Witness the Avengers Battle the Enemy Within

Kelly Sue DeConnick sheds light on the greatest test Captain Marvel has faced to date!

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Avengers Assemble #16 preview art by Matteo Buffagni

By Andrew Wheeler

Since taking on the mantle of Captain Marvel, Carol Danvers has worked hard to prove herself as one of the premiere super heroes in the Marvel Universe. In the Enemy Within storyline weaving between CAPTAIN MARVEL and AVENGERS ASSEMBLE by writer Kelly Sue DeConnick and artists Scott Hepburn and Matteo Buffagni, Carol finds her confidence tested like never before as she faces a lesion on her brain that could see her permanently grounded even while facing torment at the hands of an old foe.

The Enemy Within launched earlier this month and continues in June’s AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #16 and CAPTAIN MARVEL #13. According to DeConnick, the title has a triple meaning:

Avengers Assemble #16 preview art by Matteo Buffagni

“[It refers to] Carol fighting her own worst tendencies [and] her own insecurities; the actual lesion in her brain and the enemy who's ‘gotten in her head.’”

The external threat comes from Kree officer Yon-Rogg, a rival of the original Captain Marvel who seemingly died in the accident that gave Carol her powers. He's been taunting the new Captain from the sidelines for a little while now, but he's not quite the man that Carol remembers.

“Without spoiling too much, I can tell you that he's Yon-Rogg's next evolution,” shares DeConnick. “He's someone who's been in Carol's life before, and someone who holds her up as a symbolic representation of everyone and everything that has wronged him and robbed him of the life and honors he feels he has earned.

“I have some sympathy for him too.  He's a man who's been separated from everything that had any meaning for him. He's a man without a home.”

Avengers Assemble #16 cover by Joe Quinones

The story features art from two rising stars. According to DeConnick, the artists represent two sides of the coin.

“Scott brings grit. Dirty ink washes; brawn,” she explains. “Matteo counters that with grace, elegance. They dance.”

The Avengers side of the story brings in a roster of heroes to help Captain Marvel in her fight, including Spider-Woman, Thor, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Wasp, Falcon, Wolverine, Captain America and Hulk, but she'll also have help from her own supporting cast, including Dakota North, Wendy Kawasaki, and Chewie the cat. She may need all the help she can get.

“[The Enemy Within] ties together a lot of what we've been doing with Carol, plot-wise and thematically,” continues DeConnick. “It challenges her and gives her the opportunity to really put herself on the line as a hero—to really make a bold sacrifice—and then gives me some really fertile ground to spring out of, too.”

For new readers, it's a great opportunity to discover why CAPTAIN MARVEL has inspired such a passionate following among fans who call themselves the Carol Corps. DeConnick finds no mystery in the character's appeal.

Avengers Assemble #16 variant cover by Amanda Conner

“I think people identify with her struggles, honestly,” she says. “She's flawed; she's both insecure and arrogant, she has a short fuse and a giant heart.  I think people see themselves in her anger and her mistakes as much as they see themselves in her love and loyalty, you know?  We all want to be heroes in our own way.  I think her tenacity is as inspiring as her ass-kicking.

“Too cheesy?  Feels true to me.”

The Enemy Within continues in AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #16-17 and CAPTAIN MARVEL #13-14.

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