Avengers annual #10
Issue(s): Avengers annual #10
It starts with Spider-Woman finding a body falling from the Golden Gate Bridge.
Her police contact, Lieutenant Sabrina Morrel (from her regular series)...
...informs her that while she seems to have no brain activity, it's the body of Carol Danvers.
In the hospital where Spider-Woman has taken Carol, we see a young girl say "I'm Maddy Pryor. I been sick. But I'm better now."
There's been a lot of back and forth about whether or not this is Madelyne Pryor, aka the Goblin Queen. This was not the original intention. The name is based on Madelyne Prior, the lead singer of the folk-rock band Steeleye Span, that Claremont happened to be a fan of. For some reason, he named two characters after her (granting that this character was basically a throwaway). But original intention doesn't count for everything, and it was later established that this was indeed some early manifestation or clone of Pryor. Marvel's official Wiki lists this issue as Pryor's first appearance.
Spider-Woman contacts the X-Men to see if Xavier can help with Carol's mental state.
Xavier remotely scans her mind. All he is able to detect are residual images of a woman named Rogue. Rogue is a mutant that can steal other people's powers and memories by touching them. Rogue touched Carol for too long and permanently absorbed her attributes. Rogue already talks with the "accent" that she'll be known by. Mystique refers to as her protege, with an implication that she's something more.
Change scene to Captain America getting the crap kicked out of him by Rogue...
...and Rogue kissing him to steal his powers.
She tosses him through the Avengers' front window, and they contact Iron Man to see if he can't find Donald Blake. Mystique shows up to disable Iron Man.
Thor is also taken out by Rogue.
But finding herself unable to absorb the powers of the Vision, Jocasta, or Wonder Man, she flees just as Spider-Woman shows up to tell the team about Carol.
Rogue tosses Iron Man's paralyzed body into the power generator at Ryker's, where Destiny, the Blob, Avalanche, and Pyro have been imprisoned. The remaining Avengers - Wonder Man, Vision, Scarlet Witch, Jocasta, Beast, and Hawkeye - along with Spider-Woman show up to fight them.
They eventually win, with Blob, Avalanche, and Pyro getting recaptured and the rest fleeing.
"Some weeks" later, the Avengers show up at Xavier's Mansion to meet with Carol, who's been getting her memories back (during the gap, it seems Spider-Woman has been hanging around the X-Mansion and she's been developing a friendship with Carol).
She angrily explains to them that Marcus Immortus mind controlled her and forced her to return with him to Limbo, which she (and Claremont) feels should have been very obvious.
The Avengers are befuddled and very sorry.
Carol elects to remain with the X-Men.
Claremonts's reading of Avengers #200 is essentially correct, but i do feel that it was judged a lot more carefully than the average comic from that time period. Michelinie's Avengers run was basically at the very beginning of the period where comic books actually started making sense, and issue #200 was a lazy issue with some bad shortcuts. Still, it's nice to see issues like that addressed, and there's a meta-message here, which is that comics need to grow up.
The only problem is that in the process of addressing the wrongs of that issue, Claremont failed to actually develop a plot that made sense for this one. Why does the Brotherhood go after the Avengers? Rogue didn't need to drop Iron Man into Ryker's power generator to break her new teammates free. Getting the Avengers involved just ensured that they'd have to fight them, and Mystique didn't seem to have any strategic goals beyond freeing her lackeys.
Also, since this issue was intended as a redemption of sorts for Ms. Marvel, it's odd that Claremont would use the same issue to permanently de-power her (despite his later rectification of that when he transforms her into Binary). It smacks a bit of "I don't trust anyone else to write this character so i'm going to take her away".
Still, nice art and good dialogue make up for a lack of a coherent plot.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: Takes place before Uncanny X-Men #149 (technically before #150, which is the next place Ms. Marvel actually appears, but see the note in the entry for either issue) and the Avengers line-up change in Avengers #211. This issue also takes place before Avalanche's arms are broken by the Hulk in Hulk #263. For Spider-Woman, she met Sabrina Morrel in issue #39 so this needs to take place after that. The MCP places it after Spider-Woman #40.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Avengers Greatest Battles TPB
Inbound References (18): show
Looking at Michael Golden's art from around this time it becomes pretty obvious how huge an influence he was on Todd McFarlane. That shot of Captain America being thrown through a wall could have come right out of SPAWN.
