This past week on The Other Identity, Ben and Robbie had the pleasure of welcoming Kelly Thompson to the show to discuss her career, origin story, and how she came to be writing massive characters like Captain Marvel and Deadpool. And now I’ve got the opportunity to journey deeper into the world of comics by giving you my thoughts on a few of Kelly’s books in what we’re going to call “The Essential Kelly Thompson Reading List”. This week, we dipped our toes into Captain Marvel (2019), Deadpool (2019), and West Coast Avengers (2018). Let’s jump in. 

Captain Marvel (2019)

I started my essential Kelly Thompson reading list with Captain Marvel. I really only intended to read the first few issues to get a good sense of Kelly’s style. However, I was quickly hooked, to the point where I blew through the first 5 issues in no time flat. Revolving around Carol being sucked into a dystopian Roosevelt Island shortly after returning to from a personal sabbatical. I really enjoyed the action packed start to this story. Kelly does a good job of establishing a sense of strange comfort/normality that Carol finds in hero work. Carol is an amazing character, and Kelly makes her even more personable.

I enjoyed how quickly Kelly was able to shift the the tone, raising the stakes in an instant. It aided the drastic change in scenery between Manhattan and the post apocalyptic Roosevelt Island. It took on a “less is more” approach to the characters, and I really appreciated the “open and close” nature of this part of the series. Definitely the highlight so far. 

Deadpool (2019)

Kelly covering the Merc with a Mouth definitely piqued my interest. Unfortunately, only the first issue in her run was available on Marvel Unlimited at the time of writing this. So this we’ll only be talking about Deadpool (2019) #1. My whole perspective on comics revolves around the fact that I am one of the few who have been converted from watching comic book movies to actually reading comic books. I still consider myself incredibly wet behind the ears when it comes to this medium. And since I thought Ryan Reynolds Deadpool was such a wonderful addition to the genre, as well as being a fan of the Deadpool game, I was excited to read Kelly’s interpretation. Safe to say that it did not disappoint. I appreciated the illustrations done by Chris Bachalo. The erratic, asymmetrical style helped to support Thompson’s off the wall, short attention spanned interpretation of Deadpool. 

When working with a character like Deadpool, it’s important to have a good grasp on breaking the fourth wall. The how and the when can be challenging if you always go for low hanging fruit. The challenge is in making a truly funny 4th wall break, and Thompson does a great job striking that balance. I’d like to think that how much I’ve enjoyed these two runs are more about her own talent and ability to tell good stories over my general inexperience with comics. Between these two titles I’ve had an absolute blast so far. 

West Coast Avengers (2018)

This took elements that I liked from both of the previous series and combined them. The more laid back and comedic tone from Deadpool, and the easy-to-love kind of characters from Captain Marvel come together and make a really enjoyable story of Kate Bishop’s Hawkeye bringing the new West Coast Avengers together. Very emblematic of the California lifestyle itself, Thompson’s West Coast Avengers is a relaxed, fun and easy read that you should definitely check out, along with all the other series I’ve looked at today. 

All of these issues are available on Marvel Unlimited, and you can follow Kelly on Twitter @79SemiFinalist, as well as the rest of the Other Identity crew @Robbie_LandisCP, @BenJMorse, and myself, @kevinOMO_, and make sure to look out for new episodes of The Other Identity every week, wherever you get your podcasts. I’ll see you guys next week when we start talking about some Snyder Cut news!

Miss last week’s episode? Catch Episode 17 Origins, Kelly Thompson now!

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