Tag Archives: Captain Marvel

What If Captain Marvel Gave The Universe Cancer?

Okay, first things first, sorry fans of Carol Danvers but this title refers to Mar-Vell, the original Captain Marvel. Carol is exactly nowhere in this issue. I know, I was disappointed too. I don’t know much about Captain Marvel other than that he’s been pretty consistently dead since 1982. I also know he died of cancer and his last moments were in bed surrounded by grieving super-heroes which is a pretty ballsy way to send a character to meet his maker. It’s like the exact opposite of the Flash running to save the multiverse.

What... uh... what's up with your face there, buddy?
What… uh… what’s up with your face there, buddy?

This issue gives us a little more info. Mar-Vell was a Kree soldier who invaded Earth (Presumedly with his friends Dee-Cee, Dar-Korse, Im-Age and IDW the Infinite Dynamo Warrior.). Then he realized he really liked the place and became a superhero instead. Then he got Cosmic Awareness from a moldy sandwich with a face and a bomb exploded him with cancer. Just a day in the life of the average 70s space hero!

God, can you imagine the smell of this thing? Old dog and wet bread.
God, can you imagine the smell of this thing? Old dog and wet bread.

In our universe, he died in a pretty great original graphic novel I haven’t read since the sixth grade but in this issue of What If, Mar-Vell knows that the best form of prevention is early detection and meets up with Dr Strange and Thor’s alter-ego Donald Blake. Reed Richards is also there but he’s the only one who doesn’t have a medical degree so who really cares what he thinks?

"Nobody is impressed, Stephen. Nobody."
“Nobody is impressed, Stephen. Nobody.”

Using a combination of superhero science and banishing Mar-Vell to a magic universe where there is no time, the League of Super Doctors are able to cure the Kree warrior of his cancer. This is good news because Plan B was for Marv to make crystal meth and sell it to the aliens of the Marvel Universe. It was gonna be called Breaking Brood.

Anyway, a delighted Mar-Vell returns to the moon of Titan to retire from superheroing with his wife or possibly girlfriend Elysius. This lasts for about ten seconds.

“I’ve gotten a second chance at life.” He tells Elysius. “I should probably do something important.”

“Like what?” Elysius asks him.

“I dunno. Ending the Kree/Skrull War and bringing eternal peace to the galaxy sounds like a pretty good start.”

With that, Marvel hatches a plan with other Titan guy Mentor to use something called the Omni-Wave to basically threaten the Kree and Skrull empires into peace. Because nothing makes peace happen like mutually assured destruction. That shit is in HISTORY BOOKS.

Marvel does okay at first, at the very least driving the Kree and Skrull to start attacking HIM instead of each other but that kind of crap can only last so long before everyone starts getting damned fed up with it.

This means absolutely nothing. People in media are always just coughing for no reason. Just like in real life!
This means absolutely nothing. People in media are always just coughing for no reason. Just like in real life!

Back on Earth, the cessation of battle between the Kree and the Skrull, as well as the continued use of the Omni-Wave attracts the attention of the Silver Surfer. The Surfer’s been trapped on Earth since Galactus banished him here during his first attack. Now, with the whole universe in trouble maybe, it’s probably time to give serious consideration to getting the hell off this stupid planet. The Surfer visits Reed Richards but Reed’s real busy with the plague of cancer that’s suddenly appearing all over earth. Literally everyone has it except Rick Fucking Jones, the little shit and ain’t that always the way?

The Silver Prancer
The Silver Prancer

Everybody pretty quickly deduces that Captain Marvel is the reason for the season of death and so they sneak the Silver Surfer off of Earth by giving him a lift through Asgard. Screw you, Galactus. That’s called line jumping.

Finally free of early 90s Earth and its love of hot pink neon, the Surfer heads straight for Marvel who has managed to spread his cancer across both the Skrull and the Kree. Which I guess IS putting an end to their centuries long war so… good job, Cap? Even though they’re both good guys and also friends, Captain Marvel sees the Surfer flying towards him and attacks because this is a superhero book and we’ve got to have a couple of tussles before we can get to the actual point.

Yeah, here comes a guy who just wants to talk. YOUR EYES ARE ON FIRE, NORRIN.
Yeah, here comes a guy who just wants to talk. YOUR EYES ARE ON FIRE, NORRIN.

Back on Earth, the Thing succumbs to his cancer and dies. If that weren’t depressing enough, Reed figures out the cure for the disease roughly a minute later. He realizes that, because of his time in the Negative Zone bonded to Marvel, Rick Jones’ blood contains… I don’t know, antibodies or mitichlorians or something. The good news is that they can begin making a cure almost immediately. The bad news is that they don’t cure everybody by tossing Rick into an oversized novelty blender and forcing everyone on Earth to bathe in his innards.

Listen, guys, I really don’t care for Rick Jones.

