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Where I Read: Captain Marvel, Part 11

April 26, 2017

Captain Marvel #9 (cover date January ’69)

“Between Hammer and Anvil!” by Arnold Drake (w), Don Heck (p), and Vince Colletta (i).

We open with the Aakon once again, only this time on Earth. They are standing on hovering inner tubes and flying circles around Captain Marvel, while taking shots at our man of the Kree with their rayguns. They seek revenge, for in last issue’s battle on the moon, their commander was killed.

The fracas continues until the police arrive, at which point Mar-vell uses a smoke grenade to cover his escape, and the Aakons’ as well – he doesn’t want the authorities to know there are aliens about! Then he changes into his guise of Dr. Lawson and heads back to his hotel room…

captmarvel-11-aWhere Carol Danvers is busy bribing the desk clerk for a key to Lawson’s room! About time she actually did something. Unfortunately, her search of the room is interrupted by the giant robot assassin from last month. It grabs Danvers through the wall and stomps off, noting that it intends to use the woman as bait for Lawson. Carol screams. So much for doing something useful!

Chester the cabbie drops Lawson off at the hotel, which is now swarming with cops. They tell the doctor about the robot, but Mar-vell tells them that such a thing could not exist. Uh, the military base just saw Captain Marvel defeat a giant robot. You think word didn’t get out about that? captmarvel-11-bSaid robot has brought Carol to Lawson’s “fantastic mountain lab.” It tells her that it intends to kill Lawson, but doesn’t know why it would be programmed to destroy its creator.

When Mar-vell gets free of the police, he changes into his uniform and goes looking for Danvers and her captor. Up in space, Colonel Yon-rogg taunts Medic Una about how her lover is rushing off to rescue another woman. And then he spots the Aakon, still on Earth and looking for Mar-vell. As Yonny is a giant douche, he deliberately sends a transmission to the Captain so that the Aakon will pick it up and trace it back to their quarry.

Mama Mar-vell didn’t raise no dummy, and our man of the Kree realizes what his superior is trying to do. Nevertheless, he zooms into Lawson’s home, intent on freeing Carol. How did he know the robot – which has now chosen the name Cyberex for itself – was there? Oh well. The metal monstrosity displays some new tricks, like lumen-beams and mini-missiles, and also seems to be more heavily armored. Captain Marvel is at a loss, and orders Carol to run. “No, Captain Marvel!” she cries, “If you die here… I must, too!” Uh, why?

In order to get more room to maneuver, Marvel lures Cyberex outside, where they run into the Aakon and their flying inner tubes. The yellow aliens fire at him, and he moves aside, allowing their ray blasts to strike the robot instead. He then uses the momentary confusion to get Danvers out of danger.

The Aakon believe the robot to be a Kree weapon, and focus their fire on it. Cyberex, now claiming to be “Lord of Automatons,” (wasn’t that Quasimodo’s gig?) fights back, but falls to the aliens’ concentrated firepower. Then they catch up to the Kree and the human. Mar-vell holds them off as best as he is able to, but their numbers overwhelm him, and he falls.

captmarvel-11-cWhen they search his body, they find a small book with Kree lettering on it, that reads “Code Z-19” – the Imperial War Code of the Kree! The Aakon are exultant, but before they can run off with their prize, they are startled by the re-appearance of Cyberex. The robot has repaired itself, and determined that the Aakon are allies of Walter Lawson – especially the one holding the book. And so they must all die! (why not use them as bait, as it did with Carol?) The robot kills the Aakon, and then Mar-vell comes to and destroys the robot. Then he locates its self-repair mechanism and destroys that, too.

captmarvel-11-dWhat of Code Z-19? It was just Lawson’s address book. Somehow, at some point, Mar-vell knew he could use the book to trick the robot and the Aakon into fighting each other, so he wrote the Kree letters on the cover. I’m not sure when he had time to do that, or how he had such foresight. “OK, I’ll let the Aakon defeat me – but not kill me – and they will search me instead of making sure I’m dead. Then Cyberex will detect that the book smells like Lawson and use that as a pretext to kill the Aakon. Then I will get my second wind and destroy the robot that was just kicking my butt.”

Mar-vell stumbles away, stunned that his foes killed themselves over a bunch of Earthen phone numbers. Carol chases after him, and up on the Kree ship, Yon-rogg invites Una to come watch as the Earth woman “rewards” Mar-vell. But Una declines the invitation, and the issue comes to a rather abrupt end.

Next: from the cover, it looks like Number One and the Organization return!

  1. the coherency of the plot is … amazing!

  2. Pinkius permalink

    this is what happens when you write yourtself into a corner… doo de doo doot doo♫

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  1. Where I Read: Captain Marvel, Part 10 | Daddy DM

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