CAPTAIN MARVEL VI: Page 10 of 14


In the immediate aftermath of the invasion, Carol found herself at Jessica Jones' side. Jessica was horrified when she learned the Avengers' butler Jarvis was one of the Skrull captives, meaning she left her daughter back at Avengers Tower with a Skrull. Ms. Marvel joined forces with the unregistered Avengers to help Luke Cage and Jessica find her baby. This temporary alliance continued due to the unexpected consequences of the Skrull invasion on the Initiative. The failure of StarkTech and S.H.I.E.L.D. was laid completely at Tony Stark's feet and he was ousted as director and head of the Fifty-States Initiative. Meanwhile, Norman Osborn, the allegedly rehabilitated Green Goblin and director of the Thunderbolts, took the shot that killed the Skrull queen. He manipulated that political capital into taking control of the Avengers and the Initiative, rebranding S.H.I.E.L.D. as his new agency H.A.M.M.E.R. When Ms. Marvel was told she would be reporting to Osborn from now on, she flat out refused and smashed her way out of Avengers Tower. From that point onwards, Ms. Marvel had permanently switched sides to act as a fugitive member of the unregistered Avengers. [Dark Avengers (1st series) #1, New Avengers (1st series) #48-49]

Norman Osborn didn't take rejection gracefully, and he began searching for pawns he could put into play to destroy Carol Danvers. Osborn uncovered the old Ascension program and learned Ghazi Rashid was still alive, despite the wounds he suffered during Danvers' escape from his torture chamber. Osborn revived Ascension, a super-powers project with a 78% mortality rate, offering it to Ghazi in exchange for him renewing his personal war with Carol. Ghazi naturally agreed, and miraculously survived Ascension. Carol received notification that Ghazi was alive and Ascension was back in play, meeting up with Rick Mason and the surprisingly alive Michael Rossi at Rossi's gravesite. They resolved to work together and uncover Ghazi's location before bringing down Norman Osborn for his part in it all.

Meanwhile, Ms. Marvel discovered her powers were growing out of control. She had once again achieved Binary levels during the all-out war with the Skrulls in New York, but her powers continued to increase beyond her capacity to contain them. Cru had been correct, and Carol's re-ascendant powers were on the verge of killing her. Carol found herself almost crippled by pain after the invasion as her power levels turned against her. She found she could only protect her health by refraining from using her powers at all.

Fearing that her time was up due to her powers and the events with Ghazi and Osborn, Carol made one last attempt to reconnect with her family. Her emotions of that time in her life were still absent due to Rogue's attack, and she had been maintaining her distance for years. When Joe, Jr. sent a letter telling Carol their father's cancer had turned terminal, Carol finally came to see him. The visit was a mistake, however. Carol still couldn't feel anything towards her father, even on his deathbed, and her presence was painful for her mother, who felt she had lost a daughter years ago yet still had to watch Carol walking around. With nothing resolved in her past, Carol stepped forward to face her future regardless. [Ms. Marvel (2nd series) #31]

Rossi and Mason set Carol up with a new identity as Catherine Donovan, with press credentials and an entire falsified history to hide her from Norman Osborn and his vendetta. In order to learn what they needed, Carol decided to target a C.I.A. asset codenamed Essential. An immortal girl with the ability to draw information out of thin air, she was a legend in the intelligence community. In exchange for everything Essential could find on Norman Osborn, Carol provided her with Stuart Cavenger's technology so Essential's mind would be free to roam even if the C.I.A. kept her body locked down. Spider-Man chanced upon her encounter with the C.I.A. on the Queens docks, and Carol was forced to rely on the web-slinger to help get her data to safety since she couldn't use her powers. In exchange for his help, Spider-Man impulsively asked Ms. Marvel for a date, and she agreed to those terms. [Ms. Marvel (2nd series) #34]

The Essential data got Carol, Rossi and Mason up to speed on Osborn's plans with Ghazi and Ascension. They learned Ghazi was consolidating control over seven major terrorist syndicates in the world. Without confirmation that Ghazi had used Ascension yet or not, they arranged an observe-and-report mission trailing Ghazi from a party in Hong Kong. Unfortunately, Carol's deteriorating condition had an unexpected side effect: her full emotional connection to her memories was restored. And, in that moment, she fully recalled and FELT the experience of being tortured by Ghazi. Unable to maintain her cover, Carol began aggressively using her powers against Ghazi, only to discover Ascension had made him virtually invulnerable.

