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September 10, 2009

Geeking Out From The Longbox

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MsMarvel_cvr_01colorWelcome one and all to Geeking Out From The Longbox!  My personal little chunk of ComicAttack where I will be spending what I hope is a long long time with you all, basically sharing my inner geek with all of you.  Every month I am going to take a look at whatever is making my inner Geek basically freak out just a tad.  As we share this journey into the depths of my head and inner geek that is trying to escape, I hope that we have some fun and that maybe I can turn you on (no not that way so stop looking at my leg like that) to either a comic book you may not read, or even make you look at a current comic book character in a different light.  So let’s get this train rolling!

Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers) has been through a lot over the years.  Her first solo series only lasted for 23 issues running from 1977-79.  Then she was relegated to a supporting cast member.  Her current series has spanned 43 issues to date, and has been delivering solid stories and wonderful artwork since hitting the stands in 2006.  More recently she has fought a Civil War and beat down Skrull’s during the Invasion; through it all Carol has been a character that is just as interesting when not in her super undies.  Like any good Marvel character, readers have seen her struggle to maintain a life outside of the heroics of beating down A.I.M. goons and stomping baddies.  She has struggled with the choices she has made and been taken to task for some of them by members of the hero community.

If you are reading Ms. Marvel and have hung in there through the thick and thin, then I salute you!  No honest, I do, we should form a little group and maybe get T-Shirts.  If you are not, then I say shame on you!  Go to you room or cave or where ever you go to hide in shame.  Now is the time for redemption, so jump on the Carol-Danvers-is-the-real-Ms.-Marvel train and enjoy the ride!  What is that you say?  You have no idea what I am talking about (this is because you are still on time-out for not reading Ms. Marvel)?  Well true believers, while everyone is drooling over War of Kings and Dark Reign, and its many incarnations running rampant in the Marvel U, there is a side story taking place in the pages of Ms. Marvel that has some major implications for Marvel’s blond bombshell (honestly have you checked Carol out as of late, she is a freaking fan boys wet dream).  Let’s back it up here just a bit before I go off on the War of the Marvels, which promises a knock-down drag-out cat fight between Carol and her Norman Osbourn appointed replacement Moon Stone.  I am talking back before the Invasion and Civil War, back to when some of Marvel’s biggest names were Disassembled.

Picture it with me like it was yesterday; if yesterday is 2004 and you did not want to flip Marvel the bird for killing Hawkeye and Thor, even if they did go out like pimps.  After the destruction of Avenger Mansion and the death of team members Ant Man and Vision, many of the reserve Avengers, including Ms. Marvel, arrive on the door steps to help the current team pick up the pieces.  Only to be set upon by an invasion force of Kree warriors.  In heroic fashion Hawkeye gives his life to take out the main attack ship, adding greater tragedy to what is already a crappy week for the Avengers.  Making it worse is the arrival of Dr. Strange, who drops some knowledge on the battered heroes.  The result of all this suffering is one of their own.  Ms Marvel joins the remaining Avengers in confronting the Scarlett Witch, who turns their greatest fears and insecurities against them.  We all know how this ends.  The Witch ends up in a coma and the Avengers, Marvel’s flagship team, is in ruins.  This is only made worse by the break out at the Raft and the chaos it brings to the city of New York only months later.  This is actually a key moment in the Marvel U, and no I am not kidding.  This is the point where you have the formation of the New Avengers.  Without this moment you might not have the formation of this new team of Avengers.  Sure, at some point Marvel would have shoved some sort of Avengers book at us.  This approach though makes for some great story telling and allows the the formation of a team with some of the biggest names Marvel has to offer.  While Ms. Marvel was not an initial member of the new team, their paths soon cross and this one time Avenger is back in the fold.

msmarvel16pg08Then the Civil War fell upon the Marvel U and Carol sided with Tony Stark. What happened next has been well discussed, and things changed dramatically for Marvel’s heroes.  Ever the good soldier, Carol was asked to lead the Mighty Avengers – the New York based 50 States Initiative team.  She was even able to use her relationship with Stark to convince him to give her a S.H.I.E.L.D. carrier as her base of operations, and her own team to command.  Things where looking up for Carol – her life was almost normal, and she had a promising relationship with teammate Wonder Man.  Then in classic Marvel fashion the bottom started to drop out from under her.

The Skrull invaded.  Not only that, but the man she had put so much faith in (Stark) had been played like a second rate banjo by the invaders.  Not only had they replaced key members of the super hero community with Skrull agents, but they had insider knowledge of Stark Tech, which was basically running all of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s defenses.  To turn the knife a little more, they had played a large part in starting the war over registration to thin out the earth’s heroes so they could take over easier.  So basically things could not get any worse, right?  What could they possibly do that could make your jaw drop to the floor and curse loudly?  Norman Osborn gets the kill shot and saves the day.  It was at this point that I personally invented a few curse words not fit for human eyes or ears (I am so ashamed of myself).  Like I said, we can form a club and get T-Shirts, but that’s besides the point.

Carol, like many of Marvel’s heroes, woke up the day after to find that Stark and S.H.I.E.L.D. had taken the blame for the invasion (can you say karma for the whole registration), and the new man in charge was Norman Osborn.  Up had become down, your insides where now on your outsides, and dogs and cats kept making out with each other.  A mad man, a literal mad man, had been given the keys to the big boy’s office and all his toys to play with.  Carol, like many of the other Mighty Avengers, exited stage left not wanting to work under Norman’s marching orders.  Carol literally fled Avengers Tower after refusing to work for him.

