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Book Review: ‘Captain Marvel: Shadow Code’ by Gilly Segal

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Get ready for another girl-powered Captain Marvel team-up in Gilly Segal’s Captain Marvel: Shadow Code. Iron Man has asked for Captain Marvel’s help. A young student of his who is a pattern genius has noticed a rather worrying one surrounding tech unicorn Digitech. Mara Melamed can’t quite see the big picture yet, but she knows that there is one, and that it isn’t pretty. Now Captain Marvel, Spider Woman, Haz-Mat, and Spectrum are teaming up, with some tech support from Iron Man to save the world from this latest threat. 

[Note: While I am reviewing this novel independently and honestly, it should be noted that it has been provided to me by Titan Books for the purpose of this review. Warning: My review of Captain Marvel: Shadow Code contains some spoilers!]

A different kind of problem for Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel is arguably the most powerful being in the multiverse. She has the power to punch her way through any bad guy that she comes across. But not everything can be punched. Right now, Captain Marvel is dealing with a few things that can’t be punched, and she’s having a hard time.

She’s learned that her mother was Kree, making her half-alien. And she has a newly discovered half-sister. The feelings that these revelations have brought up are difficult and messy. And Carol Danvers doesn’t want to deal with them. So when Tony Stark calls her for help while she’s on her way to visit her new sister, she jumps at the chance to avoid her family issues. 

Captain Marvel: Shadow Code by Gilly Segal (Marvel/Titan Books)


Carol hurries back to Earth and meets Mara Melamed, a talented young grad student that Tony has taken a shine to. Mara’s genius grandfather invented BOS-MA, an operating system that her mother and DigiTech, an up-and-coming tech company, have made the OS here on Earth.

But now Mara’s mom is missing, DigiTech is being taken over by a shadowy character, and Mara is seeing a larger pattern emerge. She’s sure that DigiTech is rotten, but no one will listen to her. No one but Iron Man, and now Captain Marvel.

Sometimes even Carol Danvers has to all in the reinforcements

Carol needs more information. She’s set to punch out some bad guys, but has no idea who the bad guy is, or where they’re hiding. So she turns to her good friend, Jess Drew, an excellent P.I. who also happens to be Spider Woman. The two look into DigiTech and are quickly under attack. Captain Marvel by highly advanced drones and Jess by being framed for murder! Carol can punch the drones all she wants, but she can’t punch the accusations against Jess.

The problems that Carol can’t punch are piling up, and she doesn’t know what to do. Luckily, she’s not on her own, besides Jess, Carol’s friends Haz-Mat and Spectrum come to help figure out what is going on. Tony Stark and Mara help out too.

Even though Iron Man can fight, he can best help in Shadow Code by staying in the background and working on the tech side of the problem. Mara is the real brains of the group, though. She has incredible insight and with just a little confidence boost from the superheroes, is able to figure out what is going on and how to save the day. Score one for the nonsupers!

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Let’s go girls!

Captain Marvel may have Iron Man on her team in Shadow Code but it’s really all about the girls in this book. Segal puts together a great team of strong and capable heroes that also work together really well.

Sure, Captain Marvel has to be reminded that she has a team a few times, but she’s just one of those people who thinks they have to do it all themselves. By the end of the book she’s getting the concept of a team.

The girl power in Shadow Code really reminded me of the latest MCU movie, The Marvels, also starring Captain Marvel and a kick-ass team of super women. Both take women not used to working in teams and force them to learn to lean on each other. And both find Captain Marvel not able to just punch the problem. Brains and planning save the day.

If you enjoy Shadow Code then be sure to check out The Marvels. And if you saw The Marvels already and loved it, then check out Shadow Code!

Review: The Marvels Unites an Electrifying MCU Team

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Brains over brawn in Captain Marvel: Shadow Code

Captain Marvel is known to be all about power. Iron Man is smart, of course, but he’s also known for blasting problems out of the way. But in Captain Marvel: Shadow Code, brawn takes a back seat to brains. The baddie behind Shadow Code has done a very good job of wrapping themselves in enough layers of smoke and mirrors that they can’t really be beaten by force. Although there is some punching in the end, much to Carol’s relief. Instead, they have to be outsmarted.

And it’s not the supers who manage that, it’s the regular human who thinks she’s worthless and figures out not just the baddie’s plan but how to stop it. I really liked the mystery of Shadow Code. A lot of superhero books just focus on the action, but Segal takes a different approach and it was quite enjoyable.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s still plenty of action, but the action isn’t the whole focus. There’s thinking too and that was a nice change.

My Rating: 8/10

Captain Marvel: Shadow Code by Gilly Segal is available now from Titan Books! Let us know on social media @mycosmiccirucs or in The Cosmic Circus Discord! And don’t forget to check out The Marvels, which arrives on Disney+ on February 7th!

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Luna Gauthier

I've always been a bookworm and fantasy is my favortie genre. I never imagined (okay, I imagined but I didn't think) that I could get those books sent to me for just my opinion. Now I am a very happy bookworm! @Lunagauthier19 on Twitter

Luna Gauthier has 223 posts and counting. See all posts by Luna Gauthier