the grit and grime of being landlocked. She's a nice compliment to Hepburn's energetic drawings. The artist's figures are tremendously animated, occasionally bordering on too much. A long-range shot in one panel makes Captain Marvel and Spider-Woman look like Polly Pocket or some similarly exaggerated doll. Additionally, it appears as though Carol's hair gets bigger as the story progresses and more than once, anatomy gives way to action and electricity. Those decisions might not work for every book, but for "Avengers: The Enemy Within" #1 it works spectacularly. Naturally, Joe Caramagna's lettering fits the story well, helping to tell it without overpowering the imagery.
Priced at $2.99, the lead-in chapter to a five-part crossover adventure opens the story nicely; giving readers everything they need without a hefty pricetag or mind-numbing amount of chapters yet to come. While this time of year hails in summer movies, "Avengers: The Enemy Within" #1 is a nice summer comic book, filled with a story that has gravity and emotion aplenty, but not at the sacrifice of character moments or action. DeConnick and Hepburn have given readers a strong entry point for a story that should boost the profile of "Captain Marvel" at least a little bit.