Get ready for the tie-in extravaganza!
Today, we check out Journey Into Mystery #622 and Blast to the Past for Marvel Super-Heroes #13. Enjoy and spread the word!
Fear Itself is officially under way and that means it's time to start off with the tie-ins. Not too many to handle as we start out but you know this thing is going to encompass the entire MU before all is said and done.
Looking to read up on everything from Secret Invasion to Heroic Age and beyond? Check no further than this link right HERE.
First, we check in on the newly resurrected Loki in...
Journey Into Mystery #622
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Penciler: Doug Braithwaite
In this issue:
• Magpies leave Asgard during the Siege and have many adventures. One returns home.
• Kid Loki is insulted on the internet and then almost gets beat up by an Asgardian.
• Thor arrives to save the young trickster god and to give him some advice.
• The remaining magpie returns to Loki and then explodes, revealing a key.
• Kid Loki uses the key to start a quest to, literally, find himself.
• There's an echo of his former self that was left for him to find and explain WHY Loki sacrificed himself. It's all about becoming a better trickster.
• Kid Loki makes this shadow of his former self into a magpie pet and commands it to only tell him what he wants to know.
• Just like in Fear Itself, Odin beats up Thor and they Asgardians depart for another Asgard. Loki thinks he'll be a hero guarding them all. Or something.
One of the more fascinating aspects of Siege was Loki's involvement in the entire thing. Here was the god of mischief setting things up and moving pieces around to not only shatter Asgard but also to remove himself from the fate of Hel. And in the end? Loki dies in an attempt at defeating the Void.
This, of course, isn't the end of Loki's story. He wasn't tied to Hel and wasn't devoured by the Dísir running around during the battle. Instead, his soul ended up inhabiting a card-playing youth in Paris. Thor, who couldn't leave well enough alone, finds this young kid and restores part of Loki's memories. They return to fallen Asgard where Kid Loki is mistrusted by EVERYONE. It seems his only friend in the city is Thor.
But more on Kid Loki later. Right now, we have to watch as part of old Loki's multi-part plan unfolds. That brings us back to the final hours of the Siege of Asgard. As the city is being devastated by the Sentry, seven magpies leave the city and begin a long journey. During the course of their flight, they travel to many realms and see lots of things. It seems every stop point finds that they lose one of their number. One stops to mourn the fall of Loki. Another flies off over the ocean to find a particular beach. So on and so forth. When all is said and all is done, one lone magpie returns to the broken city of Asgard.
This bird flies right up to the chambers of young Loki, expecting to see the kid there. It turns out the kid god of mischief isn't following the same plan.
Kid Loki is instead taking pictures of the World Tree and posting them on the internet where everyone thinks they're photoshopped because of the pixels. After arguing on the internet for a while, he asks aloud "Why do people always presume I'm lying?" He gets an answer with a slap from a nearby Asgardian warrior. The warrior chews him out for past misdeeds. Loki may be a young version of his older self but he still has some fire in his guy. When the warrior asks what his Starktech cell phone is, Kid Loki responds that it's technology far beyond this particular Asgardian.
Before the warrior can cut the young upstart in two, Thor shows up to save his half-brother's life. The fight is ended and the warrior walks away. This is a talk for brothers.
Thor tells young Loki that the other Asgardians will relent eventually. This is just temporary. He then asks about the Starktech phone and gets Loki's story about how he got the money to pay for the device after cheating some cheating dwarves in a cardgame. Thor doesn't like that since it seems that Loki is starting down the tenuous steps made by his former self. Still, the young godling is more concerned about the respect he isn't getting on the internet.
The god of thunder tells Loki about some of the better aspects of humanity and how Asgard is going to be rebuilt with assistance from them. Loki has already seen how Odin feels about this and the topic of conversations turns to how Odin is adapting to the current state of Asgard. Thor remarks that his father is... unreasonably angry. Sure, some of it is understandable. Since Odin died, Thor has brought Asgard to earth not once but TWICE. There was even a Ragnarok. Siege and the destruction of the city is just icing on some sort of crap cake. Don't eat that cake!
