Captain Marvel (8th series) #1

Issue Date: 
March 2016
Story Title: 
Rise of the Alpha Flight, part one

Michele Fazekas & Tara Butters (writers), Kris Anka (artist), Matthew Wilson (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Joe Caramagna (letterer), Kris Anka (cover artist), Adam Hughes; Mark Bagley, Drew Hennessy, Frank Martin; Kris Anka & Marguerite Sauvage (variant cover artists), Chrarles Beacham (assistant editor), Sana Amanat (editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

Arriving at the Triskelion before departing to the new Alpha Flight Space Station where she has taken a two year command, Carol Danvers meets with War Machine, who has come to say goodbye to her. He gives her some advice about being a leader, and Carol tells him to make sure he comes and visits. As she is transported space-ward, Carol contemplates the decision she has made to head the Alpha Flight Space Station. Upon arrival, she is met by Puck, who along with Aurora and Sasquatch, is based on the AFSS. Abigail Brand is Carol's deputy, and the two immediately clash, with Brand very by-the-book. She starts to give Carol a tour of the station, and Carol discovers Rocket Racoon attempting to steal a nuclear warhead, along with other equipment. Rocket teases Carol for taking this job, which he tells her is essentially a desk job. Carol's first appointment puts her and Brand in discussions with the alien delegation Eridani, who had been contracted to remove the AFSS waste, but are now demanding more money. When Carol learns of an impending asteroid collision, she leaves the meeting in the hands of Brand. Carol confronts the large asteroid heading towards the AFSS, while Puck, Aurora and Sasquatch support her in fighter jets. They successfully blast their way through the threatening asteroid, and later in the locker room, Carol bonds with her new team, before Lt Wendy Kawasaki, a science officer aboard the AFSS, reveals to Carol a mystery surrounding the asteroid, which was recently in the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, leading Carol to think someone sent the asteroid to destroy them. She is kept awake by this mystery, so goes to the gym, where she finds Puck working out. They discuss Carol's new job and Puck reveals to her that Brand was offered the job but turned it down, before Lt Kawasaki contacts them, revealing that she has found and alien ship on an image of the asteroid. Carol believes the Eridani are responsible, and orders them taken into custody. Brand isn't sure about this, and she and Carol have a brief debate, before sensors pick up an alien vessel approaching the AFSS. Carol and Alpha Flight head out to investigate what appears to be some sort of ancient warship, and it attacks them. Carol manages to break into the ship, where she finds skeletons floating in one of the rooms, and a bloodied and scratched panel with the starburst that she wears on her costume on it, too.

Full Summary: 

'Is it weird that I'm choosing this moment to take stock of my life?' Carol Danvers a.k.a. Captain Marvel asks herself as she hovers in space, flanked by three Alpha Flight jets, and staring towards the massive meteor cluster that is moving towards them, she decides that, yeah, it probably iis. 'Got a visual. Here they come. Time to impact: Three minutes' one of the pilots in the Alpha Flight Jets reports. 'Leave the big ones to me' Carol responds via communicator. She has realized about herself is something quite simple – it is not that she is a violent person, just that some things really, really need punching. She pulls an arm back, fist ready, and lets loose with a powerful punch, splintering the large meteor into shards. 'And I am very good at punching things' Carol decides. The Alpha Flight jets are not piloted by just anyone – but by three long-serving members of Canada's Alpha Flight, now residing at the Alpha Flight Space Station. 'Woo-hoo! Like bulls-eyeing womp rats in a... wait, what's the line?' Eugene Milton Judd a.k.a. Puck remarks as he darts his jet between the meteors. 'Puck, Your three o'clock. Watch it' one of the others tells him. 'Cut the chitchat and pay attention, will you?' Jeanne-Marie Beaubier a.k.a. Aurora declares inside her jet. 'I will do that. For you, Aurora' comes the reply.

Carol thinks that there is a simplicity in this, an elegance. Everything is black and white. 'Captain – your six!' one of the Alphans calls out as a meteor approaches Carol from behind. 'The vectors are getting harder to predict. They're riccocheting' Dr Walter Langkowski a.k.a. Sasquatch remarks from inside his jet. Captain Marvel instructs Alpha Flight to pull back a little, and tells herself that even when you are getting clobbered, at least you know where you stand. 'Danvers, three o'clock!' someone shouts from inside their jet. A large, fiery meteor looms over Carol, who decides that gray areas are not her thing. She prefers black and white – usually. 'Captain! Get out of there!' someone shouts, as Carol realizes that this might have been a really bad idea.