Leading up to the War if the Marvels, the Ms. Marvel solo series set things up rather nice and gave not only Carol but readers another reason to want to see someone make Norman wear his arse as a hat.  For several issues we get treated to a back story from Carol’s time as a test pilot in the military.  After having to bail out of of a failed test flight over enemy territory, Carol is captured and tortured for information (think the same set up as in the Iron Man movie just in the middle of a city and not a remote cave).  While escaping she finds out that her captors have a pipeline into the CIA.  Once back with the Air Force she is grounded and scheduled to be shipped back stateside till special ops bring her in as one of their own.  One of her first missions ends up being more important to her future than it seemed at the time.  Making it even better is that it all leads back to Norman Osborn, who has been providing a terrorist who was thought dead with powerful weapons (while in charge of protecting us from such evils no less).  With a shoot to kill order out on her head and some old friends in tow, Carol sets out to finish off some old business.  Along the way the strangest of strangest things happens to her as Spider-Man gets caught up in her mission to locate a lead vital to helping her take down Osborn.  In exchange for his help in what he is sure is the breaking of several laws, Carol has to agree to go out on a date with him (he is single now thanks to the events of A Brand New Day and well, Carol is hot and you can check it all out in issue 34 of Ms. Marvel).  Agreeing to this the two part ways and, now armed with the knowledge that she is seen as a major threat to Norman’s operations, she presses on with even greater determination.  The one thing that you have to remember though is that through all of this Carol is having issues with her powers.  She had been healed awhile back by the alien Cru, who for a time shared a body with her.  At the time her powers had never been better, but during the Invasion she pushed herself so hard for so long that things started to go horribly wrong for her.  She had almost overloaded her system and exploded, only just barley being able to pull it back together.  Since that time, pushing with her powers took a toll on her.  This is brought back up during a flashback in issue 36 of Ms. Marvel and sets up just about everything for the beginning of War of the Marvels.  Carol, pushing herself to the limit, seems to meet her end in issue 37 as her body can no longer contain the energy she absorbs from the world around her, and a super charged Carol explodes in a marvelous fury during battle.

The next three issues feature Moonstone (Karla Sofen) as the “new” Ms. Marvel, and I am glad that it only lasted three issues before Carol was resurrected.  The best part is you get guest spots by the New Avengers and Deadpool.  The weird part is that A.I.M. plays a vital role in bringing Carol back (how nice of them after she spent the first arc in the book smashing all their shiny toys).  Ms_Marvel_39It is through the use of MODOK embryos (“jar babies” as Deadpool calls them) that the various energy forms that have started popping up are reemerged into their true form: MS FRICKING MARVEL!  Much to the dismay of Moonstone, who is suffering some serious issues at this point over Carol’s return and seems to snap.  Even better is that the two shed not a second in going about trying to beat the living crap out of each other, and wreck just about anything they can get their hands on to do so.

Now to the nitty gritty – the debate over who should be the one and only Ms. Marvel may not be as heated as say, the one over who Captain America should be.  Lets face it, we all knew that Steve would be back and that Bucky was just keeping the seat warm for him.  Yes this is a far more interesting problem for Marvel.  Do you return Carol to her rightful position, or do you let the pretender come out on top?  Stay with me for a minute on this part here.  What happens here will be important to the direction of Dark Reign.  Moonstone has been one of Norman’s top goons (let’s face it, that is what the Dark Avengers are) and for her to fail or be shown to be nothing more than a goon would be a disaster for Osbourn.  It would lend credence to what Clint Barton (Hawkeye) has publicly said, not only about Norman Osborn, but his Avengers.  Adding another wrinkle to this mess is a new mystery woman who looks a hell of a lot like Carol Danvers.  In checking for clues on the Marvel web page the only information that can be found is that whoever the victor is may have a surprise waiting for them.  Either way Ms. Marvel is one book that will be delivering what looks like some great action over the next few months.  Now in honesty here I am leaving out some of the juicy stuff.  They are setting things up to be extremely interesting over these next few issues and have not only me, but others scratching their heads and wanting to know who the hell is Catherine Donovan?  Why the hell does she look just like Carol Danvers, and why does she think that she is Ms. Marvel?

Jason Fenix

contact@ComicAttack.net

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6 Comments


  1. Eli

    Wow! I think I now know more about what’s going on with Carol than with any other character.


  2. billy

    Great stuff Jason! I haven’t been keeping up with Carol and this is a good refresher.


  3. InfiniteSpeech

    i’ll admit i was never a big fan of hers until Civil War and then in Secret Invasion and i’ve been reading comics for quite some time now lol She was just never that interesting to me, but now i’m invested in her story and to see what happens next and I guess thats a good thing on Marvel’s part for making her relevant…at least to me.


  4. Jason

    Don’t worry I will keep you all updated in review land! They have some great stuff going on and it has all sort of ramifications!


  5. Kelly

    Yes, finally someone who likes Ms. Marvel as much as I do! I was seriously overjoyed that she was kicking so much but during Secret Invasion, and totally bummed when she seemingly died. It’s going to be interesting to see where her series takes Ms. Marvel, but so far, I’ve enjoyed it immensely.

    Thanks for the recap and for spreading the good word. ^_^


  6. The Movie Lady

    dogs and cats kept making out with each other…… LOL. Great review! Your enthusiasm shows and it’s totally infectious!



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