So Odin has some reason to be upset but there's a lot of anger there that just doesn't make sense. Loki tells his brother that Odin will come around. The new god is fascinated by anything new and believes that you either accept the future or get buried in the past. Thor just thinks things have to improve. The conversation turns to why Loki got a phone and the answer is he is trying to understand the world since they've decided to live there for a while.
Loki asks how Thor even knows about Stark phones. The thunder god tells him that Iron Man's a teammate and Stark likes to blab about his inventions. Thor picks up things in spite of himself. It's actually a fun conversation throughout and it is sort of a bonding moment. Thor is more than willing to give his bro a clean slate and it really seems like Loki deserves that. Time will tell.
Within the walls of Asgard, the Warriors Three are talking about how much they hate their latest assignment. Thor has asked them to look after Loki when the Odinson isn't around. They aren't as willing as their friend to give the kid god another chance. After all, they've given Loki so many chances that it has ceased being hilarious and has gone to being straight up sad. Hogun and Fandral have accepted their new job but Volstagg is still trying to figure a way out of it when Thor and Loki walk past them. You can tell the Avenger is pissed off. When they pass by, the talk continues but this time even Hogun and Fandral hope for a way out. Maybe Odin will take care of the problem for them.
Eventually, Kid Loki makes his way back to his room where the magpie is still waiting patiently. He greets the bird. The magpie shouts out "LO--!" before exploding.
Inside the remains, the young trickster god finds a key. LO--key. Get it?
What follows is a very twisted set of events. Loki uses the key to open a box containing yet another key. This key was cherished by an elf living nearby. When Loki gives it to him, the elf recites poetry. Hidden within the poem is a spell that Loki casts in a desert, summoning a demon. This beast explodes. Kid Loki gathers the remains and serves them to Volstagg as per more instructions hidden in the earlier poem. Volstagg doesn't ask too many questions when he's served this mystery meat but he does start to grow a bit more fond of the young god of mischief.
The voluminous one falls asleep after his meal and mutters some special words in his sleep. These words lead Loki to a cave filled with lots of traps ala Indiana Jones movies. Inside, the kid trickster finds a dragon who speaks words in an ancient dialect before evaporating. Loki returns to Asgard and translates the words which come out as "You must look for the answer in the final question."
In an Asgardian library, Loki pulls out a book on the Siege of Asgard. At the end, he reads the question "Why did Loki do it?" Inside the dot making up the question mark is a hidden room. The kid god falls inside the dot and lands inside where he finds a pedestal, a magpie, and one of Loki's old headpieces.
From the pedestal bursts an image of Loki. Not the kid who's currently wearing the name. This is the old-school version from before his timely death. Old Loki tells the younger version that he is a little leftover piece of the old god who's here to answer any questions the newcomer might have. Loki goes asks why his older self died trying to save Asgard before getting a look from his older self that this isn't the right question.
After all, the only way Loki could have been killed is if the god of mischief WANTED to die. As Kid Loki puts it, Loki could have hidden. He could have escaped death at the last moment. Loki CHOSE to die. The question is: Why did Loki want to die?
The answer: Loki found himself trapped. He was the god of mischief but everyone expected it of him. He couldn't escape being a trickster god. He couldn't escape that everyone was waiting for him to do something evil and underhanded. It was a situation that he couldn't STAND. Loki decided to do something about it.
Rebirth was always a bit iffy but he would rather have been all dead if he couldn't be reborn with a free future in front of him. This new Loki has the ability to be a HERO, after all. Kid Loki can use mischief a completely different way. More than just a path to heroism, Kid Loki is free to do whatever in the name of chaos. He could be a villain. Most of all, he can be whatever he wants to be and isn't already set straight down a path of predictability.
All of this makes sense but we're also dealing with Loki. God of MISCHIEF. Would he lie to himself? Of course he would. Don't think that anything Loki says here is complete fact even if it makes sense and you don't exactly think it'll be redacted in two issues. It very well COULD be is all I'm saying.
