Ms. Marvel (2nd series) #28

Issue Date: 
August 2008
Story Title: 
Secret Invasion – The Battle of Manhattan

Brian Reed (writer), Adriana Melo (penciller), Mariah Benes (inker), Dave Sharpe (letterer), Chris Sotomayor (colorist), Irene Lee (production), Thomas Brennan (asst. editor), Stephen Wacker (editors), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Greg Horn (cover art)

Brief Description: 

Ms. Marvel finds herself alone against the invading forces of the Skrull invasion in the heart of Manhattan. After months of self-doubt, moral quandaries and second-guessing herself, Carol throws herself into the battle. She revels in the clarity that comes with being a soldier in the midst of a war. Giving into her warrior instincts, Ms. Marvel kills dozens of Super-Skrulls without remorse or reservation. She single-handedly holds back the Skrull invasion of New York City until the rest of Earth’s heroes has time to respond. Though her ruthless tactics and almost bloodthirsty abandon in battle cows the Skrull armada, it also frightens those she is striving to protect who witness this darker side to a popular superheroine.

Full Summary: 

Ms. Marvel is pinned to the ground by a dozen Skrull hands, her eyes look up at them wide with fear. She watches as dozens of super-powered Skrull warriors swarm through downtown Manhattan. She thinks to herself that this is how the world will end, not with a whimper as some believe.