The Triskelion, where Carol is approaching the main entrance, duffel bag slung over her shoulder, she looks up as a voice calls out 'Don't tell me that's all you're bringing' and sees War Machine dropping down towards her. A few minutes later, War Machine is in his military duds, and as Lt James Rhodes, he walks alongside Carol, who smiles and tells him that this is the  good news about the haircut, and that she is super low-maintenance now. Rhodey rubs his own head and tells Carol that he wants her to take a look at his hairstyle, because if he was deploying for two years, he would sure as hell bring more than a backpack. 'I'll do laundry' Carol responds.

As they approach a door marked “Aerolith”, Rhodey tells Carol that he is surprised she took this gig. 'Didn't really think I could turn it down' Carol replies. 'I would've' Rhodey points out. 'Oh, honey, you are terrible at pep talks' Carol smirks. Rhodey explains that he has enough headaches on this planet, and so he doesn't need to leave the atmosphere for more, before reminding Carol that she has been a member of a team, but now she is going to be the coach – it's different. 'Good. Different is what I want' Carol replies.

Entering the Aerolith bay, they approach the massive Aerolith, and Rhodey tells Carol not to get him wrong, that he isn't saying she can't do it. 'Oh, no, why would I think you're saying that?' Carol asks. 'I'm just worried you won't like it' Rhodey explains. 'Does that matter?' Carol asks him. 'Does being happy matter? Yeah. Little bit' Rhodey declares. He touches a control panel outside the Aerolith and tells Carol that his advice to her is, in the field you have to make fast decisions, snap judgments, but a gig like this, doesn't always serve. 'Think before I swing?' Carol asks. 'Something like that' Rhodey tells her, before Carol steps into the orange Aerolith. 'You know, you don't have to exile yourself. You're the only one who can fly back down any time you want' Rhodey adds. Carol tells him that it is not exile, it's commitment. 'You can always come up and visit' she adds. 'I might just do that. Going up?' Rhodey responds, before there is a DING! And a panel at the top of the Triskelion opens, and the Aerolith propels Carol skwyward. She knows that Rhodey is worried that she won't like it. 'Aw, Rhodey loves me' Carol thinks to herself, smiling as she is pushed further and further into space.

'Two years on a space station in geostationary orbit, 250 kilometers above the Earth's surface. What's not to like?' Carol wonders. She decides that it sounds crazy, but she is not lying when she says she didn't feel like she could turn it down. They are calling it Earth's first line of defense. She sees the space station ahead of her, and admits that she likes being on a team, but more than that, she likes a mission, a purpose – and the best way to fight threats against the galaxy, is making sure they never get there. The Aerolith connects to the Alpha Flight Space Station (AFSS) which gleams under the glowing sun, and Carol thinks that she is not going to sit still for long – not when you can get a view like this! As the Aerolith opens in some sort of hangar bar, Carol decides that a couple of years out of the spotlight isn't a bad thing, and that it will be nice to be normal for a while. There is another DING, and the Aerolith opens into the hangar bay. 'Or at least... my version of normal' Carol tells herself.

Suddenly a voice calls out, 'Attention, Alpha Flight! Officer on deck!' 'Sir, yes, Sir!' several AFSS crew members respond as they stand to attention and raise their hand to their head, saluting. 'Oh. Boy' Carol mutters as a short figure rushes towards her. 'Eugene Judd. People call me -' the diminutive Alphan begins, as Carol shakes his hand, 'Puck. Glad to work with you' Carol replies, adding that this is quite the welcoming committee, as crew members take selfies and photos of Carol.

Puck smiles and explains that everyone is just excited to meet her. He tells Carol to come on so he can give her the tour, but, 'That'll have to wait' a voice declares, and Puck gives side-eye to Abigail Brand, Alpha Flight Lt Commander, who walks towards he and Carol. 'Our celebrity is late for a meeting with the Eridani delegation' Brand remarks, before welcoming Commander Danvers to the Alpha Flight Space Station. 'Abigail Brand. Please call me Carol. Thanks for having me aboard' Carol responds. Brand just scowls back at Carol and replies 'Don't thank me. This orbiting tin can isn't my problem. It's yours'. Puck looks up at Carol and asks her if, before she goes, he could bug her for an autograph, claiming that it is for his sister. There is silence, and Puck admits that it is for him, as he holds up a pen and pad to Carol.