Back in space, Marvel and the Surfer have wailed on each other for the recommended amount of time and now can start having honest discussions. The Surfer fills Marv in on what’s been happening re: Marvel bringing about total universal extinction and Marvel gets all dramatic and upset. As well he should. He killed the Thing! Everyone loves that guy. My MOM loves that guy.

Man, it always depresses me when the Thing dies. Poor bastard.
Man, it always depresses me when the Thing dies. Poor bastard.

Just then, Doctor Strange teleports in with that good news about the cure. Even now, Rick Jones blood is being shipped all over every place. Except for the Kree and Skrull Empires which are both mostly dead. Hooray! Universal peace! Unfortunately, to keep his airborne cancer from spreading, Doctor Strange banishes Marvel to that magic timeless universe again where he can’t infect anyone. But he’s a nice guy so he also banishes Elysium so they can timeless bone for eternity. Hooray!

This is what we like to call a sketch universe. You take it to a con and get someone to draw the universe for you.
This is what we like to call a sketch universe. You take it to a con and get someone to draw the universe for you.

What If Ghost Rider, Spider-Woman and Captain Marvel Were Villains In Really Short Unsatisfying Stories?

This one’s another three parter, like a Simpsons Halloween Special. But not interesting. So, like a recent Simpsons Halloween Special. Uatu shows up in a splash page to tell us that this week, we’re going to see what would happen if Ghost Rider, Spider-Woman and Captain Marvel were all bad guys. Since we’re talking about a demon, a Hydra Agent and an alien from an evil space empire, we’re not at too much of a stretch here.

“What if these three yahoos were all evil? Who could even speculate?” Baldy yells, grasping his balls. “I can! For I am the Watcher!”

I love when he gets all mad about it. “Fuck you guys, I’m the Goddamned Watcher.”

We start off with Johnny Blaze, 70s stunt racer and future Nicholas Cage role, I’m sorry to say. Johnny and his lady friend Roxanne are excited that their travelling motorcycle circus (…okay.) has gotten a chance to perform at Madison Square Garden. They’re surprised when Johnny’s mentor and Roxanne’s father Crash “Flash Thompson” Simpson isn’t so in to the idea. Turns out he has cancer and could not be more blasé about it.

Johnny’s worried about his friend so he does the only logical thing. He sells his soul to the devil in a scene that’s pretty goddamn awesome.

Look at Johnny up there, praising Satan. I love comics.

So the Devil keeps his end of the bargain and cures Crash of his cancer. In the normal comic, he cures Crash only so that Crash can die performing his motorcycle stunt, driving home some of that irony that Satan’s so fond of. In this new universe, the Devil is… boring.

Crash safely executes the jump and then Johnny runs off to cry in his room. “Oh, boo hoo. I don’t have a soul any more. I had no idea this deal with the devil would go wrong.” At that point, Satan shows up and turns Johnny into the Ghost Rider, star of stage, screen and more drunken tattoos then Hot Stuff the Lil’ Devil.

At this point, Crash stops by Johnny’s room to see if Johnny still has any skin on his face. He fails to knock and Ghost Rider burns all his flesh off. BEHOLD THE FATE OF ALL SINNERS! Remembering who he is for a second, Johnny jumps on his motorcycle and takes off into the night, vowing to send to hell anyone who fails to politely enter a room. Just like in the Bible.

Not long after, reports start appearing all over America that Skeleton Evel Knievel is driving around setting criminals on fire. Roxanne sees this in the newspaper and realizes that that flaming skeleton can only be her boyfriend Johnny Blaze. She figures out that Johnny is heading for a prison so he can kill everyone in it and resolves to beat him there. Luckily Greyhound travels way faster than a motorcycle from Hell.

Roxanne arrives just as Johnny is attacking the prison and he murders the everloving fuck out of her. Like, we’re talking a fight of about one panel. I guess Marvel decided it’d be more interesting to have Ghost Rider fight Daimon Hellstrom: The Shirtless Son of Satan. Because showing the drama of a man possessed by a monster murdering his only friend is way less cool than him throwing fireballs at a dude in a Dracula cape with a pitchfork. At least we get a good shot of sad Ghost Rider.

That’s hilarious.

Daimon and Ghost Rider fight for a couple of page, before Daimon finally gets fed up and sucks out all of Ghost Rider’s fire. This leaves Johnny nothing but a skeleton in a jumpsuit in the middle of the desert, his only hope for the future to provide background in a Road Runner cartoon.

Alright, that done, we cut live to our second story already in progress. Jessica Drew (AKA Spider-Woman, no relation.) is strangling Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD* because Fury’s captured Jessica’s boyfriend and fellow Hydra agent, Jared (What a chilling name for a Hydra Agent.) Jessica tries to zap Fury with one of her venom blasts but Fury uses Jared as a shield** and Jess murders him. She goes to kill Fury but can’t do it.

At this point, Fury’s girlfriend and partner, the Contessa enters and Spider-Woman prematurely venom blasts Fury to death.

