By Marc Strom
The Marvels-that would be Ms. Marvel and Captain Marvel, respectively-have seen it all through the decades, even overcoming death itself. But with war clouds on the horizon, can they overcome their greatest challenge yet and prove they don't have any green-tinted, pointy-eared skeletons hiding in their closets?
Recently, writer Brian Reed put a few Skrugly wrinkles in both heroes' lives as the impending Secret Invasion continues ramping into overdrive. While Tony Stark, the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. himself, has come to believe that Ms. Marvel leads a double-life as an infiltrator for the shape-shifting Skrulls, Captain Marvel came face to face with one of the alien sleeper agents who brought the nature of Mar-Vell's recent return from the "dead" into question.
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For Ms. Marvel, aka Carol Danvers, Stark's suspicions couldn't come at a worse time, as the accusations thrown against her can only serve to tarnish her newly-minted reputation. But what could possibly make Stark turn against the leader of his team of Avengers?
"As [MS. MARVEL #25] opens we see that he has security footage of Carol walking around Stark Tower while Ms. Marvel was on Monster Island, fighting the Brood," Reed remarks. "Since none of Ms. Marvel's powers allow her to be in two places at once..."
The only constant throughout Carol's life has always been change. Since her debut in 1967, our heroine has gone through a plethora of identities and supporting casts, and next month's landmark anniversary issue, hitting stores March 26, promises more of the same as plotlines begin to come to a head.
"Issues 25, 26, [and] 27 all encompass the worst night of Carol's life," Reed explains. "At the end of that night, she does something
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she's going to regret. The very next day, the Skrull invasion begins and Carol finds her purpose in life. She finds what she's needed all along to pull herself up by her bootstraps and really become the person she's wanted to be all along."
MS. MARVEL #25 also features the debut of new regular artist Adriana Melo, and Reed has nothing but praise for his new collaborator:
"Adriana is incredible. She brings it all to the table, drawing a gorgeous Carol Danvers and amazingly scary looking Skrulls. There's a big moment in #25-something that shocks Carol to the core-and when I saw Adriana's art for that moment, I knew the fans were going to love her. She nailed that moment 100% and has gone on to do simply amazing things with all her pages."
While Carol deals with all that, her former lover, Captain Marvel, begins to "question a few things" in light of his confrontation with a Skrull claiming to have answers about his dubious reincarnation.
Found time-displaced in the Negative Zone during CIVIL WAR, Captain Marvel's memory has seen better days, leaving the question of how he wound up in the Zone unanswered. Could his sudden reappearance be tied to the Secret Invasion?
"The final two issues of CAPTAIN MARVEL will drive people crazy as they try to piece together those exact answers," says Reed. "By the end of #5 though, it will all make sense and it will all fall into place."
Beyond that, Reed promises that fans can expect the Marvels to encounter one another "in CAPTAIN MARVEL #4 when [Carol] is called upon to help with a situation created by Mar-Vell," while MS. MARVEL #25 features a trip down memory lane with "a Carol/Mar-Vell adventure we've never even heard about [before], which happened back in the days that Carol was still a security chief at NASA."
Reed stresses that fans will not want to miss either of the "Secret Invasion" tie-ins.
"They're huge," the writer teases. "I seriously don't want to oversell it, so I won't... but MS. MARVEL shows us a side of the invasion that won't be seen in the other
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books. CAPTAIN MARVEL shows us... well, you have to stick around to find out."
When Ms. Marvel and Captain Marvel discover the architects behind their troubles, will the Skrulls be able to shape shift their way out of our heroes' paths? And what could they possibly gain by framing both the Marvels as Skrulls? The answers to those questions will have to wait for now, but be sure to check out CAPTAIN MARVEL #4, on sale March 19, and MS. MARVEL #25 on March 26 to see what happens as the drums of war grow ever louder throughout the Marvel Universe.
Get caught up with MS. MARVEL at Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited.