Ms. Marvel (2nd series) #22

Issue Date: 
February 2008
Story Title: 
Monster and Marvel – Part 2

Brian Reed (writer), Aaron Lopresti (penciler), Matt Ryan (inker), Dave Sharpe (letterer), Chris Sotomayor (colorist), Brad Johansen (production), Thomas Brennan (asst. editors), Steve Wacker (editors), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Greg Horn (cover art)

Brief Description: 

Carol awakes on Monster Island to find herself physically merged with Cru who is attempting to reclaim the pieces of herself that Carol inadvertently absorbed during their initial encounter. Meanwhile, the Brood have found them! Carol breaks their mental rapport and fights off the Brood even without her powers. The Brood escape and take Cru’s unconscious body with them. The Lightning Storm squad devises a way to track down the fearless leader. Carol follows the Brood and discovers that they have founded a colony on Monster Island. Though her body was captured, Cru’s mind remains with Carol and takes control of her body. Cru locks Carol’s consciousness away in her memories of the Brood attack on her home world. Carol encounters various incarnations of herself in this mindscape. They help her realize just how similar she and Cru truly are: both are women who have been physically transformed into killing machines. Cru uses carol’s innate skills to battle the Brood but is eventually defeated. Carol wakes to find herself dragged before the Brood Queen! To Carol’s shock, this is the same Brood Queen she thought she killed years earlier on the Brood home world!

Full Summary: 

Carol Danvers sits on the ground on Monster Island her body merging with that of the alien Cru in an effort to sever the connection between them. Though unconscious, Carol can sense her body on every level. Tendrils from Cru’s shape-shifting form have penetrated Carol’s arm as Cru seeks to remove pieces of herself that were left behind in Carol’s body during their first battle. During this exchange, both women are powerless.

Microscopic pieces of Cru that appear to be tiny dragons move through Carol’s veins in search of components of Cru’s repair systems that merged with Ms. Marvel. Carol is oddly fascinated by the complex process. Cru encourages her to relax but Carol hears the snap of a twig nearby and realizes they are not alone on Monster Island. She breaks from their shared mindscape to see that they are surrounded by Brood! They recognize Cru immediately as an enemy of their species but do not know who Carol is. Carol pulls her arm free from the connection with Cru and stands to fight.

The Brood assess the situation and determine that Cru is incapacitated and not a threat at the moment. They think that this may be a trap but in their experience, Cru has been a more direct and blunt threat.

Carol glares at the Brood and tells them that they usually aren’t the “type to talk a girl to death.” The Brood bares its fangs and notes that this human “is a feisty one”. Carol clenches her fists and tells the Brood to back off. The Brood are amused that a mere human would challenge them. The apparent leader orders the others to kill the human and bring Cru to their queen.

One of the Brood dives for Carol who quickly dives out of the way. She realizes that without her powers she’ll need to fight creatively and arms herself with a sharp branch. She lashes out at the nearest Brood and cuts its head open with the jagged edge of the stick.

This draws the attention of a Brood warrior armed with an energy weapon of some sort. It fires at Carol who leaps out of the way and kicks the Brood. She then stabs it with the branch and deftly grabs its energy weapon. She smiles and says “Much better” as she takes aim with the weapon. She kills two more Brood warriors with a laser blast.

Seeing the ferocity with which Carol fights, the leader of the Brood pack orders the others to retreat as they have what they came for. Carol is momentarily stunned and then realizes that they were after Cru. She races to the spot where she left Cru and finds that her body is gone. She cries out for her and Cru responds… from inside Carol’s mind! Taking control of Carol’s voice, Cru tells her that they must go and find where the Brood have taken her body.

Meanwhile on the Minicarrier, Rick Sheridan is meeting with Doctor Farrell who has devised a means of artificially unleashing the Sleepwalker when needed. Rick is a bit hesitant to use a device that zaps his brain. Doc Farrell explains that the device uses transcranial magnetic stimulation to induce slower brainwave activity. The result is that it subdues Rick for at least three hours whenever Sleepwalked is needed. He suggests to Rick that the right temple is the best spot to place the device.

