Mighty Captain Marvel #9

Issue Date: 
November 2017
Story Title: 
Girls' Night

Margaret Stohl (writer), Ro Stein & Ted Brandt (artists), Erick Arciniega (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Joe Caramagna (letterer), Anthony Gambino (designer), Megan Hetrick (cover artist),  Sana Amanat, Charles Beacham & Mark Basso (editors), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

Carol Danvers spends time with Jessica Jones and Jessica Drew to help her get over the destruction of the Alpha Flight Space Station and the death of the Black Widow. They spend time on top of the Statue of Liberty, go boxing to vent their frustrations and play poker with Monica Rambeau and Wendy Kawasaki. Carol thinks about those that she has lost in her life inlcuding Rhodey, the female Quasar, Tony Stark and the Hala child, Bean. She soon reunites with Sasquatch, Puck, Brand, Wendy and the Alpha Cadets as they decide what to do next, but they are cash-strapped and uncertain of the future. Carol spends more time with the Jessicas, who try to get her to join a dating app for super heroes, and later take her ten-pin bowling, where they had arranged for the actor who portrayed “Hero Man” on the Cap'n Marvel TV show to arrive, and attempts to ask Carol out. Carol isn't impressed and leaves, where she goes to buy some ice-cream from a store, which a thief enters and attempts to rob. Carol stops him, and flies out into space, coming to a stop on the moon, she imagines battling Captain America, and hallucinates a vision of Bean, who may be a projection, and reveals to Carol that she is lost and needs Carol to find her.

Full Summary: 

New York City, Earth. Not space. 'See the moon? Now... a little to the left? That's where my home used to be' Carol Danvers a.k.a. Captain Marvel remarks as she looks up into space, holding her fingers on the outside of the moon. 'I mean, before it blew up' Carol adds as she lies on top of the Statue of Liberty. '...to bring down a planetary shield, evade an alien horde, destroy their queen and help take down Stevil Knievel?' Jessica Drew a.k.a. the original Spider-Woman and one of Carol's best friends points out. 'You did what you had to do. #worthit' Jessica Jones, another of Carol's best friends, agrees, while looking at her phone. 'Yeah? I wonder if Natasha thought so' Carol remarks. 'She did what she had to do' Jessica Jones declares.

Carol tells the Jessicas that she has mourned too many friends – they all have, to which Jessica Jones tells her to get off the pity train, as the Black Widow would be offended. 'She'd tell you to go find a not-blown-up-yet space station and a slightly-less-destroyed-by-a-dark-dimension apartment' Jessica Drew remarks. Carol sighs and points out that Rogers managed to turn the whole world upside down – no Alpha Flight, no SHIELD. 'Still got me, Kirk' Jessica Drew adds. 'Can't crash at your place forever, Spock' Carol replies. 'Hello. Babysitting?' Jessica Drew exclaims. 'I can watch the little squid sometime, Jess' Jessica Jones offers. 'Heh' Drew laughs. 'Excuse me? What's so funny?' Jessica Jones replies. 'Anyways... c'mon, Danvers! This is your first bit of downtime in what, years? Quit moping! Let's have some fun!' Jessica Drew exclaims.

The next day at the Brooklyn Boxing Club. 'Seriously, who wouldn't want me as a babysitter?' Jessica Jones asks. Jessica Drew frowns and tells her to let it go, to which Carol asks if they can get to the boxing already, as she needs to get some feelings out – and she is a little short on asteroids to punch. Carol and Jessica Drew begin punching boxing bags that hang from the ceiling, while Jessica Jones punches the instructor before her, 'Ow! Ow! OW!' he exclaims, before Jones declares that she would be a great babysitter, as she can paralyze a man with one knuckle. 'I'd stop right there' Carol suggests. 'And that's just when I'm sober' Jones adds. 'Nope. Not helping' Jessica Drew points out, before Jessica Jones begins slamming her fist repeatedly into the instructor, who screams 'OW HEY OWW WAIT OWWW!'