Young Loki thinks that he should tell Thor or Odin all that he has learned. He then thinks better of that noise. If he reveals what he now knows, they'll certainly kill him because they'll think it part of Loki's grand scheme. They'll be right, they just won't know what KIND of scheme.
The Old Loki gives his younger self the nutshell explanation. This new Loki will have very little power. It'll all be about brains. As for this whisper of the old guy, he will be whatever the new Loki wants. He cautions Kid Loki about accepting his advice. KNOWLEDGE, yes. Old Loki has experiences to share. ADVICE... well, what's to stop the old Loki from resorting to tricks again?
Kid Loki decides that he will keep the memories of his old self as a pet. The magpie, to be specific. The young god orders his new pet to only give information when asked. With that adventure done, Loki and the magpie, named Ikol, return to the library. Heimdall sees the youngster and tells him that it's time for a feast and everyone has to be there.
We catch up to events in Fear Itself #1 right about now. Tony Stark has already delivered a speech to the public about the future of a repulsor powered Asgard. The after party is already underway and this time Loki is there (he was probably just off-panel in the main series). We see some highlights from the battle between Thor and Odin and just like before, Odin kicks Thor's butt.
The interesting thing is Loki's reaction to this. He remarks that "the Family should not fight so." Oh, that Loki. :D
With that, the Asgardians leave this broken Asgard for the new version. Hogun and Volstagg drag off Thor. Fandral, who in Fear Itself was the one to have the parting words with Steve Rogers, this time escorts Loki away. All of the Warriors Three proclaim that they'll be Loki's protectors which makes Kid Loki grateful. As the gods leave earth, he says that he's certain that a hero will look out for them.
Surprisingly, we believe that Loki could be that hero.
Hey, Super Readers! If you've already read this and are coming back for another taste, you MAY remember that this article originally featured the Black Knight's first appearance. Well, it was switched with Super Reads 138 so that all these first appearances are in some sort of chronological order. This was because of a mistake on my part when I was filling in the blanks between Heroic Age and Fear Itself. If this is your first time through, you didn't even notice that anything was different. Now you know!
Marvel Super-Heroes #13
Writer: Roy Thomas
Penciler: Gene Colan
In this story:
• Mar-Vell changes his Universal Beam into a wrist-blaster and shortens the name to "Uni-Beam" for laziness's sake.
• He then leaves his hotel room for a supply run to his starship support team. The counter clerk gets a bit suspicious of a guy who checked in under the obvious alias "C. Marvel."
• Captain Marvel practices with his Uni-Beam before getting his uniform on and flying up to the Kree starship.
• Colonel Yon-Rogg gives up all pretence of professionality and opens fire on the Captain. An earth plane swoops in and takes the blast instead. Yon-Rogg uses it as an excuse to return to orbit.
• Checking out the remains of the plane, Mar-Vell finds a dead man named Walter Lawson who was going to be working at the local military base. He decides to take the man's papers and make a few alterations so that he can pose as the dead scientist.
• Mar-Vell's lover, Una, secretly makes more breathing potion and sends it down to the Captain so that he can keep on breathing in earth's atmosphere.
• The new Walter Lawson begins working as a rocket scientist at an Air Force Base.
• A week after starting his work here, the military General brings him in on a top secret project, examining the Kree Sentry that was supposedly destroyed in Fantastic Four #64. Chief of Security, Carol Danvers, is also present to add her disapproval of admitting Lawson.
• From orbit, Colonel Yon-Rogg activates the Sentry and the living robot immediately starts attacking anything in sight.
• General Bridges calls in Walter Lawson to see if the scientist can offer his robotic expertise, not realizing he's just called in a Kree Soldier for help.
• Captain Marvel suits up and flies to the Air Force Base. The counter clerk uses the opportunity to break into Mar-Vell's room and look for evidence of his evil doing.
• When the Captain encounters the Kree Sentry, a battle looks inevitable.
The previous comic in this series was covered HERE.