Carol follows Brand along a walkway, where various AFSS crew members go about their business, and Brand informs Carol that the Eridani contracted to do all the waste removal for the station. 'We're up and running and suddenly they want to negotiate'. Examining her surroundings, Carol notices the various facilities around her: 'Spa. Gym. Meditation Room?' she asks, surprised, before looking over to a large tree, surrounded by water, where Sasquatch sits in a meditative state. 'You have got to be kidding me' Carol remarks. 'Captain. Are you bully appreciating the importance of this negotiation?' Brand snaps as she strides purposefully onwards. 'None of these rooms were in the original specs. When diid this station become a resort?' Carol asks. Brand explains that they are necessary upgrades. 'Deploying for years away from family and friends and home – that's hard on normal people' she declares, before turning back to Carol and gritting her teeth, scowls at her and remarks that as someone at the top of the command structure, she would expect that Carol understands that. 'Aw, Brand hates me' Carol decides. As a crew members approaches Brand and hands her some documentation to sign, Carol notices a hover-platform loaded with equipment being moved down another corridor.

'Danvers! What's shaking?' Rocket Raccoon asks as he pushes the hover-platform along. 'First day on the job' Carol explains. 'Ah. Sorry. Hate first days' Rocket remarks, before asking for a little help. He explains that he and the Guardians of the Galaxy are on a pit-stop before they deploy, and just needed some supplies. 'So you're stealing a bunch of stuff?' Carol asks. 'No. No – well, yeah' Rocket responds. One of the large pieces of equipment has a radioactive sign on it, and Carol picks it up with one hand, and tells Rocket that he knows she likes him, but that as Commander of this station, she feels that she can't let him steal a nuke. 'Commander?  Of  the whole shebang? No kidding. Weird' Rocket replies. 'What's so weird?' Carol asks as she walks alongside Rocket, who tells her that he is just surprised, is all. 'Captain Marvel takes a desk job. Aren't you gonna be bored?' he asks. 'It's not a desk job' Carol explains as they approach the cargo hold. 'Sure, whatever. Just seems like you should be out kicking butt with us, not locked up in a floating crockpot' Rocket remarks, before Abigail Brand walks over to them and informs Captain Marvel that the delegation is waiting in the conference room. Carol frowns, while Rocket smiles and calls back 'Desk job'.

Soon, Carol and Brand sit at one end of a long table in a meeting room, where thje alien Eridani delegation sit at the other. '- included are all forms of organic, inorganic, non-biodegradable, and / or other specimens at 75 units per cubic meter, graduating to 100 units per cubic meter after you exceed 10,000 square meters -' one of the delegation declares. Carol thinks that she is going to kill Rocket, and after that, she is going to kill Rhodey. '- in the event that radiation levels of industrial waste exceed 50 microsieverts -' the delegation continues, while Carol closes her eyes and covers part of her face with one of her hands. 'The great Captain Marvel, talking about garbage' she thinks to herself, before one of the delegation asks if they are boring her. Brand frowns at Carol, while one of the delegation asks if she would prefer the Alpha Flight Space Station be as polluted as that planet she calls home. 'Excuse me?' Carol responds, to which Brand informs the delegation that Captain Marvel has just arrived and is acclimating to her new position. 'Please don't be offended by her behavior' Brand asks the delegation.

Carol stands up and exclaims 'You know what's offensive? Getting gouged on services that had been pre-negotiated a year ago. Nice to see the trash business in space is mobbed up, too -', to which Brand interrupts her: 'Danvers!' she declares. 'How dare you suggest -' one of the Eridani begins, standing up. 'See? I was listening' Carol smirks at Brand, when a crew member enters the conference room, and informs Captain Marvel that sensors have detected a massive asteroid collision and that debirs will be in range in less than twenty minutes. 'Ensign, your timing is impeccable' Carol replies. 'Captain, the Alpha Flight can handle it. You are needed here -' Brand begins, but Carol walks away from the conference table, telling Brand that she can handle this. 'Besides, he likes you better' Carol adds, before calling out 'Alpha Flight... assemble'.

'Captain, get out of there! Captain!' one of the Alphans calls out as the flaming asteroid looms over Carol. Carol thinks that if she goes out now, at least she knows al there is to know about waste management. 'OOFF!' she mutters as the asteroid slaims against her, while a smaller one appears behind her. 'Captain, on your six!' Aurora calls out via the communicator, but Sasquatch responds that he is on it, and blasts the smaller one. 'Nice save, Sasquatch!' someone calls out, while another asks if they can see Carol. 'Heads up, I got this' Carol assures her team as she uses her might to force the asteroid backwards, then hurls it towards the sun. 'Well now I just feel like she's showing off' Puck calls out from his jet. 'Sensors look clear. Nothing bigger than a breadbox anymore' one of the Alphans reports. Carol smiles, 'Good work, Alpha Flight' she declares.