Rick gently presses it to his head and almost immediately slumps over into Doc Farrell’s arms. Sleepwalker emerges and commends the doctor for his efforts. Doctor Farrell reminds him that he only has three hours and that Rick should wait 24 hours before using the device again to avoid brain damage. Sleepwalker is surprised that the doctor did not tell this to Rick before using the device. Doc argues that it is perfectly safe and begins to say something about Rick. Sleepwalker interrupts and finishes the sentence by saying that Rick worries too much. Doc Farrell replies that this is a kind way of putting it. Sleepwalker seems content with this and assures the doctor that he will keep these limitations in mind.

Elsewhere, Araña tells Agent Sum that she intends to stay and help find Carol, despite her father’s feelings on the matter. Sum reprimands her for her lack of respect for her father. She says that he doesn’t understand what it means to be a part of the Initiative. Sum points out that she is merely a Junior Recruit and that she has missed the last week of school. Anya reminds him that she was kidnapped by the Puppet Master. Sum reminds her of the responsibilities she has now that she’s back home and Anya insists that finding Carol is the only responsibility she currently has. Agent Sum places his hand on his forehead in frustration and tells Anya that Commander Hill will have his head if he allows Anya to stay. Anya suggests that Sum claim he was following an alien quarantine protocol triggered by Cru’s attack on the Minicarrier, since who knows what space bugs they might have been exposed to. Sum suddenly brightens up and tells her she’s right, much to Araña’s dismay. He clarifies that she gave him an idea: track Cru and Carol by tracing the alien energy signature of Cru’s propulsion systems.

A short time later, the Lightning Squad team assembles in the ready room. Agent Sum reports that they have tracked Cru’s energy signature to Monster Island in the Bermuda Triangle. Machine Man says that he doesn’t want to go there as things can get weird. Sleepwalker agrees. Wonder Man reports that the Minicarrier should be able to get then there but they should take it slow. At that speed, they can be there the next morning. Agent Sum hopes that that will get them there fast enough.

Back at Monster Isle, Carol tracks the Brood who have captured Cru and finds that they are part of an entire colony. They have captured a handful of Moloids who they have implanted with Brood eggs. When Carol sees the Moloids being transformed into Brood, Cru’s consciousness asserts itself and demands that they be destroyed immediately. As Cru takes control, Carol’s eyes glow and her skin begins to turn blue. Carol resists and tells Cru that she understands why she’s along for the ride but hates it.

Cru asserts herself more forcefully and tells Carol that she “stole what was mine” and she’ll hear no complaints now that she is taking over Carol’s form. As Cru declares this, Carol’s appearance shifts even more to match Cru’s humanoid form. Carol tries to resist, reminding Cru that she doesn’t have her powers at the moment. Cru tells Carol that she is more than her powers and the “pitiful woman” she pretends to be. She tells Carol that she is a warrior whose DNA has been touched by the Kree. Cru thinks that Carol could rule Earth if she spent less time trying to make people like her and over-thinking her actions. She points out that Carol has innate skills and abilities that lie dormant because she is frightened by them. Instead she flies about being “pretty and loved” by others. Carol again tries to break Cru’s hold over her but finds herself locked in her own mind while Cru commandeers her body.

Inside her mind, Carol finds herself reliving Cru’s memories of the Brood attack on her home world. Carol is even more surprised when she is confronted by her Ms. Marvel persona who asks where they are. Both look at each other and say “This makes no sense at all.” Carol begins screaming at Cru to stop doing this right now. “Ms. Marvel” tells her that Cru is ignoring her but Carol continues to call out. “Ms. Marvel” turns and begins fighting the Brood. Carol asks what she’s doing and “Ms. Marvel” tells her that she’s stopping the Brood from killing more of Cru’s people. Carol tells her counterpart that she’s an idiot to do so as none of this is real. Carol then sees Cru’s mate Ost as he calls for her to come with him. Cru rushes to his side and Carol decides to follow them and see if there’s anything to be learned from Cru’s memories. Meanwhile, “Ms. Marvel” continues to fend off the Brood.

