The Present - M-Day:
Carol Danvers wakes to the sound of her blaring alarm clock. She is disoriented and unsure of her surroundings. She rises and walks out onto the balcony of her apartment. She recognizes it as her apartment but is surprised by the view. Yesterday, the sky had been filled with soaring mutants and the world ruled by the House of Magnus. Now, it had reverted to what passes for normal. Unlike most, Carol remembers the events of the House of M reality and the life that she led within it.
(House of M Flashback)
She recalls what transpired in the final days of her experience in this warped reality. She was called “Captain Marvel” and she was the world’s most popular super-hero. She flashes back to a news broadcast of a tabloid show called “Super Powers”. Following a brief report of the impending House of Magnus gala celebration and some rumor-mongering about the romance of Tony Stark and Mary Jane Watson, the show focuses on the latest exploits of Captain Marvel! The fetching TV host, Lori Griffin, introduces some amateur footage of Carol responding to a fire in Queens. After a daring rescue of some trapped children, Captain Marvel was attacked by her long-time foe, Sir Warren Traveler. Lori explains that Traveler was once the Sorcerer Supreme to the King of England before becoming an adversary of Carol Danvers.
Carol recalls the battle and the long-standing enmity between her and Traveler in the House of M reality. Among Traveler’s most frequently used spells is a time-displacement enchantment that allowed him to move about in a manner resembling teleportation. He could even manifest several temporal duplicates at once. Traveler ambushed Captain Marvel following her rescue efforts. She fought back against his time-warping attacks and he then conjured a mystic dragon to attack her. Traveler revealed to Captain Marvel that he was about to embark on a very important project and wanted her out of the way so that she could pose no threat to his plans. By killing her upfront, he believed his success was assured. The dragon tosses Carol through the walls of the burning building and Traveler follows. He unleashes a mystic bull which charges headlong at Carol, driving her through yet another wall. Carol recalls wishing that her energy-absorbing abilities extended to mystic energies as well. Shaken, Carol sees a stray cat and “enlists” its help. As Traveler approaches gloatingly and casts a death spell, Carol dodges his blast and grabs the cat. She then flings the kitty right into Traveler’s face! Traveler is shocked and in a panic, teleports away.
The fire fighters enter and Carol warns them that Traveler will likely reappear any second. She waits a few moments but nothing happens. The firefighters lead her out of the building and commend her on her performance against Traveler. She’s not so confident that she did well here but they assure her that without her efforts, they would never have gotten everyone out alive. As she emerges from the building, the crowds outside chant her name. She asks the time and realizes she is late for an appointment and soars off with a smile on her face.
She arrives at a benefit for the Sapien Cancer Research Foundation. Carol’s publicist, Sarah Day is busy negotiating on the phone as she waits for her biggest client. She notes that the House of Magnus could crumble and Carol Danvers would still be a star and a major client. Carol apologizes for being late and Sarah notes that you’re never late when the event can’t start without you. Sarah is surprised to see the scratches on Carol’s face and asks what happened. Carol mentions Traveler’s name and Sarah is dismayed that he has attacked Capt. Marvel again. She fetches a mutant healer to fix the damage before Carol appears for her press conference.
Following the event, Captain Marvel graciously signs autographs and poses for pictures. In the crowd are Scott Summers, Emma Frost and the mysterious Layla Miller. Emma calls out to Carol and uses her telepathy to calm her just moments before Layla uses her power to clear Carol’s mind and reveal the truth about the reality shift that has created the House of M. In an instant, she knows this world is a complete lie, a fabrication of the Scarlet Witch’s addled and desperate mind. She also knows that she is not the “best of the best” among the world’s heroes and that in the real world, she is far from being all that she was in this warped reality.
(The Present - M-Day)
As Carol processes these events, she realizes that she can’t go back to being just a competent hero like before. She has now seen the potential she has and realizes there is nothing stopping her from being the best of the best in this reality as well. Rising up into the morning sky, Carol Danvers makes the decision to become all that she can be… the best of the best among this world’s heroes.
This story is a reprint of Captain Marvel(1st series) #18, featuring Carol’s first exposure to the Kree Psyche-Magnitron that gave her her powers.
This story is a reprint of Ms. Marvel (1st series) #1, featuring her debut as Ms. Marvel.
This story is a reprint of Ms. Marvel (1st series) #2, detailing the origin of Ms. Marvel.
This story is a reprint of Ms. Marvel (1st series) #20, featuring the debut of her iconic, lightning motif costume.