Ms. Marvel (2nd series) #25

Issue Date: 
May 2008
Story Title: 
The Secret Invasion

Brian Reed (writer), Adriana Melo & Ron Frenz (pencilers), Mariah Benes & Sal Buscema (inkers), Dave Sharpe (letterer), Chris Sotomayor (colorist), Joe Sabino (production), Thomas Brennan (asst. editor), Stephen Wacker (editors), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Greg Horn (cover art)

Brief Description: 

Present Day story:

Iron Man orders Agent Sum to track down the Skrull impersonating Carol Danvers. Unaware that she has a doppelganger on the loose, Carol takes a much needed break to deal with the loose ends of her life. She checks in on an AIM base she shut down weeks earlier to find it back in business. She disrupts things significantly but fails to stop an unknown shipment from leaving the facility. She visits William Wagner who abruptly dumps her, unaware that he is being blackmailed by her publicist, Sarah Day. Carol meets with Sarah who shows her the scandalous front page picture of the Daily Bugle showing her kissing Wonder Man in the middle of a battle. As she’s leaving, Carol sees the truck carrying the AIM shipment and tracks it. Inside is a Skrull with the combined powers of several powerful members of the X-Men. She fights the Skrull to a standstill but he leaves the battle when he smells his true prey, a Kree, on Ms. Marvel! Carol realizes that there are only a couple of people she interacted with that day and decides to call William. William is at home having a drink with… Carol Danvers?!? Realizing his peril, he insists that Ms. Marvel come to his apartment immediately. She arrives too late and finds William dead on his bed. Before she can digest what has transpired, Agent Sum arrives to apprehend her!
Flashback story:

While working as security chief at NASA’s Cape Canaveral, Carol Danvers recovers a device that crash-lands nearby. She is unaware that it is a Skrull probe just as she is unaware that her mysterious colleague Dr. Walter Lawson is truly the Kree hero, Captain Mar-Vell. The Skrulls receive Carol’s genetic data from the probe. They later pose as Carol and subdue Mar-vell. The Skrull agent then commandeers the space shuttle. But Carol manages to reach the shuttle as it launches and quickly takes out the Skrull scientist. Having saved the day without Capt. Marvel’s help, Carol realizes for the first time that she’d make a good superhero herself.

Full Summary: 

Present Day story:

