Brian C. Saunders:
Captain Marvel #8-11
Issue(s): Captain Marvel #8, Captain Marvel #9, Captain Marvel #10, Captain Marvel #11
...and sent it after himself.
Lawson turns out to have been a member of something called The Organization, led by the wild looking Number One.
Since Marvel's been disguising himself as Lawson, he of course runs into the robot (or cybertron, or Cybex)...
...and manages to defeat it, impressing Carol Danvers.
Parallel to this is a plotline somewhat more related to the supposed Kree theme of the book. A group of aliens called Aakons land a damaged trading vessel on the moon for repairs.
They are aware that their "mortal enemies" the Kree have an expeditionary force in the area, but they have no choice but to land. Yon-Rogg orders an attack on the Aakons and Captain Marvel reluctantly slays their commander. Yon-Rogg then gets knocked out while he and Mar-vell were arguing about whether or not to nuke the rest of the Aakons. With Yon-Rogg injured, Mar-vell, the next highest-rank officer, was in charge of the Kree forces. You might hope that this would be a turning point for the series, but no such luck. Yon-Rogg wakes up soon enough.
Anyway, the two plotlines come together when the Aakons show up to extract vengeance on Mar-vell...
...after Lawson's robot had rebuilt itself and captured Carol Danvers and taken her to his psychedelic love shack to use as bait.
Mar-vell tricks the Aakons into fighting the robot.
Yon-Rogg of course makes sure that Una sees every sigh and smile that Carol makes while Captain Marvel is repeatedly rescuing her.
I should mention that there are also Organization agents running around in all this mess.
The next issue (#10) begins with Mar-vell about to be accused of treason, but then flashes back to moments after the end of the previous issue, with Mar-vell arriving back on the Kree ship after his recent battles and quickly changing into a non-damaged uniform before an audience with Ronan the Accuser (who is apparently wearing a big lump of bread dough on his head instead of his usual helmet).
Ronan orders Mar-vell to investigate the organization for a possible alliance, since an organization willing to "betray the major powers governing Earth, might prove a useful tool". I agree, and i guess Earth is lucky that the Kree didn't learn about AIM or Hydra instead of this rinky dink Organization.
Meanwhile, the Organization shows off another invention created by Lawson, an age-acceleration gun (Captain Marvel chose to impersonate a real madman, it turns out).
The gun also apparently causes birds to turn into pterodactyls...
...something that the Organization's own agents don't understand.
Even if it were an evolutionary decelerator gun, that wouldn't have made sense. I assume that since Drake is challenging it in the script, Don Heck went off the reservation on that one.
Druing Mar-vell's fight with the pterodactyl, Carol Danvers gets captured (surprise!) by the Organization, and Captain Marvel has to destroy the group instead of infiltrating it.
That's why he's now about to be shot for treason.
Earlier, while he was on the Kree ship to receive orders from Ronan, Captain Marvel also learned that Yon-Rogg's attempts at making Una jealous were working. But now Una arrives to try to stop the execution.
She's useless, of course, but the Aakons show up again to attack the Kree.
Or is it The Organization?
Who can tell? Certainly not the book's new penciler, Dick Ayers, who probably couldn't make heads or tails of the previous issues he was given for reference.
I do like that Ayers gets Marvel equipped with some real guns during the battle. As the penciler for Sgt. Fury and Capt. Savage, he knows that soldiers use guns.
Tragedy strikes, however, as Una is caught in the crossfire of the battle.
Una could potentially have been revived on the Kree ship, but Mar-vell kinda goes a little nuts, lashing out against Yon-Rogg for being responsible for... everything, i guess...
...and then stealing a rocket from the Cape and launching into space.
Una dies on the rocket. Mar-vell lands on an asteroid near Mars and creates a memorial, where her body will be preserved in the "near-vacuum of space".
Mar-vell may be idealizing their love a bit, ignoring his dalliance with Carol Danvers, but in his grief i forgive him.
He then leaves the asteroid, but Yon-Rogg and the Kree catch up with him, catch him in an energy tether, and toss him into deep space.