Soon, Carol, Sasquatch, Aurora and Puck are in a locker room cleaning off. 'That was a nice shot, Walt. Saved my tail' Carol tells Sasquatch as she sits on a bench. Sasquatch is at a locker and tells her that he couldn't let her do all the work. Puck steps out of one of the shower cubicles and tells Captain Marvel that she should check them out. 'The rain feature is delightful' he adds. Carol glances back at Judd and tells him that she will, as she has meteor dust in every crevice. 'Well, let me know if you need help with that' Puck replies. 'Very kind of you, Eugene' Carol tells him as she starts to remove her costume. 'You're a cretin' Aurora snaps at Puck. One of the Alphans then asks Captain Marvel, who is standing under the hot water in one of the shower cubicles, if she will be joining them on every mission. 'I thought you'd be more command than out in the field'. 'I have no intention of sitting behind a desk for two years. And guys, call me Carol' Carol responds, when suddenly, 'Captain Marvel?' a voice calls out. Carol looks past the steam and over the top of the cubicle to see Science Officer Lieutenant Wendy Kawasaki standing in the locker room. Wendy apologizes for intruding, before explaining that she has been looking into the asteroid collision and that she found some troubling readings. 'Define troubling' Carol replies. 'There was no collision' Wendy reveals.

Shortly, Carol and Wendy stand in a room with a large space map illuminated before them. Wendy taps at some controls and reports that she has looked at every known asteroid in the system to see which one is, well, gone, and highlights one identified as 16 Sars – or at least it was called that. Wendy informs Carol that it was 300 kilometers in diameter, up until recently, and it was in the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. 'So how'd it get all the way over here?' Carol asks. Wendy replies that she doesn't know, and adds that it is impossible. She explains that when you track back the vectors and angle,s it seems like it spontaneously exploded – which doesn't normally happen. Carol asks Leiutentant Kawasaki if she believes they were attacked, to which Wendy exclaims 'Oh, I'm not – I'm just a science person. I might not even be right. Anyway – who would want to do that?' she asks. 'That's a question that's gonna keep me up tonight' Carol replies, before putting a hand on Wendy's shoulder and telling her to get some shut-eye. 'In the morning, gather whatever data you can and report back to me. Great work, Wendy' Carol adds, and Wendy smiles.

At 0200 hours, in Carol's quarters, Carol lies in the middle of her bed and stares at the ceiling – she knows she has jinxed herself, so gets out of bed and walks down a corridor. She hears a CLUNK noise coming from one of the rooms, and enters a gym, where she finds Puck on the bench press, with very heavy weights attached to the bar above him. 'Would've thought twelve rounds with an asteroid field would've tuckered you out, Danvers' Puck remarks. Carol explains that feeling like a sitting duck keeps her awake, before asking Puck if he can't sleep either. Puck pushes the weights up and reveals that he doesn't sleep usually – a side effect of being bite-sized, everything hurts. 'That's awful. I'm sorry' Carol tells him. Puck tells her it is just the way it is, and adds that the bonus of not sleeping is that he gets to take up new hobbies. 'I'll knit the hell out of a scarf for you' he remarks. 'Make it a red one' Carol tells him, before handing him a towel as he sits up, and asks Carol if she is sorry she took this gig yet. 'Takes more than somebody throwing rocks to scare me off. Though Brand would be happy to see me go' Carol replies. 'What makes you say that?' Puck asks. Carol tells him that barely concealed hostility is not usually lost on her. Puck agrees that Brand doesn't do social interactions real well, but that she is squared away, and saved his bacon more than once. 'I don't doubt it. But it's pretty obvious she wanted this job. And they gave it to me' Carol points out. Puck closes his eyes and reveals to the surprised Carol that Brand turned the job down.

Suddenly, Wendy Kawasaki's voice is heard over the communications system, informing Captain Marvel that she found something. Carol and Puck get into their uniforms and join Wendy in the room with the space map, 'Thought I told you to sleep, Wendy' Carol remarks. 'I know, I know. But I got an idea' Wendy replies, bringing up an image of 16 Sars, moments before it exploded. She magnifies a point on the asteroid by fifty times. 'See that white dot? It's an alien ship' Wendy reveals. Puck asks her how she can tell, and Wendy explains that it has an energy signature, and it matches one known alien species in their database. Carol races out of the room, and using the communicator built into her costume, radios security, ordering them to wake up the Eridani delegation, slap some cuffs on them and take them to the detention module. 'Uh... Ma'am?' comes the response. 'You heard me. And don't call me Ma'am' Carol snaps. 'Yessir' the security officer replies over the communicator.

