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Fighting Once Last Time… Just for the Hell of It

February 17, 2010

     Ms. Marvel‘s final solo adventure in the latest volume of her titular series continues as she faces off against the mysterious, super-strong man who seems to be connected with Mystique.  Realizing that he isn’t Mystique, and realizing how durable he is, Ms. Marvel tosses him into a mountain and causes an avalanche to get him to talk.  She finds out about Mystique’s dead drop in San Francisco and heads there, leaving him there by himself and still stuck.  Elsewhere, “Captain Marvel” goes around slaughtering the people at various Churches of Hala, wondering where Carol is and why she didn’t keep her promise.  Then, he freaks out and runs off (not flies, mind you).  In San Francisco, Mystique gets out of the shower.  That’s right, this Captain Marvel ISN’T Mystique.  When she goes to the dead drop, Carol confronts her.  Mystique admits that she is behind this fake Captain Marvel, though she had forgotten all about it.  She takes the first opportunity to run, and when Carol catches up to her later, Carol finds a note mentioning that Captain Marvel’s latest attack was in Seattle and saying that they will meet there.

     Okay, so this arc is better than the previous offerings, since it goes back to Carol’s first real conflict with a supervillain.  There’s so much potential for stuff between her and Mystique, but as usual, Brian Reed opts for a drier, stupid supervillain plan kind of story.  I’ve made an evil clone of the guy you used to love!  Yeah, whatever.  And once again, Reed makes another flat character (Captain Beardo, admittedly funny) that will never be seen again nor ever be more developed.  It’s like he doesn’t want Carol to either face classic Marvel villains who aren’t already her enemies or doesn’t want to come up with a true rogues’ gallery of her own.  Plus, what true reason is there for them to be fighting again, aside from this rather contrite plot mechanism?  And leaving that guy stuck under the avalanche is rather uncharacteristic of Carol.  He could very well starve there.  Sana Takeda’s art is as shiny and ill-fitted for this book as ever, and Ben Oliver’s little guest appearance is rather oddly bad, since both Carol and Mystique’s mouths just look awkwardly large in every panel.  It’s so sad that no one at Marvel ever took this book seriously.  Carol could have been propelled to new heights of greatness in this series.  I guess we have to leave that to Brian Michael Bendis.

Plot: 5.2      Art: 5.5      Dialogue: 6.3      Overall: 5.1

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