Captain Marvel #22-23
Issue(s): Captain Marvel #22, Captain Marvel #23
Issue #23 is written by Marv Wolfman in, i think, his first work at Marvel.
After freeing Captain Marvel from the Negative Zone, the Kree-Skrull War ended with Marv getting re-merged with Rick in a way that left things a little ambiguous about whether or not he was still really alive. And even though Rick Jones has been around in the Avengers, we haven't heard from Mar-vell until the beginning of this issue, something that Rick Jones rebukes him for.
However, Mar-vell says that "things have changed -- I've no freedom of action -- not even a will of my own". He then begs Rick to swap places with him, but Rick, already huffy after the fight in Avengers #103 and now mad that the friend he thought was dead has been holding out on him, refuses.
Rick winds up back at a music club, where he finds the agent Mordecai P. Boggs getting ready to work his charm on a new young talent, Lou-Ann Savannah.
Rick and Lou-Ann then bond while fighting some beatnik street thugs (nice to see Lou-Ann getting a hit in).
The bad guy of these two issues is Megaton ("the Atomic Assassin", "the Nuclear Man", and the "Living H-Bomb")...
...a scientist that was warped by a Kree Psycho-tron (compare and contrast to the Psyche-Magnetron seen in Captain Marvel #18; this is definitely a different Kree Outpost; it's the one that Ronan used in the Arctic during the Kree-Skrull War).
The Kree connection - added in CM #23 in an expanded version of Megaton's origin, as if the one given in #22 wasn't good enough - makes him marginally more interesting, but the real drama here is the re-emergence of Captain Marvel. Rick refuses to let him out, but there's some sort of build-up or other side effect related to keeping Mar-vell bottled up inside him for so long.
Lou-Ann brings Rick to her uncle, a mad scientist college professor type ("only a bath of positive charged photons can help him now").
When the photons turn Rick into Captain Marvel, Lou-Ann faints and her uncle promises her that he'll bring Rick back, but by next issue he's completely forgotten about him.
After learning that his opponent "absorbs the energy of the battle"...
...Mar-vell's initial fight with Megaton is ended prematurely with Marv turning back into Rick Jones; the unpredictable transformations almost seem to be setting up a Hulk-like situation, but it doesn't last. Rick soon gets a new pair of nega-bands from the Kree outpost and Cap and Mar-vell are back to their previous status quo. Megaton is hurled into space before he explodes.
Awkward art by Wayne Boring.
The story is at least as bad as the previous Captain Marvel revival so whatever reason the book didn't get immediately cancelled after two issues again, it wasn't thanks to the book's quality.
It's weird how for a while now Marvel has been trying to associate Rick Jones with the counter-culture but has refused to update his look. He's even called "longhair" by the villain...
...but compared to the thugs and club goers we saw, Rick is a clean cut kid.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Issue #22 begins with Rick leaving the Avengers mansion after getting left behind in Avengers #103. A period of "one week" passes while Rick and Lou Ann are getting to know each other.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Lou Ann Savannah and her scientist uncle ring bells?
How about as unworthy analogues of the real Captain Marvel's Doctor SIVANA and daughter?
The first of a few little fiddles with the original and true Captain Marvel in which Marvel indulges.
Posted by: Flying Tiger Comics | March 12, 2017 9:23 AM
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