Carol finds herself in a very different part of Cru’s memories, some sort of subterranean cave. As she realizes the sudden shift in setting, she is stopped by yet another image of herself, this time wearing the militaristic uniform she wore during her time as Warbird.

“Warbird” tells her to get out of the open if she doesn’t want to be killed. She then pushes Carol along, telling her to get below and “hide from everything”. Carol congratulates Cru on making this experience even weirder as she descends into the cave. She hears a scream and turns to Cru strapped to a laboratory table being altered by scientists. She cries out “Stooonnnyyyaaa!” A voice from behind comments to Carol that the scene is familiar. This time it is “Binary” who points out that Cru volunteered to be augmented in her quest for vengeance against the Brood who murdered her husband and children. Carol, however, had no choice when she was tortured and genetically altered by the Brood. This genetic manipulation led to her transformation into Binary.

“Binary” explains that although Cru volunteered to undergo this process, the result was the same for her as it was for Carol: a beautiful woman is transformed into a monstrous killing machine. Carol says that she isn’t like that, even when she was Binary. Carol and “Binary” watch as Cru’s transformation is complete and she attacks the scientists responsible. “Binary” tells Carol that if she learns nothing else in life, she should know that she is exactly like that.

Meanwhile, Cru has fully taken over Carol’s body. Her skin is now blue, her eyes glow red and her hair resembles Cru’s dreadlocks. Cru “accesses” Carol’s combat skills and marksmanship in preparing to confront the Brood. The Brood find her and attack. Cru swings the Brood blaster and smacks the first Brood. She then fires a blast at another who falls dead in front of its comrades. Cru presses her advantage and leaps onto another Brood and snaps its neck. She kicks a fourth Brood before she is entangled by the tentacles of another. This one holds her in place while another shoots her with a low intensity energy beam. Cru falls unconscious and the Brood collect her to take to their queen as commanded.

Carol wakes to find herself being dragged across the ground by two Brood warriors. Her head is throbbing and she can no longer hear Cru’s thoughts. She claws at the ground to try and stop herself but without her powers, she cannot wrest herself free. She is brought before a blazing light and is greeted by a sinister voice who calls her by her full name. She looks up to see the Brood Queen clutching Cru’s body in her tentacles. The Queen is delighted to have the two women she most wants dead in the universe her in her throne room. She declares her plan to transform Earth into the new Brood home world! Carol is shocked because she thought she had killed the Brood Queen years earlier.

Characters Involved: 

Ms. Marvel
Aaron Stack/Machine Man, Sleepwalker, Agent Sum, Doctor Farrell, and other unnamed operatives (All Operation: Lightning Storm)


Wonder Man
Brood Queen

Ost and other unnamed members of Cru’s alien race

Story Notes: 

Ms. Marvel first encountered Cru in MS. MARVEL (2nd series) #2. During their fight, Cru sliced through Carol’s arm. It was this injury that inadvertently led to a transfer of Cru’s repair protocols to Carol’s body. These repair protocols have been actively healing Carol ever since. Most notably, they helped save her from infection by the Targoths in MS. MARVEL (2nd series) #12, from the mutagenic effects of the G-TAC Scrambler in MS. MARVEL (2nd series) #17 and from the Puppet Master’s control in MS. MARVEL (2nd series) #20.
Araña was abducted by the Puppet Master in MS. MARVEL (2nd series) #18-20.
The Moloids first appeared in FANTASTIC FOUR #22. They are a subterranean race who have fallen under the leadership of the Mole Man.
Carol was captured by the Brood and experimented upon in UNCANNY X-MEN #161-163. This led to her evolution into the cosmically-powered Binary. As Binary, Carol destroyed the Brood home world in UNCANNY X-MEN #164 and then defeated the Brood Queen and transformed her into crystal in UNCANNY X-MEN #166.

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