Posted by: Jay Patrick | July 23, 2013 10:27 PM
It's possible I'm missing something or not remember it well, but Carol's big spiel at the end of the issue is delivered very emotionally, and Spider-Woman talks about the emotions she saw on Carol's face as Carol remembered - but then later appearances of the character say she has a very dry, text-only memory of her previous life - she knows what happened and what she felt, but feels none of it. She's basically a stranger to herself.
I'm thinking specifically of her appearance in a Claremont-penned story in Marvel Fanfare 24. It's difficult to reconcile that story with her actions in this one. Here, in the annual, she doesn't seem to be remembering all the previous Carol's memories and getting angry about them - she seems to be remembering them as if she'd never forgot them and is still Carol, feeling her own feelings.
Serves the short-term needs of this story and gives closure here, but doesn't mesh long-term.
Posted by: Paul | August 17, 2013 7:42 AM
Er...I still don't get how the little girls apperance here corresponds to the origin Madelyne Pryor would eventually get in Uncanny X-men 241 (where she was shown "coming to life" as a full-fledged adult in Sinister's lab.
Also given that Claremont is usually an X-Men writer, he probably also saw this as a way to develop X-related plotlines. A "kill two birds with one stone" approach.
Posted by: Jon Dubya | September 7, 2013 10:43 PM
Was there actually a book that shows the events leading up to the de-powering of Carol? All we see here is the aftermath. I couldn't believe such a pivotal event wasn't shown, just described.
Posted by: clyde | February 2, 2014 6:21 PM
Clyde, check out Marvel Super Heroes #11.
Posted by: fnord12 | February 2, 2014 7:38 PM
Ms Marvel was cancelled pre-cancellation due to bad sales and what would have been Rogue's first appearances was cancelled. Two issues were in the can when the cancellation was ordered (causing the book to end on a cliffhanger) but the last two issues (including an early Sabretooth appearance and Rogue/Pyro/Destiny/Avalanche's originally intended first appearances) but they were repurposed for Marvel Super-Heroes #10-11, with several extra pages done by Simon Furman to "wrap up" the storyline, though in a manner utterly opposite everything Claremont foreshadowed happened or revealed during flashbacks (most notably Mastermind is utterly absent from the denouncement).
Posted by: Jesse Baker | March 29, 2014 10:19 PM
Marvel really needs to recreate Ms. Marvel #24 with a better artist - keep Claremont on script.
Posted by: Vin the Comics Guy | April 29, 2015 11:57 PM
Rogue discovered here that her powers had no effect on Wonder Man. Wasted potential romance?
Posted by: Nathan Adler | May 30, 2015 2:03 AM
Well, Wonder Man is inside Rogue nowadays.
That...doesn't sound good. I mean, she literally absorbed him; she has his powers and can "hear' him in her head.
Posted by: Bill | June 9, 2015 10:07 PM
Rogue explains her ability to absorb Wonder Man's powers in Uncanny Avengers by stating that she had simply been practicing her own powers. It is during this point in her history she has the ability to actually turn her own abilities off also.
Posted by: Max_Spider | June 10, 2015 12:47 PM
"The only problem is that in the process of addressing the wrongs of that issue, Claremont failed to actually develop a plot that made sense for this one. Why does the Brotherhood go after the Avengers? Rogue didn't need to drop Iron Man into Ryker's power generator to break her new teammates free."
I always sort of saw the idea being that they felt like Rogue simply having Ms. Marvel's powers wouldn't be enough to break them out, and the side-trip to slap the Avengers around was more meant as a way of her picking up a few more powers before making the attempt.
Especially once she's gotten Thor's power - someone with Thor's strength and Cap's fighting ability would be able to solo a break-out a lot more effectively than just Ms. Marvel alone.
It also makes sense why they'd go after the Avengers and not, say, the X-Men - the X-Men have a telepath who can limit Mystique's effectiveness and potentially shut Rogue down before she even started (the mental resistance she's usually mentioned as having specifically comes from the permanent absorption of Carol's memories). The Avengers don't have that going for them. Plus, the Avengers have never fought Mystique (or Rogue) before, while Rogue has Carol's memories of the team, which would theoretically give her a huge advantage.
As for why they targeted Carol first, that works because Mystique has a history with her and wants a bit of revenge before kicking off the main caper.
Made even more confusing when Claremont has Maddie dream/hallucinate a younger version of herself just before the Inferno storyline, and it looks exactly like the girl we see here (same style and color clothes, same hairstyle, same speech pattern).