Later that night, at Jessica Drew's apartment, Carol and the Jessicas sit around a  table with Wendy Kawasaki and Monica “Spectrum” Rambeau. Carol's Flerken cat, Chewie, is sprawled out on the table, covering playing cards, while pizza boxes and cans are scattered across the table, too. 'Not saying I'm Mary Poppins, but why trust Danvers with your pup and not me?' Jones asks 'Carol kept her Alpha Cadets safe through a Chitauri space war. You...probably poured beer on your cereal this morning' Drew points out. 'And?' Jones asks, while Carol stifles a laugh. 'That's a joke, right? Sher's joking?' Monica asks. 'Huh?' Wendy replies, not paying attention, she has been focused on her cards. 'What's the buy-in? Are you capping bets? How do you feel about counting cards?' Wendy exclaims. Monica looks unimpressed as she tells Wendy that the buy-in is pizza and that she is capped at five slices. 'I can't believe you know how to count cards, nerd' Monica frowns. Wendy shuffles the cards in her hand and winks, claiming that she is feeling lucky – like cheese-in-the-crust lucky'.

Jessica Drew tells the other Jessica that it is nothing personal. 'You know that saying, “You're a fighter, not a lover”?' she adds. 'Yeah, that's not a saying' Carol points out. 'Dude, kicking butts doesn't mean you can't wipe one...' Jessica Jones exclaims. 'Eww' Carol mutters, while Jessica Drew goes wide-eyed and asks 'Did Jessica Jones just offer to change my kid's poopy diaper?' Jessica Jones declares that it is the principle of the thing and asks 'What's the point of the fight if you don't have some kind of life worth fighting for...?' to which Carol asks her 'What is up with you tonight?' 'Seriously...' Monica frowns. 'Eww' Wendy adds.

But Carol knows that Jones wasn't actually talking about poopy diapers – she knew what she was saying, even if Jones didn't know how  to say it. She was talking about love and loss – the inescapable truth known to all heroes and soldiers. Every moment they loved someone they were also silently counting down to the moment they lost them – there were no gaurantees. Random bullets flew. Space stations exploded. Hala children changed you – or left you. There are some heroes, like Rogers, who would disappoint you, others like Avril Kincaid, would surprise you. Carol thinks that if they wore their hearts on their sleeves, they also wore a target on their hearts – love would save them, or kill them – probably both. Because the truth is, good guys lost as much as they won, and a sunrise never promised you a sunset. Carol knows that people like she and Jones would always be stuck outside one kind of planetary shield or another – no matter where they went in the galaxy. 'I knew that. The thing I didn't know qas how much I cared...or how alone I felt...' Carol tells herself, while thinking of Bean, Mar-Vell, Rhodey, Avril Kincaid, Tony Stark, Captain America, the Black Widow and Jessica Jones.

Inside the nursery within Jessica Drew's apartment, Drew's baby, Gerry Drew, is asleep in his crib, while Carol lies on the floor, Chewie curled up near her, Carol twists: 'No... no no no no – I can't' Carol mutters, before sitting up and looking at Chewie, telling the Flerken that she is trying. Carol then sighs, before putting on a sweater and heading outside for a run, thinking that there are only so many melatonin gummies a person can chew, or miles she can run before she has to face what she is running from.

The next day, at the Institute for Space Studies at Columbia University. Carol, Wendy and Jessica Drew are inside a lab and stand around a hologram of space. With them are Lieutenant Commander Abigail Brand, Walter Langkowski a.k.a. Sasquatch, Eugene Judd a.k.a. Puck and the three Alpha Cadets – Dante Cruz, Glory and A'Di, with a rebuilt drone, Itz. 'So what are you saying?' Dante asks. 'We can't go back into orbit?' A'Di enquires. 'Like, ever?' Glory exclaims. Carol explains that she is saying that it is not going to be easy. Abigail Brand remarks that, after losing Alpha Flight, they have a lot of rebuilding to do. 'So let's do it!' Puck exclaims. Wendy reminds him that they were strapped for resources even before the Chitauri war, to which Sasquatch points out that has never stopped them. Carol runs a finger through the hologram, and knows that she can't tell them the truth – it's not that they couldn't go back – it was that she didn't know if she wanted to. She wonders if it is finally time she thought about life here on Earth, before it ended while she was still alone – like Romanoff. Carol leaves the Institute, while the Alpha Cadets watch her go.