March 1968! Avengers #50, Fantastic Four #72, Thor #150, Amazing Spider-Man #58, Tales of Suspense #99, and X-Men #42 were on the stands alongside Marvel Super-Heroes #13, featuring the second appearance of Marvel's Captain Marvel. But this featuring isn't about second appearance, it's about the first appearances of Marvel's heroes. This time around, it was one of Captain Marvel's cast that gets that focus: Carol Danvers. Unlike many people we've already covered, Carol didn't begin her Marvel career as a villain OR even as a fully formed hero. No, Carol started as one of the normals.
But more on that later, let's jump straight into the comic. Our scene opens with Captain Mar-Vell working on his Universal Beam. Last issue, that beam took gun form. In this comic, Mar-Vell has adapted the device to function as a wrist blaster. While he's modifying his weapon, Mar-Vell fills us in on his backstory. We covered this last time but here's the bite-sized version: Captain Mar-Vell is a Kree sent to earth to observe the planet so that his government can decide on its fate. His Colonel, Yon-Rogg sent him down alone because Yoni has eyes on Marv's lady and thinks if the Captain ends up dead, Una will fall into Yon-Rogg's arms. After landing, Mar-Vell ran away from some military men and then changed into some earthwear so he could check into a hotel without raising too many eyebrows.
When he's done tricking out his Uni-Beam, Mar-Vell puts the remains of his guns in the carry-all cylinder that he pretty much takes wherever he goes. With that done, Captain Mar-Vell puts on his earth clothes and takes the last of his breathing potion. Now, he has one hour to make it to the meeting area and get more breathing potion from the Kree ship orbiting earth.
Needless to say, he wastes no time leaving the building, ignoring the night clerk as he races through the lobby. The man running the hotel counter thinks that's just strange and looks up the Kree in the register. It's just too bad Mar-Vell wrote down his name as "C. Marvel." That just reads as a fake name. The night clerk takes notice.
When Mar-Vell reaches the meeting place, he decides to test out his Uni-Beam on the landscape. Yep, that thing is POWERFUL. After blowing a lot of stuff up and putting some of it back together, the Captain looks at his handiwork and then suits up for the arrival of his ship.
In Captain Marvel's first story, his commander, Colonel Yon-Rogg, played his villainy on the subtle side, simply assigning the ground mission to Mar-Vell and hoping the Captain would end up dead so he could steal Mar-Vell's girl. In this issue, all sense of Yon-Rogg being a professional or even having a logical plan is thrown out the window. When the Kree ship approaches Captain Mar-Vell (who is flying up to meet the ship), Colonel Yon-Rogg starts toying with the ship's lasers.
Mar-Vell's girlfriend, Una, is the only one who knows what Yon-Rogg is up to and tries to spread a warning about the Colonel's murderous intent. The rest of the crew is both extremely loyal and fantastically stupid so they drag the medic to her quarters on the Colonel's command. This leaves Yon-Rogg all alone on the command deck so that he can focus on killing the captain in peace.
Now, Yon-Rogg's whole plan is pretty stupid in itself. He thinks killing Mar-Vell will automatically get him the love of Una but he doesn't seem to get that she would never forgive him for the death of her lover, especially since she has made it CLEAR that she knows what he's up to.
But, anyway, Yon-Rogg fires the ship's gun at the Kree soldier flying up to the ship, already preparing his excuses for this "accident."You don't need to worry about the fledgling hero, though. Between Mar-Vell and the Kree ship flies a private plane that takes the entire blast. Yon-Rogg curses that his one accidental shot has missed. The consolation is that he can use the incident to justify returning the Kree ship to a safe orbit and not deliver the vital breathing potion to the Captain. Looks like Mar-Vell is stuck in his space suit.
The man of the Kree knows that his commanding officer just took a shot at him but he's got a wrecked plane to check and that takes his mind off Yon-Rogg's murder attempt. The pilot and sole occupant of the plane, Dr. Walter Lawson, was killed in the blast so there's no-one to rescue. Mar-Vell looks at the man's papers and sees that Lawson was preparing to take a job at the local Air Force base as a missile guidance systems expert. The Kree Captain sees some lemons and makes lemonade, altering Lawson's identification so that he can take the scientist's place.
Maybe he even buries the body or hides the plane wreckage? Who knows?
This brings home a few points about Captain Mar-Vell, though. The first and most important is that hs is a spy living among humans. His mission may not be espionage but he is on the planet to gather information that could be used against a potential enemy. The second point is that Mar-Vell doesn't care much about humans. He sees a dead man and instead of lamenting the loss of life, the Captain sees the advantage of the situation. It's professional and the Kree couldn't ask for a better spy. It's just really cold blooded.
The only issue that could hinder the Kree's mission is that pesky breathing thing. A Kree can't process earth air like a human so Mar-Vell needs a breathing potion for every hour he remains with his helmet off. He can't very easily fit into the human population with that thing on his head so he'll need a steady supply of breathing potion to survive. Fortunately, his girlfriend is a medic. Even though Una is stuck in her room, she quickly makes a new batch of breathing potion for her man.
Now, the only problem is getting it to Mar-Vell. She slips some sleeping gas into the ventilation shaft, knocking out the entire Kree crew. Fortunately, the ship is in orbit and probably on auto-controls or this could have been disasterous. Now that Una is free to roam the ship, she uses the teleporter to send down the breathing potion supply to her boyfriend. Problem solved.
The next day, Mar-Vell heads to the Air Force base and starts his new job as Dr. Walter Lawson. For the next week, he does his new job while gathering information on the United States rocket program. By Kree standards, the US is still in the Stone Age but they are progressing at an alarmingly rapid pace.
As the Captain begins his second week at the Air Force base, he's led by the base commander, General Bridges, to a top secret building. Inside, he discovers the inert form of Sentry #459, which was presumed destroyed back in Fantastic Four #64. The Sentry is larger than before but is deactivated and doesn't seem to be a threat to anyone. Mar-Vell realizes he must have been brought in on this project because Dr. Lawson's secondary specialty was robotics.
His inclusion was not without protest. The base's Director of Security, Carol Danvers, was against bringing Lawson in on the project. It's nothing personal. He just raised some red flags with his being a recluse and eccentric. Her team is studying his background, probably looking for any Communist leanings.
And that, my gentle readeers, is all we've got on the first appearance of the future Ms. Marvel.
The story doesn't end there. Colonel Yon-Rogg is listening in on Mar-Vell's activities and is mighty interested in the Sentry. He knows that the robot may be deactivated but all the damage it has taken has already been repaired. In fact, the Colonel can bring it back to life from the safety of the Kree ship. He does so, hoping that it'll kill Captain Mar-Vell and free up Una for some Colonel lovin.'
Down on the military base, the Sentry springs to life. It immediately assesses i's situation and decides that its best course of action is destroying the entire base. To perform that action, the Sentry heads straight for the base's nuclear payload. Soldiers try to stop the robot but are completely unsuccessful.
It's after hours by now (man, that was a quick work day!) and the soldiers think the Old Man (their term of endearment for base commander, General Bridges) has already left for the day. They don't call him up to tell him that the whole base is going to go down in flames. The soldiers probably should have checked to make sure Bridges had left. The General is up in his office, burning the midnight oil and calls up his men to figure out what the racket is all about. He chews the soldiers out for not checking on him and then calls in an air strike team.
Thinking that maybe his robotics expert might have a good idea on how to stop the giant alien robot, General Bridges calls up Mar-Vell's hotel, looking for Dr. Walter Lawson. The problem is that the Captain didn't sign in under that name. He used "C. Marvel" instead. The night clerk almost hangs up the phone as a wrong number but then plays a hunch and describes his mystery resident to see if that's who the General is looking for. When he gets a "yes," the clerk's suspicions against the Kree agent increase all the more.
Mar-Vell picks up his phone to talk to Gen. Bridges and gets a run down on what's happening on the base. Instead of racing off as Walter Lawson, Mar-Vell puts on his Kree uniform and exits through the window. He doesn't do this out of the goodness in his heart, rather so his hard work at infiltrating a military base isn't ruined. If the Kree Sentry destroys the Air Force base, Mar-Vell will have to start all over again.