Tony Stark has just revealed to Agent Sum that Carol Danvers is a Skrull! Sum asks how he knows this for sure. Stark shows a hologram video of Carol Danvers inside Stark Tower. The video was taken four days earlier during the time when Ms. Marvel and the Lightning Storm team were on Monster Island fighting the Brood.
Sum asks if this could be Warbird, a twisted and vindictive version of Carol Danvers from an alternate reality. Iron Man confirms that Warbird is still in custody, heavily sedated and barely clinging to life after her battle against Rogue and Ms. Marvel. Tony adds the bad news, that the real Carol left the Minicarrier before she could be warned about the Skrull impersonator and there’s no way of being certain that she’s even still alive. Sum looks dismayed at the news.
Meanwhile, Carol Danvers has checked into a hotel and feels much better after a good night’s rest. As she gets ready for the day, she realizes that she’s been focusing a bit too much on fighting bad guys lately and needs to deal with the things she has let slide. Chief among them is her fledgling relationship with William Wagner, her growing friendship with Wonder Man and long overdue business with her publicist, Sarah Day. Carol declares that this is going to be a “Me Day” and that she’s going to deal with all this stuff that has piled up in her personal life.
As she soars into the sky above her hotel, she makes a detour to a nearby neighborhood where she recently took down an AIM research lab built under a laundry mat. She calls this her “weekly AIM checkup” to ensure that things are still quiet. She is surprised to see the laundry open for business after being boarded up since her fight with AIM. She lands and enters the laundromat. As she does so, everyone in the place pulls out a weapon. One of the goons calls out “It’s her! It’s Ms. Marvel!”, another orders everyone to “Battle stations!” They open fire and she deftly takes them out in a series of dazzling combat moves. She figures that with this crew, the direct approach works best and gets right to the meat of the conflict.
As the battle rages, the AIM agent in charge of shipment management orders his crew to “Ship the package now!” Below ground, a team of agents wheels a large crate to its destination. Ms. Marvel bursts through the wall and takes down a pair of AIM agents with a focused energy bolt. She realizes that this is a sloppy way of fighting: punching first and asking questions later. Regardless, she knows it gets results.
The shipment manager receives a report that the “package” has left the facility and orders his team not to resist Ms. Marvel’s assault any further. Carol finds a loading dock filled with moving vans marked “Mac-Ray”. She makes a late New Year’s resolution to think things through more in the future and adds that she shouldn’t eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s in one sitting either. A moving truck backs up and slams forcefully into her. She is momentarily stunned but recovers quickly and smashes through the hood of the truck. Seeing the disabled truck, she realizes that there is one missing from the fleet of identical, numbered vans. She curses and vows to canvas the neighborhood in search of it.
Carol switches out of her fighting togs and makes her way to William Wagner’s restaurant. The place is empty and the manager tells Carol that she’s just missed him. She mentions that he’s in Westchester where he’s buying a house.
Carol begins to ask if she’ll tell him that she came by when William arrives. He’s surprised to see her and the manager looks upset that she wasn’t able to get rid of carol before he showed up. Carol asks him if they can talk outside for a minute and launches into an apology for not getting back to him sooner. She starts to explain about the alien attack she was dealing with and he stops her. He apologizes for thinking he could do this and tells her that he can’t anymore. He asks her to just leave him alone. Carol is surprised by his response and admits to herself that she didn’t think their relationship would end the way it just did.
William immediately calls Carol’s publicist, Sarah Day to inform her that he has broken things off with Carol. Sarah is surprised that he has access to her direct line. William asks if his secret is safe now and she assures him that it is. She takes his file from her purse and places it in her bag.
Carol arrives at Sarah’s office and she seems delighted to see her latest star client. She asks Carol how she is and Carol replies honestly “I’ve had better days.” Sarah asks her to sit since they have so much to discuss. She starts by asking why she had to hear about Ms. Marvel’s battle with the Puppet Master from Tony Stark. Carol wonders why Tony would have mentioned it to Sarah at all and Ms. Day reminds her that she’s also the press agent for the Lightning Storm team. She commends Carol on single-handedly taking down a foe who menaced the Fantastic Four for years and reminds her that this sort of thing is big news. Carol slumps into an armchair and tells Sarah she’d rather not talk about it. Carol thinks to herself that she basically killed the Puppet Master and that she should have made a better choice.
Sarah gets down to business and asks why Carol’s there. Carol reminds Sarah of the frantic call she placed recently about the Daily Bugle. Sarah smiles and tells Carol not to worry about that silliness, since J. Jonah Jameson has had a heart attack since the whole thing happened. Carol is shocked to hear this and Sarah treats the whole thing as wonderful news that means they don’t have to worry as much about his renewed vendetta against Ms. Marvel. Carol points out that she’s been mind-controlled and possessed by an alien quite a bit over the last few days and asks Sarah to explain what exactly has happened.
Sarah asks her assistant to bring in the newspaper they are suing the Bugle over. Carol sees the picture of her kissing Wonder Man and the headline “As Cops Die, Ms. Marvel Smooches”. She curses and says that this is terrible. Sarah whole-heartedly agrees and says that Jameson should have known that “Ms. Marvel Smooches As Cops Die” would have been a stronger headline. Carol asks why Sarah isn’t as mad about this front page article as she was when she called. Sarah glibly replies that Jameson had a heart attack and that this is enough for her. It dawns on Carol that William had mentioned the Daily Bugle when he called the other night and suddenly his abrupt decision to break things off makes sense.
Moments later, Carol is walking home and leaving a message for William. She tells him that she’s met with Sarah and knows about the article now. Her voicemail message is cut short when she catches sight of a Mac-Ray truck like the ones she saw earlier at the AIM facility. She ends the call and asks William to call her as she transforms into Ms. Marvel. She flies up and lands on the roof of the truck, determined not to rush into things like before.
The truck carrying “the package” heads to Corona Park where an AIM base lies hidden under the Unisphere. Carol can’t help but be impressed by the “old school” charm of the base’s location. The AIM drivers apologize to “the package” for the sudden relocation and inform him that this base will be operational in a few days. “The package” is revealed to be a Skrull who possesses the powers and physical traits of the X-Men Colossus, Nightcrawler, Wolverine and Cyclops. He says that this is “unacceptable” and that he “must find the Kree man now!”
The Skrull stops ranting when his enhanced senses smell an intruder. He looks up at Ms. Marvel and shoots an optic blast at her. She is thrown through a wall and lands outside. The Skrull introduces himself as Rl’nnd, son of Rm’twr and declares that he will bring glory to the empire and his father’s name! He fires another optic blast but Ms. Marvel is ready this time. She dodges the blast and throws a punch at Rl’nnd but misses as he teleports away. He bamfs behind her and punches her. She turns and hits him with a photon burst which barely fazes him. He pops his claws and tells her that she smells of his true prey… she smells like Kree! He abandons their fight now that he has the scent of his true prey and can continue with his mission. Ms. Marvel is left confused and wondering what his true mission might be.
As she flies back to the city, Carol things about the Skrull’s statement and who he could be after. The only Kree she knows is on Earth is Mar-vell and she hasn’t been near him in days. The only people she had contact with that day were Sarah and William. She wonders about William and decides to call him even if it means looking like a “crazy ex-girlfriend”
. She worries about what she might say “Hi, William? Are you secretly a Kree?” William answers and Carol starts by clarifying that this is a “super hero call” not a “crazy ex-girlfriend call”. Williams seems overly surprised to hear Carol’s voice. Someone else in the room asks “Who is it?” as Carol tells William that she didn’t want to show up without making sure it was okay first. William turns to look at his guest, who looks exactly like Carol Danvers!
She asks again “Who’s on the phone?” and William tells Ms. Marvel “I Think you should come over to my apartment right away.” The impostor again asks who is on the phone as William tells Ms. Marvel to come quickly. The impostor’s eyes glow with energy and turn green as she demands to know who is on the phone.
Ms. Marvel hears William scream and the phone goes dead. She pours on the speed and frantically crashes through the wall of his apartment, hoping against hope that he is okay. She searches the apartment and finds William lying across his bed. Dead. Before the shock of the sight before her can set in, Agent Sum enters the room and tells her to put her hands in the air. He aims his gun at her and tells her that whether she’s a human or a Skrull the ammunition in the gun will take her down. He repeats his order once more “Hands in the air. NOW!”
Flashback story:

NASA security chief Carol Danvers stands near a small crater. Nestled in the center is a small, round device of unknown origins. Carol tells those assembled that this item was picked up a few minutes earlier when it dropped out of orbit. She asks her colleague Dr. Walter Lawson if he has any idea what it is. Lawson replies that he has no idea but he is lying. Lawson is truly the Kree warrior Mar-Vell and he recognizes the device as a Skrull interplanetary probe.
Later, Carol seeks out Dr. Lawson but finds his laboratory empty with the exception of the device they recovered earlier. Carol wonders where Lawson has disappeared to this time and hopes that she was correct in her assumption that this unknown device presented no threat. She presumes that it is a piece of space junk and told the president she saw no reason to delay their planned shuttle launch despite its sudden appearance. She touches the device with gentle curiosity.
Carol is unaware that her touch has activated the probe. It scans her completely and transmits the biological data it acquires to its creators… the alien Skrulls! The Skrull scientists review the incoming data. While there is some satisfaction among the scientists regarding the volume of sample data the probe is providing, one scientist dismisses it as useless. He refers to Carol as a “pitiful female”. The lead scientist, Rm’twr says that they will need all the DNA samples they can get if their plan is to work. His colleague says that he is either an optimist or a fool.
Back at Cape Canaveral, final preparations are underway for the launch of the space shuttle Invincible. Dr. Lawson is boarding the shuttle under the pretence of needing to complete some diagnostic checks. In reality, he is checking for any signs of subterfuge from the Skrulls! He is escorted to the shuttle by “Carol Danvers” but once they are on the shuttle, she reveals herself to be a Skrull! The Skrull agent thanks the doctor for his help in gaining access to the ship. He reveals that he was aware of Lawson’s true identity as the Kree hero Mar-Vell before he shoots him with an energy blaster. He declares that he will steal this shuttle and deliver Mar-Vell to the Skrull empress.
On the ground below, the true Carol Danvers is busy overseeing last minute inspections prior to the launch. She and her crew are shocked when the shuttle begins to move. After urging her team to clear the area, Danvers heads to the cockpit to check on Dr. Lawson. She knows that if something has gone wrong, he’ll need a trained pilot to safely land the shuttle. As she races across the gangplank, the shuttle launches into the sky. Carol realizes that if she’s there when the shuttle passes, she’ll be burned alive. She leaps for the open door to the cockpit and just makes it on board. She sees the unconscious Dr. Lawson and wonders what has happened. She crawls to the cockpit though she is weighed down by the g-forces. She asks aloud “Where’s Captain Marvel when we need him, right doc?”
As zero gravity takes effect, she sees that the door to the cockpit is ajar. She quickly secures it and then makes her way to the cockpit. There she finds the Skrull agent, Rm’twr at the controls and recognizes it as one of the aliens that the Fantastic Four encountered. She sneaks up on him and grabs his blaster. She shoots him point-blank and tosses him aside. A moment later, Dr. Lawson awakes and is surprised to see the dead Skrull and Carol at the helm. She tells Lawson to toss the dead Skrull in the back and strap himself in. Carol is satisfied with herself as she realizes she didn’t need Captain Marvel to save the day. She thinks “…I might just make a pretty good super hero myself!” as she pilots the shuttle back towards Earth.

