Posted - May 29, 2013 | Updated: August 22, 2015
Civil War: Ms. Marvel
Throughout the superhero Civil War, Ms. Marvel was one of the staunchest supporters of Pro-Registration. She was not one of the thought leaders like Stark, Richards and Pym. Rather, she was a loyal foot soldier and enforcer. Considering her power levels, super foot soldier would be a more fitting description. Given the seven issue limit of the Civil War series coupled with the breadth of the story it was attempting to cover, we see very little of Ms. Marvel outside of some spectacular action shots. Here in Civil War : Ms. Marvel we are afforded a closer look - and an opportunity to find out that things are not what they seem.
The story starts with Ms. Marvel in her role as enforcer for the Superhuman Registration Act. We go with her as she takes down one time Spider-Man villain now hero, the Prowler.
See those handly little folders at the bottom? They contain capsule information about whatever mask is featured in the panels and they'll be popping up all over as the story progresses. I love them; little capsule Marvel Universe stats.
The next day we join Ms. Marvel for a meeting at Avengers Tower with Tony, Wonder Man and Arachne (aka Spider-Woman II). Simon (Wonder Man) and Carol are given the task of tracking down Araña, definitely my pick for ugliest hero costume ever (but more on that later).
Now it gets interesting as Arachne is revealed to be a secret anti-Registration supporter, but more than that, she is having an affair with one of the coolest Marvel characters ever - the Shroud.
He's not a very powerful hero, sort of like a male version of DC's Shadow Lass but I read a couple of issues of Marvel Team-Up that had the Shroud sharing story space with Doc Doom, the Vision and, of course, Spider-Man. This guy has a great costume, fearless attitude and there's an air of mystery about him. Definitely a great character.
Eventually the pair are found out and we get a great one page pinup shot of them trying to escape
Less we forget whose comic this is, here's a great shot of Carol with the Brooklyn Bridge in the background.
Ms. Marvel and Wonder-Man can't find a lone girl hero flying around Brooklyn (duh!) so they stop at a fast food joint called Chicken Cow.
While they're inside, somebody tries to rob the store.
What are the chances of something like this really happening? In our reality, almost nil. Most people will go to their graves without ever encountering a gun crime. In the Marvel universe it happens all the time, I mean who robs fast food joints? Anyway, I wouldn't mind crime as long as I had super powers. Let's see, these clowns are done. Ms. Marvel alone could take them but we also have Simon here. And, surprise, surprise : Araña.
So now do you agree with me she has the ugliest hero costume ever? (These days Araña a.k.a. Anya Corazon changed her name to Spider-Girl and, best of all, she changed the costume to match Spidey's black getup).
Through Araña we get to see the Superhuman Registration Act in action as it brings in would-be heroes - the younger set - and trains them. It's pretty tough : Everyday after school then the entire weekend.
Meanwhile Arachne and the Shroud make good their escape by robbing some guy of his clothes and his car.
So its the two hunters, Ms.Marvel and Wonder Man, against the two fugitives, Arachne and the Shroud. Those who tend to side with the underdog will side with the Shroud's group and there's plenty of tension with that choice. The power imbalance is almost ridiculous. Both Carol and Simon are what? Class 100? Ms. Marvel has Kree-altered DNA that gives her an awesome package of flight, strength, invulnerability and energy bursts while Wonder Man is a zombie powered by ionic energy. So its just a matter of time but its still fun to watch, like this brilliant moment when Arachne smashes Ms. Marvel against some freeway railings with a car.
And this classic Shroud "darkness" counter attack against Wonder Man.
In the end, the Shroud gets taken in and Arachne escapes.
During Shroud's interrogation, Carol gets emotional about her side of the Civil War.
The team finally tracks Arachne to her parents' house and goes into attack.
That's Julia's father in the foreground of this excellent panel shot.
Considering that Arachne is up against two class 100s she's bound to fail but, in the interim, she does very well. Look at this attack against Wonder Man.
The whole affair ends with this terrible scene of Julia being separated from her daughter.
The effect on Araña is traumatic.
But not just on the young hero. For the first time we see the Pro-Registration Act super soldier question herself.
It goes back to what the Shroud said during his interrogation.
What is best and what is right. What do you think? I think that every law ought to be judged in this light. That said, I'm the type to follow laws until matters of family or friends, loyalty to whom I consider 'right'- above any law.
Next, Carol has an unexpected visit from Rogue. Excellently rendered in this panel by penciler Roberto dela Torre who turns over art duties to the late, great Mike Weiringo
So what's this new story arc about? It's the mystery of the two Ms. Marvels
In order to get answers Rogue and Ms. Marvel head over to the X-Mansion and to Hank McCoy.
It is soon established the we have a Ms. Marvel from an alternate dimension - this Ms. Marvel still calls herself Warbird.From this point on its Carol vs Carol
It's a long, drawn out Marvel style fight except for the panel below.
The rendering of this panel reminds me on an Archie comic. For a moment there, those two combatants weren't Ms. Marvel and Warbird. They were Betty and Veronica. The trigger for me is the very 'Archie' way Warbird is running.
Rogue keeps bursting into flames in this arc.
I wonder who's powers she absorbed?
In the end, the "fake" Ms. Marvel goes down with some damage from the "real" Ms. Marvel. The page-sized panel really brings out the details of the Warbird costume.