She was warned bad things would happen, but Carol Danvers took to the skies regardless. CAPTAIN MARVEL #11 picks up with her having paid the price for her hubris with a hard fall and a wake-up call. Will Earth’s Mightiest Hero be able to adjust to a life on her feet? What exactly is wrong with Captain Marvel’s brain? Who is the new Deathbird, and why has she targeted Danvers?
I did some research on Deathbird (and by research I mean five minutes on Wikipedia), but it doesn’t help to a significant amount because it’s pretty clear the Deathbird Captain Marvel fights now isn’t the same Deathbird. The original is a long-time enemy of the X-Men, being a genetic variant of the Shiar race, but got her start as a villain in the pages of Chris Clairmont’s original Ms Marvel ongoing series. Like so many other elements introduced in Carol’s original series, Clairmont recycled Deathbird for his run on the X-Men. And that as they say is the rest of the story, as that Deathbird is apparently in no condition to be fighting Carol Danvers now that she’s Captain Marvel.
Carol – and the comic as a whole – playfully call this pretender Newbird, and thus shall I. Because it’s cute.
The last issue ended with Carol disobeying her doctor’s orders and engaging Newbird in the air during their fight. This caused her to black out due to the strain on her brain, yet oddly Newbird didn’t take the opportunity to just kill Captain Marvel. Almost like she’s got an agenda. And I say almost as in “yes she does have an agenda, and is taking orders from someone else”.
Now that I think of it, the current storyline of CAPTAIN MARVEL mirrors the events going on in Daredevil: life-threatening medical subplot, confusion, conspiracy by agents unknown to screw with the hero for reasons not explained. I get more into Daredevil in its own post, but it’s just eerie how many of the same beats are being hit by these two series at the same time.
Granted the medical trouble in CAPTAIN MARVEL isn’t as grounded as Foggy Nelson’s (alleged) cancer, as we learn Carol Danvers has an extra hemisphere between her right and left brains. The part of her brain that enables flight is pushing the mass deeper into her brain, meaning every time she takes to the air she risks massive brain damage. Damage her healing factor can heal, but tell that to all the information stored on her brain that would disappear in the regeneration.
In short, we’re recycling the plot point from X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Except this time it’s to create tension instead of trying to cover a massive plot hole.
Artist Filipe Andrade is still on this book, though I daresay I’ve grown more fond of the unorthodox style. It helps that Andrade seems to have a better handle on the book than two issues ago, so the flaws are less noticeable. One of the persistent shortcomings of this ongoing series as a whole is how often it changes artists. Like the main artist only has time or energy to devote to certain bits, so fill-in artists are thrown in willy nilly. Makes me wonder how long Marvel intends to keep this series around. No sign of an ultimate conclusion is in sight, but you never know.