The rocket had enough fuel to get at least to Mars, and over 150 days of food, which makes me wonder what NASA actually had planned for it. But off in interstellar space, alone and dealing with the tragedy of Una's death, Mar-vell continues to be a little crazy and he starts to hallucinate. We see an image of his parents, who were the first Kree to experiment with faster-than-light speed.
The phrase "five times the speed of light" is thrown around a bit in this series. There's been some complaints in the lettercols that this wouldn't be fast enough for Kree to travel anywhere from another galaxy, and we've also seen in this series that the Kree have instant matter transferal as well as instantaneous communication with the homeworld. So I have to assume that the Kree also have warp/hyperspace technology and that Mar-vell's parents were just involved in theoretical research around literally moving faster than light, which of course would be a major breakthrough. But they couldn't be the ones responsible for the Kree getting to other galaxies, or the Kree empire could not be as ancient as previously reported.
Mar-vell's visions continue, 2001 style...
...and he seems to be approaching insanity, but he's eventually led to a strange planet where he encounters an obelisk that projects a voice from a being called Zo.
Zo plays on Mar-vell's hatred of Yon-Rogg, and offers to serve Zo in return for the power to destroy him. Zo removes the bracelet that Yon-Rogg used to monitor Mar-vell (which, by the way, was made from Daxilium, the strongest alloy known to Kree science), and grants him the powers of teleportation, super-strength, and illusion generation.
It also gets rid of his Uni-Beam.
Sappy love interest Una dead? Captain Marvel powered up and dishing out vengeance for a wrathful cosmic entity? Sign me up for this change of direction!
Yeah, don't get too attached.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Essential Captain Marvel vol. 1 (issues #10-11 are originals)
Inbound References (8): show
It was later speculated that the Zo episode was Arnold Drake's version of the phony wizard from Wizard of Oz.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | January 6, 2013 5:22 PM
Carol really is an incompetent security chief. First she failed to recognize that Mar-vell wasn't the real Lawson (even though he only decided to impersonate Lawson at the last minute), then it turns out that she failed to realize that the real Lawson was a member of the Organization.
Posted by: Michael | January 6, 2013 5:30 PM
The original rejected cover to #10 by Marie Severin was printed in Comics Interview #66.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | January 9, 2015 11:32 PM
Una was the first Dead Girlfriend, before Dorma, Gwen, Jean, or Elektra...
Posted by: Andrew | February 13, 2015 9:26 PM
Zo definitely reminded me of Oz (even the names are similar, so I suspect this was intentional), but more than that the whole planet felt eerily like Heaven. The clouds, the beautiful "nurses," the golden gates... This was the first issue of Captain Marvel that was genuinely interesting.
Posted by: Time Traveling Bunny | March 17, 2015 6:05 PM
Reading through the Captain Marvel books was at least enjoyable… and then I hit issue 11. It was as though the writer and artist were crafting different stories, yet Marvel combined and published them anyway. That whole Aarkon/Organization script/art mix-up was jarring, but then Mar-Vell fights Yon-Rogg and states each panel that they don’t need weapons, only fists- yet Mar-Vell is again and again shown firing his U-beam at Rogg. I couldn’t help but laugh when Una was shot because it was treated as rather an after-thought. I believe it was the letter column in Issue 9 that mentions that Una and her incessant weeping had to go, and other letter states that Mar-Vell should be banished by the Kree and forced to continuously travel the cosmos. It certainly seems as though Marvel was at least in part listening to and taking cues from its readers.
But that art in issue 11 was just horrendous. It was either a rush job, or Dick Ayers was channeling Fletcher Hanks. The art recovers a great deal in issue 12, thanks perhaps to Syd Shores’ inking.
Captain Marvel issue number 11 is to comics what Zardoz is to motion pictures.
Posted by: Jesse | November 13, 2015 9:39 AM
Maybe that ray has different effects if used on other species?
Posted by: D09 | May 26, 2016 2:25 AM
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