Carol and Ghazi turned their powers on each other for a running battle through Hong Kong, but the real blow came when Ghazi revealed Michael Rossi had been Vitamin all along, his contact in the CIA about Ascension all those years ago. Rick Mason came to Carol's aid, but it was too late. Ms. Marvel was forced to expel too much energy in order to incapacitate Ghazi, and now her system was raging out of control. She took off into the sky before exploding, killing her while casting her energies to the four corners of the Earth. Mason tracked down and killed Rossi for his role in setting up Carol and Ghazi after that, but nevertheless, Carol was gone. [Ms. Marvel (2nd series) #35-37]

Or was she? A.I.M. had continued with the Storyteller program after Gavin's escape, eventually producing Storyteller 2.0, a collection of fetal children preserved in jars able to channel the same reality-altering abilities. The Storyteller children knew of Ms. Marvel through their connection to Gavin, and they also wished to be free. Their psychic cries reached out to Karla Sofen, Moonstone, also known as the Dark Ms. Marvel of Osborn's current Avengers. However, their reality-bending power also orchestrated Carol Danvers' resurrection. Ms. Marvel came to exist as a set of four separate energy beings, but the entire batch of Storytellers was separated before Carol was fully restored, limiting their powers. Ms. Marvel's independent selves guided the unregistered Avengers into helping her bring all the babies into one location, recovering the Storytellers from Moonstone and different factions of A.I.M. Once they did, the Storytellers allowed Carol Danvers to be fully reformed. [Ms. Marvel (2nd series) #39-41]

Except... not. Harkening back to the original dichotomy between Carol and Ms. Marvel, the Storytellers sensed Carol's conflicting desires to be a warrior and to live an ordinary life. As a result, they resurrected the Kree warrior aspect of Ms. Marvel while casting Carol's "human" side into the identity of writer Catherine Donovan. Ms. Marvel began systematically dismantling Osborn's former Green Goblin hideouts while making her way towards a confrontation with the man himself. Meanwhile, Catherine Donovan of Los Angeles sensed a connection when she saw Ms. Marvel and Dark Ms. Marvel fighting on the news, and flew herself to New York.

Ms. Marvel's power levels fluctuated in relation to her proximity to Catherine. When she first reformed at the A.I.M. base in California, she was nearly unbeatable fighting Moonstone. Back in New York, however, she was disabled by a pumpkin bomb and captured by Osborn and H.A.M.M.E.R. As Catherine drew closer to Avengers Tower, Ms. Marvel became strong enough to escape Osborn's containment. The woman warrior was free, but powerless Catherine was trapped by the Dark Avengers. Moonstone worked out the connection between the two women, and attempted to murder Catherine to weaken Ms. Marvel.

Ms. Marvel separated Moonstone from Catherine, but Osborn found her and killed her anyway. The Storytellers resurfaced, having monitored the situation, and tried to save Catherine by casting her mind into Moonstone's body. Karla asserted control over her own psyche, casting Catherine out and finally back into Ms. Marvel, so that Carol Danvers was truly reborn. The newly whole Ms. Marvel scored a decisive victory over her dark doppelganger, forcibly removing the Moonstone from Karla's body. Although she left the gem where Karla could find it, Carol had proven she was the one true Ms. Marvel. [Ms. Marvel (2nd series) #42-46]

[Note: The timelines for Carol's adventures in New Avengers and Ms. Marvel are virtually incompatible. Ms. Marvel states Carol's powers began killing her during the finale of Secret Invasion, leading to a period of powerlessness, her spy missions and ultimately her death, albeit temporarily. None of this is reflected in New Avengers, which also takes place immediately after Secret Invasion, showing Carol joining the unregistered Avengers and regularly using her abilities, even pushing her limits with displays of power. The Ms. Marvel series also presents her and Spider-Man as relative strangers, where in New Avengers they are teammates and Carol is even one of the few post-One More Day people alerted to Peter Parker's true identity.]