On the Kree Ship, Colonel Yon-Rogg wonders aloud on the fate of his officer. A Kree soldier versus an "unbeatable" Sentry? Captain Mar-Vell is as good as dead. Medic Una has been brought out of her quarters to watch as her boyfriend is killed by the Sentry. The Colonel sure knows how to romance 'em.
Back at the hotel room, that suspicious night clerk uses a spare key to gain access to "C. Marvel's" room, banking that the resident has departed even though Mar-Vell didn't pass through the lobby. The night clerk believes that Mar-Vell is a spy and is looking for some hard evidence to prove it.
By this time, Captain Mar-Vell of the eternal Kree has landed at the Air Force base. He's hoping that his rank and status as a Kree will be enough to stop the Sentry but that hope is dashed to bits right away. The Sentry tells the Captain that its orders are irreversible. If the man of the Kree stands against him, then he'll be treated like an enemy.
We won't be covering Captain Marvel's next chapter (yet!) so I'll give you the short version. It takes pretty much the entirety of Captain Marvel #1 for the Kree Captain to stop the Sentry and even then it's only because Kree tech had advanced since the Sentry was posted on earth. The soldiers hear the Kree Sentry call its opponent "Captain Mar-Vell" and mistake it for "Captain Marvel." Marv's got a hero name. The night clerk carries evidence against the Kree to the military base but winds up a victim of the Super Skrull before he can put charges against Dr. Walter Lawson.
While Carol Danvers' part in this story was miniscule, her importance in the series expanded and she was even Mar-Vell's love interest for a couple of seconds. When the trend began for Marvel's male heroes to have female dopplegangers, Danvers joined the fun as Ms. Marvel. Her comic series was short-lived. It kind of had to be. She was a female version of a "C" (possibly "D") List hero. Nothing spells success like that.
Ms. Marvel joined the Avengers like most heroes eventually do. She left the team under VERY controversial circumstances. The son of Immortus, Marcus, basically raped her so that he could be born by her. And then they both went off to Limbo to live happily ever after. AND the Avengers were ok with this. I know. Nothing says "WTF" quite like that.
When Carol reappeared in Avengers Annual #10, she was depowered courtesy of Rogue. Danvers also lost all her memories to Rogue but Professor Xavier was able to restore them. The problem was that the former Ms. Marvel had lost all emotional connection to the memories. When she remembered the Marcus incident, she no longer had the emotion of love (or cohesion) to have it make sense and she told off the Avengers for letting her go off with a sexual predator who was also her son.
For over a decade, Carol Danvers stayed away from the Avengers (mostly). At first, she hung out with the X-Men. When she gained the powers of Binary, Carol joined the Starjammers and left the monthly comic grind behind for a time.
Eventually, Binary came back to earth and the Avengers. When he powers started waning, she rejoined the team as Warbird. Danvers had developed a drinking problem by this point and it didn't take long for the problem to spill over into her Avengers life. She was kicked off the team. Only with a lot of help from Iron Man was she finally able to admit she had a problem and start going to AA. With her alcoholism in check, Warbird rejoined the Avengers again.
Probably because of Tony Stark's help with her drinking problem, Carol has a tremendous amount of loyalty for Shellhead. Tony has offered her a number of jobs over the years. After House of M, Carol returned to the spotlight in her own solo series and became the leader of Tony Stark's Avengers line-up after the Super-Human Civil War. Dark Reign saw her on the outs with Norman Osborn mainly because Carol would only answer to Stark (and Ozzy is a nutcase).
Ms. Marvel's solo series has ended once again but Carol is still seen regularly in the pages of New Avengers. She's even gone out on a date with Peter Parker. Life is funny.
Most people don't even remember that she was the female version of Captain Marvel. Carol Danvers has truly grown into her own hero.
Hey! We've reached the end of another all-encompassing Super Reads! That, dear readers, is excellent.
Until next time: Excelsior!
Written or Contributed by: SuperginraiX