Later, 'No. No way. Not a chance' Carol declares as she holds her phone and looks at a dating app - “Cloak & Dater – Supes Edition” for verified super heroes, only. 'You can at lewast try this' one of the Jessicas suggests, taking a photo of Carol, which is not a very good one, but shows up as her profile pic on the dating app. 'I said I was lonely. I didn't say I was desperate' Carol reminds her friends. 'Tomato, tomato' Jessica Jones replies, while Carol struggles to get the phone off Jessica Drew. 'You mean “Tomato, tomahto” now cut it out!' Carol snaps. 'Who says tomahot? That's just stupid' Jones points out, while Drew snorts with laughter. 'Gimme this phone. This is taking too long' Jones declares, reaching over the others and grabbing the phone.

Jessica Jones starts to flick through the app, 'Is that Tony Stark... or his A.I...?' she asks as Tony Stark appears on the app. 'Eww, no. Wait, what? Stark uses a dating app?' Carol asks. 'Oh, wait -' Jessica Drew remarks as she reads out the small print: “Heroes represented may not be representative of actual clientele”. 'What a scam!' Jessica exclaims. Jessica Jones tells her that they are just messing around, while they move to the next photo, of Steve Rogers. “Loves swing dancing and drive-in movies” Jessica Drew reads. 'Yeah, right' she mutters. 'These are ridiculous. You realize there's no way...' Carol begins, before Jessica Jones reads Odinson's profile: “An Asgardian love god?” she calls out, while Jessica Drew snorts with laughter, while Carol tells her friends '...that I'm actually going on a legit dating app...'. Jessica Drew grins and makes her fingers into claws, 'Me-Owww' she jokes as T'Challa's image appears on the app. 'Not now and not ever...' Carol rolls her eyes. The next photo is of Peter Quill, giving a cheesy smile and pointing his fingers. “Loves classic rock...” Jessica Jones reads. 'I'm outta here' Carol tells her friends.

‘What part of “I'm out” do you people not understand? Also: bowling' Carol tells the Jessicas as they sit on a sofa within the bowling alley as Carol holds a bowling ball up. 'Try thinking of them as small asteroids' Jessica Drew suggests. Jessica Jones looks at her phone and reports 'He's here'. 'Who's here?' Carol asks, worried. 'Your date' Jessica Drew smirks. 'Date? I never agreed to any of this' Carol replies. 'Yeah, that's why we lied' Jones replies casually. 'Like a rug' Drew tells her. 'Um, Carol...?' a voice calls out. Carol goes wide-eyed as she finds that voice familiar. She doesn't turn around, but an image of the Tony Stark A.I. appears, holding champagne, Carol knows that it is not him, he would be laughing already. Captain America appears next, holding flowers, but Carol knows it isn't him, as he wouldn't show his face. Odinson is next, but Carol realizes that he isn't that smart at smartphones. The Black Panther appears next, but Carol decides that he isn't really the bowling type. 'Am I supposed to be in this montage? Because you don't usually montage about me, Danvers... Danvers?' Star-Lord exclaims.

'YOU!?' Carol shouts, wide-eyed as she turns around and discovers a man in a red and blue costume, holding wine, flowers and chocolates in his hands. “Hero Man?” Carol asks. 'Your favorite hero / star of “Cap'n Marvel”!' the actor exclaims. 'Thought you got cancelled?' Jessica Drew asks. The actor explains that they just moved to public access – changed the format up a little now with more...puppets. 'Here, hold these' the actor tells Carol as he shoves the gifts into her arms. 'Um...' Carol frowns, before the actor brings out a puppet of “Cap'n Marvel” and exclaims “Hi boys and girls! I'm Cap'n Marvel! The Earth's first and last line of defense...”. Carol drops the gifts and runs from the bowling alley, still carrying her bowling ball. 'Should I...you know...go -' Hero Man asks. 'Yes' Drew tells him. 'Definitely' Jones agrees. '...after her?' Hero Man asks. 'She's...we're good' Jones then declares.