Characters Involved: 

Ms. Marvel
Iron Man
Agent Sum
Sarah Day and her assistant, Melissa
William Wagner
Skrull Ms. Marvel impersonator
Unnamed AIM operatives
William Wagner’s unnamed restaurant employee
In Photos Only:

Wonder Man
Flashback story:

Carol Danvers
Captain Mar-Vell / Walter Lawson
Hs’fld, Rm’twr and other unnamed Skrulls
Unnamed soldiers and NASA technicians

Story Notes: 

A variant cover was available with art by Terry & Rachel Dodson. This cover linked with the variant cover of CAPTAIN MARVEL (5th series) #4.
The two stories in this issue were separated in the summary above but were intermingled in the published issue.
Present Day story:

Warbird is an alternate reality version of Carol Danvers who never dealt with her rage and resulting alcoholism. She began a cross-time vendetta against Rogue that resulted in the deaths of many alternate reality versions of both Rogue and Carol Danvers. She first appeared in MS. MARVEL (2nd series) #9-10.
Carol stared dating William Wagner in MS. MARVEL (2nd Series) #11. Sarah Day learned William Wagner’s buried secrets and “coerced” him into breaking things off with Carol in MS. MARVEL (2nd series) #16.
Ms. Marvel let the Puppet Master die in a fiery explosion in MS. MARVEL (2nd Series) #20.
Carol and her Lightning Storm team battled the alien Brood in MS. MARVEL (2nd Series) #21-24. During this conflict, Ms. Marvel’s physical and mental links to the alien warrior called Cru were fully explored and apparently severed.
In the latest AMAZING SPIDER-MAN story arc “Brand New Day”, J. Jonah Jameson suffered multiple heart attacks and was saved when Spider-Man performed CPR. Now facing the sale of the Daily Bugle to Dexter Bennett, Jameson has little time or energy to focus on the minor issue of Ms. Marvel’s lawsuit.
Flashback story:

The flashback tale is set during Carol’s time with NASA. It takes place sometime between her first meeting with Mar-Vell in CAPTAIN MARVEL (1st series) #1 and when she learned his true identity in CAPTAIN MARVEL (1st series) #16.
The Skrull Rm’twr is named for a frequent participant at writer Brian Reed’s online forum SAVAGE BREAKFAST who goes by the username Ramtower.
The Fantastic Four first encountered the alien Skrulls in FANTASTIC FOUR #2! As a matter of national security, Carol was likely briefed on this early alien encounter on Earth when she became head of NASA security.
Corona Park is also known as Flushing Meadow and is located in Queens, NY. The Unisphere was built in 1964 for the World’s Fair and is the park’s major landmark.

Issue Information: 

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