Characters Appearing: Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau), Felipe Picaro, Professor Andre LeClaire
Solo Avengers #2 (Captain Marvel)
Issue(s): Solo Avengers #2 (Captain Marvel story only)
The story goes back to the elements of her origin, using both Professor Andre LeClaire, the scientist who invented the device that accidentally gave Monica Rambeau her powers, and Felipe Picaro, his former assistant who was later hired by a South American dictator to weaponize LeClaire's work, and the bad guy of Rambeau's origin story.
Captain Marvel flies to France, responding to a message from LeClaire about new information about her powers, but she's instead attacked remotely by a guy in exoskeleton armor...
...and her powers go out of control, starting a fire at a resort in the French Bordelaise countryside.
Being Captain Marvel, she resolves the problem by flying into space where any further explosions won't hurt anyone, and then she shoots a radio wave beam to LeClaire, who is actually a captive of exoskeleton guy. He's supposed to lure her back to his lab where she can be captured, but he instead bravely tells her the truth. She flies in to rescue him and finds that exoskeleton guy is Picaro, and he holding three of LeClaire's assistants hostage.
Picaro's goal is to force Captain Marvel to transfer her powers to him, using the technology in the exoskeleton. CM responds by punching him in the face.
She then frees the hostages and leads Picaro away. Picaro gives chase, his suit draining her powers as they fly. And then she defeats him by hitting him with her power all at once, overloading him.
He explodes, but she absorbs the energy at the last minute, preventing Picaro's death. As she flies away, one of LeClaire's assistants remarks that with so much power in one woman, maybe it would have been better if she'd lost her powers after all. LeClaire responds that you might as well wish we never discovered nuclear energy, and that at least her power is under the control of "such a woman as Capitaine Marvel" and it's the rest of humanity you ought to worry about.
Ok, i'll admit that was excessively reverential and pretty uninteresting. Is it the character being too powerful to work in a solo book? A lack of an interesting villain? Kieron Dwyer not exactly setting the pages on fire? The 11 page format? Roger Stern loving CM so much that he just tells us how great she is instead of showing us? Maybe all of the above? But if Roger Stern can't hold my attention for these secondary Solo Avengers stories, i am in for a long slog. Here's hoping the Shroud and Black Knight stories are better.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: The MCP place this between Avengers #287-288.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
For years I remembered her villain in this story being Professor Power. Now I realize why: on the cover his suit is miscolored and he resembles Power more.
I completely forgot Stern wrote these initial back-ups, also. I wonder what the timeline is on when he wrote them. Was it before or after his dismissal from Avengers? That might explain why the stories seem a little lackluster, if his heart wasn't really in it. Seems odd Gruenwald would let him do this Captain Marvel story at a time when she's being actively crapped on in Avengers at Gru's direction. So maybe this was written before all of that was decided?
Posted by: Robert | June 3, 2014 5:59 PM
I meant to say "on the cover his suit is miscolored and he resembles Power more than on the inside."
Posted by: Robert | June 3, 2014 6:02 PM
Just providing a link to the cover per Robert's comments.
Posted by: fnord12 | June 3, 2014 6:05 PM
Also interesting that the direct-market version of the cover contains a pitch in the UPC box.
Posted by: Cullen | June 3, 2014 11:57 PM
There's not necessarily any problem with Captain Marvel's powers. She IS powerful, but the ability to turn into any part of the electromagnetic spectrum is not omnipotent. She just needs opponents that are at the same level as her.
I think Stern did a great job of establishing Blackout and the Darkforce dimension power set as a good counterweight. Too bad he died, but there are always ways around that.
The Living Laser would have been another good antgaonist. Not only does he have a similar power set, Arthur Parks is actually a scientist and thus understands his and her powers better than she does.
Zzzax for same reason except now it would just be brutal power that was greater than hers, forcing her to come up with better ideas.
I even think Electro might be interesting - I always thought he had the capability to be more than just a Spider-Man villain. He may not be good enough to go one on one against her, but as part of a team, he'd be good. He may not be a scientist, but as an electrician and lineman, he'd still know more about how his power works than Monica, a harbor patrol cop.
The U-Foes would be very powerful enemies with X-Ray particularly suited against her.
The Presence (Sergei Krylov) would be a good villain. And would Radioactive Man, Klaw, or any other energy power villains. They would combine raw power, hard to harm, and generally smart.
Any number of super-intelligent villains would also make good antagonists. As would space based villains. Captain Marvel's interactions with Nebula and the crew of Sanctuary II proved very fun.
So I think she could easily contain a pretty good rogue's gallery of her own, especially since most of these villains are "cast offs" not used much by their home titles. Such a list would cement her as one of the more powerful Marvel heroes, but she clearly is at this time period.
Posted by: Chris | June 13, 2014 6:41 PM
Blackout isn't actually dead anymore--he turned up alive (although not necessarily 'well') during Fabian Niceiza's THUNDERBOLTS run. And he has turned up again here and there since then.
Posted by: Dermie | June 14, 2014 12:33 AM
The art team on this was originally announced as Hall/Sienkiewicz.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | June 20, 2014 6:44 PM
Comments are now closed.
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