'This is an outrage!' one of the Eridani delegation exclaims from within a holding cell. 'I demand to speak to the highest authority' the alien adds. 'Great news. You're speaking to her' Carol declares as she stands in front of the cell. 'What the hell is this?' Brand calls out as she walks past the three cells holding the Eridani and storms over to Carol, who informs her than an Eridani ship caused the asteroid explosion. 'They're sabotaging us' Carol declares. Brand asks her if she is sure about this, to which Carol tells Brand to go and spea with Kawasaki herself. 'I never argue with science' Carol remarks. One of the delegation informs Captain Marvel that this act is tantamount to a declaration of war. 'I'm not arguing. But you're about to ignite a diplomatic nightmare -' Brand starts to say, when an alarm suddenly sounds. Carol grins, 'And I was worried this was going to be a boring desk job' she reminds herself.

Carol and Brand go to the bridge, where an officer sitting at a console reports that sensors indicate an alien vessel on direct approach. Carol asks if it is an Eridani ship, but the officer tells her that it isn't, and that it doesn't match anything they ever seen. He adds that they are not responding to hails. 'How long before it reaches us?' Brand asks. 'Thirty minutes until firing range' the officer replies. 'Wake up, Alpha Flight' Carol declares.

Shortly, Captain Marvel flies out into space, a platoon of jets following her, as they fly towards a large black vessel, 'Some kind of warship. Looks ancient' someone reports over the communicator. Carol instructs communications to open a line to the warship, before she introduces herself as Commander of the Alpha Flight Space Station. 'Please acknowledge' she declares, but the only response comes in the form of weapons fire, which Carol narrowly avoids. 'So much for diplomacy. Take it out, Alpha Flight!' Carol declares, and the jets open fire at the warship. One of the Alphans informs Carol that the warship appears to be concentrating all of their firepower on her. 'I've noticed...' Carol responds, darting about amongst the weapons fire, Carol flies towards the warship and reports that she will knock out the big guns, try to locate their targeting system. 'Got the array on the stern' one of the Alphans replies, adding that with the targeting destroyed, the vessel is toothless. 'But still moving forward at top speed, heading directly toward the station' someone points out. 'On it' Carol declares as she locates the array on the stern, and tears part of the vessel open.

One of the Alphans reports that the engines are overheating, and Carol suggests that they introduce themselves. But as she opens another panel, 'Whoa!' Carol gasps, as she finds a room with skeletons floating in it. 'This is Brand. What do you see?' Brand calls out over the communicator. Carol looks shocked, 'This doesn't make any sense...' Carol utters as she stares at the inside of the panel she just tore open. 'What is it, Carol? What do you see?' Brand asks again, and Carol looks at a golden starburst symbol – the same that she wears – printed on the panel, only this one has blood stains splattered over it, and scratch marks tearing through it – and utters 'It's... me'.

Characters Involved: 

Captain Marvel VI
Aurora, Puck, Sasquatch (all Alpha Flight)
Lt Cmdr Abigail Brand
Lt Wendy Kawasaki
War Machine
Rocket Raccoon

Alpha Flight Space Station crew
Eridani delegation

Story Notes: 

This series takes place after the 2015 Secret Wars event.

Alpha Flight's last appearance as a team was a brief cameo in Fantastic Four (1st series) #643.

Aurora's real name is incorrectly spelt “Jean-Marie”. The correct spelling is Jeanne-Marie.

This is the eighth Captain Marvel series.

Captain Marvel (1st series) lasted 62 issues from 1968-1979 and starred Mar-Vell.

Captain Marvel (2nd series) lasted six issues from 1995-1996 and starred Genis-Vell.

Captain Marvel (3rd series) lasted 36 issues from 1999-2002 and starred Genis-Vell.

Captain Marvel (4th series) lasted 25 issues from 2002-2004 and starred Genis-Vell.

Captain Marvel (5th series) lasted five issues in 2008 and starred Khn'nr.

Captain Marvel (6th series) lasted 17 issues from 2012-2014 and starred Carol Danvers.

Captain Marvel (7th series) lasted 15 issues from 2014-2015 and starred Carol Danvers.

Additionally, two Captain Marvel one-shots were released in 1989 and 1994 starring Monica Rambeau.

Carol Danvers is the sixth Captain Marvel. The first is Mar-Vell, the second Monica Rambeau, the third Genis-Vell, the fourth Phyla-Vell and the fifth Noh-Varr.

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