By Marc Strom
Welcome to another installment of Secret Invasion Illumination, True Believer, your inside source to the various key players from the mega-event spinning through the SECRET INVASION limited series itself as well as MIGHTY AVENGERS, NEW AVENGERS and many more of Marvel's top titles!
Recently, Captain Marvel-or rather, the Skrull impersonating Captain Marvel-went on the warpath against his alien brethren, finally meeting his fate in the pages of SECRET INVASION #6, encountering Marvel Boy in his dying moments.
And on October 15, the Marvels get their very own spotlight issue in MIGHTY AVENGERS #19, revealing the characters' larger roles in one of this year's biggest stories.
Before that, though, we've got the full lowdown on each character, as well as hints from Executive Editor Tom Brevoort as to what the future holds.
A Hero of Two Worlds
One-time member of the Kree militia, Mar-Vell became sympathetic to the humans he infiltrated on a covert mission, and when a Kree robot Sentry endangered the lives of a number of humans, he had no choice but to break from his own race in order to defend his adopted people.
Eventually gaining "cosmic awareness," giving him a degree of omniscience, Captain Marvel became the protector of the universe, responsible for maintaining justice throughout the cosmos.
Tragically, however, Mar-Vell's exposure to a nerve-gas called "Compound 13" during a battle with Nitro eventually led the Kree-born to develop cancer. The hero known as Captain Marvel died on the planet Titan, surrounded by friends and family.
While he seemingly returned during "Civil War," this Captain Marvel soon learned of his identity as a Skrull sleeper-agent named Khn'nr. However, the Skrulls did too good a job of convincing him he truly was Captain Marvel, and Khn'nr died defending Earth against the invading Skrull armada.
Stranded on a World He Doesn't Even Like
Noh-Varr, a Kree ensign stranded on Earth when his ship crashed, didn't quite take to his new home the way Mar-Vell did. Declaring a war on the entire planet, Marvel Boy came into conflict with menaces such as Hexus, the sentient corporation, and Dr. Midas, a scientist bent on gaining super powers through exposure to cosmic rays.
Afterwards, agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. brought him into custody and imprisoned him in the Cube, a secret prison for some of the most dangerous villains in the Marvel U. His captors brainwashed the native Kree into attacking the Young Avengers and Runaways, only to have their plan backfire with Marvel Boy taking control of his former prison.
Now, with the Cube as the capital city of his "new Kree Empire," Marvel Boy has found himself embroiled in the Skrulls' invasion after the aliens intrude upon his fortress.
And Then the Skrulls Invaded
According to MIGHTY AVENGERS editor Tom Brevoort, the main difference between the real Captain Marvel and his Skrull impersonator seems pretty self-evident.
"Well, the real Mar-Vell is dead," the editor jokes. "But the Skrull impostor's conundrum does raise some interesting questions about nature vs. nurture. If he believes himself to be Mar-Vell, and acts in the way Mar-Vell would have acted, what is the difference?"
While Brevoort remains mum on how Captain Marvel's story will follow up on his limited series from writer Brian Reed earlier this year, the executive editor notes that MIGHTY AVENGERS #19 will "directly" pick up the story from that series.
Bringing Marvel Boy back into the fold just as another Captain Marvel made his exit serves a larger purpose in Brevoort's eyes.
"It's the same thinking that went into using the Sentry and the Hood," the editor reveals. "There are a number of really good, really interesting characters that get introduced in the Marvel Universe that end up sinking into obscurity due as much as anything to people who aren't those characters' creators being afraid to touch those characters.
"Noh-Varr was a cool character, with an interesting backstory. He was great raw materials to play with and see if we couldn't elevate."
Marvel Boy's story in his upcoming spotlight issue will pick up on elements previously established in "Secret Invasion."
"It'll expand on stuff we've already seen both in SECRET INVASION and the SECRET INVASION: WHO DO YOU TRUST one-shot," Brevoort confirms.
Finally, Noh-Varr's encounter with the dying Captain Marvel will have lasting repercussions.
"It'll have a profound effect on Noh-Varr and set him up for what's to come with him down the line," teases Brevoort.
MIGHTY AVENGERS #19 infiltrates stores on October 15. For more Captain Marvel, check out Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited.