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Where I Read: Captain Marvel, Part 15

May 31, 2017

Captain Marvel #13 (cover date May ’69)

“Traitors or Heroes?” by Gary Friedrich (w), Frank Springer (p), and Vince Colletta (i). It’s not a good sign when you get an entirely new creative team mid-story. Gary Friedrich would go on to co-create the 70’s Ghost Rider and Son of Satan. Frank Springer had a long career in comics and comic strips, but for whatever reason – rush job? – the art here is even worse than #11.

The opening page is the cover to a recent Time Magazine (50₵, cover date March 6th, 196-), which features pictures of both Captain Marvel and Dr. Walter Lawson. A banner reads: “Traitors or Heroes?” I suppose stealing the United States’ first manned rocket to the Moon would be big news! We are also informed via the narrator that the FBI is “desperately” searching for both men.

And yet… guess where Mar-vell is? In his hotel room, still dressed as Dr. Lawson. If I were the FBI, that would be the first damn place I looked! Mar-vell reviews recent events for our benefit, from Una’s death to his battle with the Man-Slayer. Except in this telling, the powers granted to our man of the Kree by the cosmic entity known only as Zo enabled him to beat the giant robot, instead of the reality – that the Man-Slayer was about to coup de grace Mar-vell before it lost power (thanks to the unknown actions of the Black Widow). Retcon or just wishful thinking on our hero’s part?

Mar-vell dons glasses and a big bushy beard so that he won’t be recognized. “I don’t know where I will go… but I must escape… and survive long enough to gain my revenge on Yon-rogg!” DUDE. You can teleport anywhere in the universe!!! Last issue you found Yonny and said you could destroy his space-ship like it was nothing! (although I doubt that claim now after getting beat down by the Man-Slayer) No one can stop you from surviving or from getting your revenge! DO IT ALREADY! Why are they dragging this out? It’s not a new direction if you keep on doing the same old stuff!

Instead, our hero hears a radio broadcast that the Man-Slayer is rampaging around the Cape again, and so he dons his Kree uniform and races off to save the day. Ugh. Although the Earthmen consider him an enemy, his “bond” with them is “too strong” for him to not help out, he reasons. Maybe he’s just procrastinating? I know when I have a task I don’t want to do, I will find all sorts of other jobs that “must” be taken care of first.

The Man-Slayer is actually not immediately hostile; it has power but no instructions. But when Mar-vell attacks it, it fights back. Mar-vell is forced to run when the soldiers join the fight against him, and figures the only safe place he can go is Yon-rogg’s ship, which is still in orbit around Earth (weirdly, last issue it was flying through space to parts unknown). Uh, how is that a safe place? But there’s a shield around the vessel (the aura of negativism, maybe?) which blocks his teleportation.

By the way, what happened to that whole thing with the Black Widow and the Man-Slayer’s unseen operator from last issue? She was taken captive last issue, and now… nothing.

But guess what! The Kree spaceship, the Helion (I think they used that name for all of one issue), is being resupplied, which means there’s an opening in the shield. Mar-vell sneaks on board and confronts Colonel Yon-rogg. Despite all of his Zo-granted powers, Mar-vell doesn’t even put up a fight as Yonny beats the stuffing out of him. All the while Yon-rogg rants about how he’s the victim and how once Mar-vell is dead, he will bring Una back to life and she will be his wife. Is it madness, wonders Mar-vell, or is there some way to restore his beloved? Alas, we won’t ever find out, because on a nearby screen we see the Man-Slayer menacing Carol Danvers down on Earth. Mar-vell lunges for a lever that lowers the boom (literally) on Yon-rogg, knocking him out. Mar-vell doesn’t kill his unconscious foe, despite that supposedly being his SOLE REASON FOR EXISTENCE right now, because… he just doesn’t, no real reason. Instead he grabs the “lasonic disintegrater” [sic] and teleports back to the missile base. Allow me to repeat: Ugh.

Carol is being held by the Man-Slayer, and Mar-vell doesn’t want to shoot for fear of hitting her. “Forgive me, Carol! I would rather die than harm you, but hundreds of lives are at stake! So I must act!” Carol is okay with that: “What happens to me doesn’t matter… now that I know you care!” UGH. Mar-vell shoots, grazes the Man-Slayer, turns the gun’s setting to maximum power, shoots again, and severs its power cable. All’s well that ends well, right? But wait! Carol forgot that Captain Marvel is wanted for treason! “How can I have you arrested,” she asks, “when you just saved my life?”

Next: please, God, let this be over soon. No, wait, he’s going to fight Iron Man.

  1. Wow. Eugh is right!

  2. Pinkius permalink


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  1. Where I Read: Captain Marvel, Part 14 | Daddy DM

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