Meanwhile, Ms. Marvel continued working with the unregistered Avengers as active heroes and in opposition to Norman Osborn. With long-time Avenger Clint Barton back in action as Ronin, Carol acted as his second-in-command for the team. Ms. Marvel and the Avengers worked against the Hood and his gang, helped establish Doctor Voodoo as the new Sorcerer Supreme, all while staying one step ahead of Norman Osborn. [New Avengers (1st series) #50-60]

After everything in her personal life calmed down, Ms. Marvel finally made good on her promise to Spider-Man and arranged to go on a date with him. Carol and Peter had a wonderfully awkward dinner together where they realized they had very little in common outside of "work." The attack by H.A.M.M.E.R. agents was almost a relief. Still, a second try at dinner at a favorite New York chilidog vendor ensured a good friendship between the two of them, if nothing else. [Ms. Marvel (2nd series) #47]

The resurrection of Steve Rogers signaled the downfall of Norman Osborn. The Iron Patriot led his dark Avengers and corrupt Initiative in a siege on Asgard over the fields of Oklahoma. Rogers gathered Ms. Marvel, her team of Avengers, and their allies to ride out and defend the Asgardians from Osborn. Carol fought alongside Spider-Man, Captain America and the others as they revealed Osborn for the lunatic he truly was. Rogers was given command of the new S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Initiative resources by the President in the aftermath, and he arranged for the Superhuman Registration Act to be rescinded. Carol and her Avengers were no longer vigilantes, and were allowed to resume their normal lives. [Siege (1st series) #1-4, Siege: Spider-Man #1, New Avengers: Finale #1]

When the Avengers separated into two teams working from the tower and the mansion, Ms. Marvel remained with Luke Cage and his more street-level Avengers unit. [New Avengers (2nd series) #1] She worked alongside the Avengers against various threats such as the attack of Agamotto, the Hood's attempt to reassemble the Infinity Gauntlet and Superia's revival of H.A.M.M.E.R. [New Avengers (2nd series) #1-13, Avengers (4th series) #7-12] During the Serpent War, Ms. Marvel became one of the Mighty, empowered by a battle axe designed by Tony Stark and enchanted by Odin. [Fear Itself #7]

After Norman Osborn escape custody and kick started H.A.M.M.E.R. and a new dark Avengers, Superia returned to act as his Ms. Marvel. Carol squared off against her latest opposite number in the skirmishes that followed, and scored a clear win over "Dark Ms. Marvel" again. [New Avengers (2nd series) #19-23]

When the Phoenix Force approached Earth, Ms. Marvel was made part of an Avengers unit that went into space to prevent the cosmic entity's arrival. Their initial attempt failed in the vicinity of Hala, leading the Avengers to set down on the Kree homeworld for repairs. Relatives of Captain Mar-Vell named Minister Marvel and the Marvel Mind hoped to use the Phoenix Force to uplift the Kree as a race. They resurrected Mar-Vell with a fragment of the M'Kraan Crystal and used special Kree brain wave frequencies to guide him, Ms. Marvel and Protector into working against the Avengers. They failed, but the Phoenix Force had already been redirected towards Hala. To defeat the creature, Carol attempted to reawaken her Binary powers, but fell short of success. In the end, Carol had to watch Mar-Vell sacrifice himself, returning the fragment of the Phoenix's power that restored him so the entity would abandon Hala as a target. [Avengers vs. X-Men #1-5, Secret Avengers (1st series) #26-28, Avengers (4th series) #26-27]

After the Phoenix Force reached Earth and empowered a quintet of X-Men as the Phoenix Five, the Avengers and X-Men were at odds again. Although the Phoenix Five were improving the Earth with their god-like powers, the Avengers felt it was only a matter of time before they forgot their humanity. Ms. Marvel attempted to approach Rogue and convince her of this, but the suspicious Southern Belle attacked first. A kernel of doubt was planted however and, when Rogue saw Magik intended to incarcerate Carol in a Hell-like fragment of Limbo she had brought to Earth, Rogue realized the truth. Rogue fought her way into the Limbo prison to rescue Ms. Marvel, and the two women fought side-by-side. Rogue's attempt failed and she was punished by Magik, but the other Avengers eventually did succeed in freeing Carol. [Avengers vs. X-Men #9, X-Men Legacy (1st series) #269-270]