Claremont always had a good memory (he'd need one, with all the dangling plots he kept spinning). Odds are when the decision was made to turn Maddie into a supernatural plot element instead of just a normal woman, he remembered this particular throwaway reference and decided to tie it in because, what the hell, why not?
Posted by: ParanoidObsessive | June 18, 2015 10:20 PM
The story I've always heard, apparently confirmed in some interviews, is that Claremont just really likes the real-life singer Maddy Prior of the band Steeleye Span. This story's character was a little winking homage, and the later character is a much more overt one.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | October 2, 2015 9:33 AM
And naturally I glossed right past the fact that it's pcvered above. D'oh!
Posted by: Omar Karindu | October 2, 2015 9:34 AM
So who actually created Rogue? It would be Chris Claremont and... ? I've seen Michael Golden sometimes credited as the co-creator of Rogue, but that seems unlikely. The character was supposed to make her debut in Ms. Marvel, and would have if not for that title's extremely abrupt cancelation (which ultimately lead to a lot of re-shuffling by Claremont, including utilizing some dangling subplots in this annual). The penciler of Ms. Marvel when it was canceled was Mike Vosburg. A few years ago I e-mailed Vosburg asking if he was the artist who designed Rogue, but he responded that he had nothing to do with her creation. Every time I see Claremont at a convention I forget to ask him. Anyone else have an idea?
Another oddity of this annual is that the cover is by Al Milgrom, and it is, um, sort of underwhelming, especially compared to the amazing artwork inside. I know a lot of people have wished that Golden could have drawn the cover. When I met him at a convention a few years ago and had my copy of the annual autographed, I asked him why he didn't draw the cover. He frowned and muttered something about "office politics." It sounded like it was a sore spot for him so I decided not to press the issue.
I've often wondered how different the X-Men would be if Ms. Marvel had not been cancelled. It appears that Claremont was going to do a story involving the Hellfire Club tempting Carol Danvers over to the dark side (so to speak) and turning her into their Black Queen. But after Ms. Marvel got axed, that all got repurposed by Claremont in the now-classic "Dark Phoenix Saga" with Jean Grey going bad.
Posted by: Ben Herman | November 19, 2015 9:05 PM
Although I've only heard that the Hellfire Club elements of the Dark Phoenix Saga were going to be included in Claremont's Ms. Marvel plans, I wonder if the cosmic elements would have come into play as well: Ms. Marvel had her own Shi'ar connections through Deathbird, after all, and Carol is a more obvious candudate for a space story than Phoenix Jean before Phoenix Jean went Dark. Carol's eventual evolution into the extremely powerful Binary is also suspiciously similar to Cosmic Phoenix in a general way, though not as star-consumingly powerful.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | November 19, 2015 10:26 PM
Ironic that not terribly long after this story which dealt with Ms. Marvel losing her powers and her place as one of the premiere heroines in the Marvel Universe, the same thing happened to Spider-Woman, who really shined in this story and seemed to have been included by Claremont in hopes of advancing her standing.
(Yeah, I know she didn't completely lose her powers, but even after her return from death she was really taken off the chessboard to an even greater extent than Carol, who at least went on to appear semi-regularly with the X-Men until she joined the Starjammers).
Posted by: Dan H. | November 20, 2015 2:01 AM
This is Claremont's idea of fixing Carol Danvers' situation? Leaving her emotions disconnected from her memories and leaving her powerless?
Posted by: D09 | June 9, 2016 8:49 PM
It's possible I'm missing something or not remember it well, but Carol's big spiel at the end of the issue is delivered very emotionally, and Spider-Woman talks about the emotions she saw on Carol's face as
"Carol remembered - but then later appearances of the character say she has a very dry, text-only memory of her previous life - she knows what happened and what she felt, but feels none of it. She's basically a stranger to herself."
Wasn't that resolved in Busiek's Avengers run? Something about how about the majority (like about 99%) of Carol's identity was erased, but that she still had a portion she could recall. Guess which portion?
Posted by: Jon Dubya | June 10, 2016 7:49 AM
I am not fan of the art, personally. Starting to look too "90s", as Jay Patrick noticed in the first comment.
The writing is great though.
Posted by: Karel Bílek | December 23, 2016 10:25 AM
Always loved the art in this issue. It's a decade ahead of it's time. Looks to be late 80's or early 90's for sure.
Jay is correct, I can see the similarities to McFarlane.
Posted by: Urban Commando | February 19, 2017 5:28 AM
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