Smoke rises from the remnants of cars and buildings as the Skrull forces surge forward. Summoning her superhuman strength, Ms. Marvel pushes the Skrulls off of her and rises to her feet. She begins to lash out at the Skrulls with her energy powers. She wonders if the other Avengers are still alive, having left them in the Savage Land upon Iron Man’s orders. She also wonders why she seems to be the only one fighting and where the Initiative is.
She takes down one Super-Skrull and buys herself a little breathing room, but she is still surrounded. She decides that even if she is the only hero standing in New York City right now and destined to die as result, that she’s going to take “as many of these damn aliens” with her as she can.
She gathers her energy powers around her clenched fists and sends out an arc of energy that subdues a trio of Skrulls. She doesn’t see the hulking Super-Skrull behind her until well after he has attacked. He bears traits that make it clear that he was designed for raw strength, combining the might of the Hulk, Hercules and the Sentry. His blow sends Carol slamming into the ground, leaving a deep trench in the ground where she hits and skids to a halt. She curses as she gets up and the Skrull behemoth charges her. She dodges and he crashes head-first into the ground. He gets right back up and Ms. Marvel hits him in the face with an energy blast. This only manages to make him angry and he unleashes an energy blast from his eyes that shreds Ms. Marvel’s costume. She looks down and curses at him for ruining her outfit, but seems unscathed.
The Super-Skrull picks up a car and is about to throw it at Carol. She mocks him by saying “Look at you… all big and strong. But not as strong as me!” She flies into the air and blasts the car, causing it to explode. She then flies straight at him, sweeping him into the air. She soars higher, smashing her way through several skyscrapers using his body as a battering ram. The Super-Skrull pounds on her back with superhuman strength but Carol doesn’t slow down for an instant. She flies them straight up into the upper atmosphere and hurls him into space.
She thinks to herself that she might as well kill it while she has the chance. She stops and hovers in space, casually assuming a lotus position. The Super-Skrull gasps for breath and slowly expires. Carol simply watches and a smile crosses her face. She recognizes her own enjoyment at watching it die. This experience alters Carol’s mindset. She realizes that right now, none of the things that have been weighing on her matter much. She sets aside her concerns about her popularity, her relationship with Wonder Man or whether or not her boyfriend, William Wagner is alive or dead. All that matters is the fight she is currently engaged in for the freedom of Earth.
Ms. Marvel then flies back down to the heart of Manhattan and faces off against a group of Super-Skrulls. She glares at them and raises her fist which is aglow with energy. She announces that she killed their comrade and asks “Who’s next?” Carol shifts fully into the comfortable role of the warrior and tears into the Skrulls with wild abandon and ferocity. She approaches the battle as a soldier in a war, with no qualms or moral boundaries. Her goals are simple and clear: kill as many enemy Skrulls as possible, save as many human lives as she can.
This clarity of purpose is a welcome change for Ms. Marvel who has been plagued by doubts and moral quandaries for months. She relishes the opportunity to cut loose and focus on the battle. She smiles and enjoys the fight as only a warrior-born can. Super-Skrulls fall before her as she tears into their ranks mercilessly. She punches and blasts every Skrull she sees until her fists ache. This only makes her fight harder. She remembers what it feels like to be a true warrior and is so happy with the feeling that it almost brings her to tears.
Carol bears down on another contingent of Skrulls and taunts them by saying they are pitiful. She moves forward to attack and at the last possible moment, the Skrull shape-shifts into a small girl. Carol cannot help but flinch and the Skrulls take full advantage of this. All of the Skrulls on the street before her transform into human civilians. This leads to confusion among the crowd and Carol herself is unsure how to discern who is human and who is a Skrull.
She calls out to the humans in the crowd to come closer, suspecting that this group of Skrulls does not speak English. One member of the crowd points out that this is New York and not everyone speaks English. Carol tries to assure him by saying that she speaks a few other languages. An elderly woman approaches Ms. Marvel and as she draws close to the woman warrior, lashes out and speaks in the Skrull tongue. Ms. Marvel is thrown against a wall and by the time she gets up, the Skrull has shifted its form again and blended back into the crowd. Carol tries to devise another way to identify the Skrulls in her midst. While she ponders this, the Skrull act. An unseen Skrull snaps the neck of a human and tosses his lifeless body in front of Ms. Marvel, simply to prove that they can. The crowd reacts and the Skrulls play along to disguise themselves. A man asks helplessly if she’s going to do something.
Ms. Marvel finally comes up with a strategy. She fires a broad swath of energy into the crowd. It is strong enough to knock down an ordinary human but not affect the more durable and sturdy Super-Skrulls at all. The crowd thinks she’s turned on them and the Skrulls think she’s insane to attack her own people, but her stratagem works.
The Super-Skrulls remain standing and assume their true forms and attack. She meets them head on and makes short work of them. She notes that while they were designed as fighters that they are not warriors. She flies over to the remaining humans who back away from her in fear. She tries to briefly explain that she did what she did to save them and that she plans to finish the job. She tells them she will escort them to the nearby Stark Tower where they’ll be safe. Her announcement is interrupted by a huge “THOOM” and a groundswell that buckles the street beneath them. Ms. Marvel looks up at a gigantic Super-Skrull that towers over the crowd. Ms. Marvel orders the bystanders to head for Stark Tower and not to stop until they get there. She powers up and says simply “I’ll handle this” and the enormous giant of a Skrull reaches down menacingly to grab her.

Characters Involved: 

Ms. Marvel
Invading Skrull forces including countless Super-Skrulls
Innocent bystanders

Story Notes: 

The “whimper” comment refers to a line of the famous poem “The Hollow Men” by T.S. Elliot.
This issue follows directly after the events depicted in SECRET INVASION #2 in which Ms. Marvel is sent back to New York City following the Avengers discovery of the Skrull Invasion forces in the Savage Land.
The Skrull warriors depicted in this issue display a combination of powers derived from Earth’s superhuman population. The following characters’ abilities are among those mimicked by the invading force: Black Bolt, Captain America, Colossus, Cyclops, Doctor Octopus, Doctor Strange, Hercules, Hulk, Human Torch, Iron Man, Mister Fantastic, Sentry, Thing, Thor, and Wolverine.
Carol mentions that she speaks several languages. In addition to alien languages such as Kree, Skrull and Shi’ar that she picked up from Captain Mar-Vell and her time with the Starjammers, Ms. Marvel has been shown or noted to be fluent in Russian, German, Japanese and Arabic.

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