Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel muses how some of her friends – Gamora, Beast and young Angel – were tempted by the Black Vortex and changed into cosmically powered versions of themselves, who now also have magnified weaknesses. The Viscardi learned that the hard way. Their only survivor, Gara, means to destroy the Black Vortex before another world meets the same fate.
Good idea, bad timing. Right now the entire planet Spartax is encased in amber. Kitty Pryde has a plan to save everybody, a plan that requires the Vortex. So Carol now only has to transport the Vortex from the middle of a battle in space to Spartax. Easier said than done, when Delphinia’s arrow hits her in the back.
Carol lets go of the Black Vortex and sees Thane chasing after it. He submitted to the Vortex already and yet he chases after it, like he needs another go. She throws a rock at him to divert him.
Ebony Maw whispers in Thane’s ear to end her. With pleasure, Thane replies.
Carol recalls he can “amberize” people with his right hand and kill them with his left. But he has to touch people to make that happen. Carol grabs the Vortex and is hit by a wave of amber. She realizes she was wrong. Regular Thane had to touch people. Cosmically powered Thane does not.
Mr. Knife, aka former Spartax emperor J-son, comes flying in to go after the Vortex. It’s on now, Carol decides and gives chase. Does he seriously think he can outrace her in jetboots? she scoffs. When she overtakes him, he presses a button on his suit and orders his flying fortress to intercept. Carol is so busy gloating she only notices the fortress when she flies right into it. She lands hard and lets go of the Vortex.
Did she say something about arrogance? J-son remarks, as he lands far more elegantly. He takes a small globe out of his jacket and suddenly there are several of him. Go on, they are listening. All of them!
They all train their guns on her. Carol ducks behind the Vortex. She realizes she is trapped unless… She looks inside the Vortex and sees the cosmic version of her (reminiscent of her Binary form). This is what she came to space for, she muses, isn’t it? To reach her full potential. And it’s hers for the taking, not just a way out of this jam but a different path entirely. All she has to do is reach out and grab it. All she has to do is submit. Cosmic Carol reaches out for her.
Her hands begin to glow. She knows this feeling, if not exactly then close. Like going Binary, but more so. It hurts when it reaches the heart. There’s a weight to it burning, like everything extra is scorched off. No more doubts, no more fears. All that survives is force and ego. Carol decides that is not who she wants to be. It was never more power she was after.
The different Mr. Knifes tell her she won’t live to regret her choice. Carol puts on her helmet and vows she doesn’t need a power-up to kick his ass. She got some moves. She flies up and her energy blasts destroy the globes the J-sons are holding, leaving only the original with an injured hand. He screams then orders Thane to take the Vortex.
Carol tries to appeal to Thane’s better nature. J-son shouts she is trying to lie to him. Carol continues that J-son has no one’s interests at heart but his own. Who benefitted from the death of Thane’s flock?
Kill her! J-son shouts. Enough! Thane booms.
Ebony Maw suggests he weigh this carefully. Who is worthy of his trust? J-son? Who writes in pain and spews venom, his selfish machinations as evident as those of a child who has been denied his candy… Or Carol? The silly little girl who cannot see that her fouls species isn’t worth saving… The Ebony Maw says neither! Amberize them both and perhaps one will be of use one day.
As he wishes, Thane replies to his invisible friend. Who is he talking to? Carol wonders, then shouts ‘no’ as she gets the idea. She holds the Vortex in front of her. She cannot hide forever, Thane states calmly. He will have the Vortex now. Carol silently figures she should have gone with the Maserati.
That moment, Gara lands. She introduces herself. She comes to spare them from the plague— Thane interrupts and informs her the Vortex is his. With her powers, Gara tosses him away. She turns to Carol to explain things but Carol is already in mid-flight. Gara gives chase.
Carol figures it’s a dumb idea but hopes she can reach Spartax to help Kitty’s plan and help the people of Spartax.