'I can't believe that just happened' Carol thinks as she shuffles down an empty street, eventually coming to a delic, she sighs and enters, going to the freezer, she grabs several tubs of ice cream. 'Girls; bowling night? They send you for the rocky road?' the cashier asks. 'My friends pretty much are the rocky road' Carol scowls. 'Yeah, I'm all about my career' the cashier replies. 'I feel you, buddy' Carol tells him, while a man with a hooded sweater enters, then raises a gun and shouts 'Nobody move! Now – open the register and gimme all your cash!' he orders. 'Bowling league?' the cashier asks. 'Nah. Bowling for...collars' Carol tells him, before she slams the bowling ball into the thief's face. 'You might wanna calls the cops. I gotta jet...' Carol tells the cashier.

Outside, Carol drops the bowling ball and tells herself to get it together as she takes to the air and flies skyward. 'Hero Man? He's nobody, just a fake hero...from the fake Alpha Flight show...' Carol thinks, as her shoes fall from her feet. She flies higher and higher, into space, reminding herself that she only did the show to pay off the space station which she then ignited like a can of highly flammable bug spray. She closes her eyes and wonders when everything got so out of control. 'Was it just Rogers?' Carol asks herself, as she imagines herslf fighting with Steve Rogers, imagining what she could have done to stop him, every time she closes her eyes. She tells herself that she was supposed to be the Earth's first and last line of defense, but when the time came for her to do her job, what use was she? In her imagination, she holds Steve Rogers up, then headbutts him and breaks his shield over his head. 'Rogers was my responsibility. Captain to Captain. I should have handled it...not Romanoff' Carol realizes, hanging her head as she has a vision of the Hydra Captain America slamming his shield into the Black Widow, killing her.

Carol lands on the moon and looks down over Earth, deciding that she fails and fails and keeps on at it. She wonders why she bothers, as she didn't save the world from anything – Alpha Flight is gone and she is not so good at the whole Earth thing any more. Suddenly, 'Bean? Is that you...?' Carol asks, as the glowing blue life-force form of the Hala child, Bean, appears, hovering before Carol. 'Carol...Bean...' the girl calls out. 'I was starting to think I'd lost you for good...but maybe I'm just feeling lost myself' Carol tells Bean, asking her if she knows what she means. 'Carol?' Bean smiles. 'I'm not sure where my life is supposed to be...or who I even am, if you take away the uniform and Alpha Flight' Carol remarks, realizing that she knows she is talking to a guilt-induced hallucination.

'I feel...lost' Carol admits. 'Carolllll....Bean feels lost...Carollll...' the Bean hallucination utters. 'You can really hear me? Where are you?' Carol asks. 'Lost...far away' Bean replies. Carol suggests that perhaps she isn't Earth's last defense, maybe she is meant to be Bean's – a Hala kid, a blue Kree, the other side of her life. 'How about that, Bean? How about instead of being lost, you and me find each other...?' Carol asks, and, hovering beside her, Bean – hallucination or life-force projection – replies 'Find Bean, Carol. Find Bean...'.

Characters Involved: 

Captain Marvel VI
Puck, Sasquatch (both Alpha Flight)

Lt Cmdr Abigail Brand
Lieutenant Wendy Kawasakiu
Dante Cruz, Glory, A'Di (all Alpha Flight Cadets)
Jessica Jones
Spider-Woman I
Gerry Drew

Hero Man

Boxing Instructor

In Carol's thoughts:
Bean, Black Widow, Captain America, Jessica Jones, Mar-Vell, Quasar V, Tony Stark, War Machine

In photos on dating app / in hallucination:
Odinson, Peter Quill, Steve Rogers, Tony Stark A.I., T'Challa

In Carol's thoughts:
Hydra Steve Rogers
Black Widow

Story Notes: 

Final issue of Mighty Captain Marvel. It is replaced by Captain Marvel (6th series) #125, as part of the “Legacy” re-numbering of many Marvel series.

The Alpha Flight Space Station was destroyed last issue.

The “Cap'n Marvel” TV show was a sub-plot in Mighty Captain Marvel #1-4.

The Black Widow was killed during the “Secret Empire” event.

Bean was lost at the end of Mighty Captain Marvel #4.

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