Whoops. At this point, Spidey-Womey decides to cut her losses and heads back to Hydra Headquarters, presumably in the Terror Dome.

Back home, Jessica turns to the Supreme Hydra and his Supreme Mustache for help. She wants to know what her secret origin is, but Brian Bendis won’t clear up that convoluted mess for thirty years. Just then, the Contessa and a metric fuck-ton of SHIELD Agents burst in. Supreme Hydra and Jess beat cheeks, leaving a bunch of faceless goons to die. Being in Hydra sucks.

Shocked by his betrayal of his troops, Jessica is further shocked when Supreme Hydra tries to leave her behind too. Wow, it’s like this guy can’t be trusted or something. He tosses Jess out of his escape craft and then crashes it in the woods. He probably shouldn’t have also betrayed his steering wheel and brakes. Idiot.

Jess is knocked out by the Contessa and regains conciousness in the middle of her trial, which doesn’t exactly seem legal.

She’s about to go down for a whole lot of terrorist and accidental murder charges when her defence calls his witness. It’s the Supreme Hydra. Uh, minus the costume. Looks like somebody knows how to dress for a court date, JESSICA.

Supreme Hydra tells the court that it’s impossible for them to try Jess as she’s not a human. She’s a mutated spider! Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s about as dumb as Wolverine being a mutant Wolverine who was raised by Wolverines. Jessica gets tired of this bullshit and flies away.

Six months later, we rejoin her, in Paris on the run from SHIELD and Hydra and paying off criminals with ridiculous accents for information on her origins. Her completely trustworthy informant betrays her for the bounty SHIELD has on her, but Jess zaps him and flies off to use the information he gave her to find her father. The end! Boy, that was unsatisfying! I told you!

Alright, finally, we get to the Captain Marvel story. I like Captain Marvel but the current awesome Kelly Sue DeConnick one. I don’t know a whole lot about the original guy, except that he’s a guy named Marv-Ell who is a soldier for the evil Kree empire come to Earth to see if we were a danger or ready for conquest or whatever. But then he really liked it. He’s like the Silver Surfer without the missing genitals.

We open with Marv battling the Sentry. No, wait, come back! It’s not the Superman guy in the gold tights that Marvel tried to convince us was interesting and not boring and stupid for ten years. It’s just a big invincible robot. Much cooler. I have no idea why they are fighting but it seems important.

Back on a Kree ship, Marv’s not really friend Yon-Rogg and Marv’s sort of girlfriend maybe Una are reporting to their boss, Ronan the Accuser (He’s the bad guy in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie! In my head, he sounds like Sean Connery!). Ronan’s pissed that Yon-Rogg has sent Captain Marvel to Earth on his own and then had the Sentry fight him just because Yon is trying to sleep with Marv’s girlfriend. He takes Una hostage and then escapes. Okay, this is all making a little more sense now. I think.

Back on Earth, Marv-Ell is getting his ass kicked by the Sentry when Carol Danvers shows up. Yay, Carol! A character I’m familiar with! Between the two of them they make some sort of plan and are able to attach the Sentry to a missile using Marv’s uni-beam. Which I guess is his thing. Sentry is killed by the power of the US Government’s missile program. At which point Yon-Rogg shows up.

Marv chases him off and then Yon beans him with a rock before promptly suffocating because Yon forgot to put on a space helmet or take pills so he could breathe Earth’s atmosphere. That’s… that’s terrible. Like… what?

Ronan arrives and congratulates Marv-Ell on his work and then leaves him on Earth to monitor it and see if it’s a threat or not. Like… like normal. Except this time, Marv acts all sinister like he didn’t just save the earth from an evil robot.

I… I didn’t care for this one.


*Strategic Heroic Something Something Whatever, True Believer!

**This one’s just an actual shield, not a secret spy agency.

What If the Hulk Needed A Place To Hang Out?


What If Rick Jones had become the Hulk?

Okay, I was fully expecting to hate this one. First because, goddamnit, I was promised a tale of Conan walking the earth in the 1970s and that sounds fucking awesome. Secondly, because seriously fuck Rick Jones. My dislike of this character has been fully documented in a couple of these things so I basically went into What If 12 with a bug up my ass, ready to hate it. Luckily, this turned out to be one of the better issues I’ve read so far.


We’ve seen this opening before, way back in Incredible Hulk 1 or possibly less way back in Forbidden to Interfere 2. This time around, Doc Bruce Banner drives out to save shitty teenage Archie stand-in Rick Jones only to have the little shit save him instead. Rick knocks Bruce into safety of the gamma radiation proof five foot deep concrete trench and is bathed with green radiation. He seems fine so Bruce drives him back to the military base to see how much of Rick’s body is now pure cancer.
Turns out to be none. None cancer. In fact, Rick seems fine until the sun goes down, at which point Rick turns into the Hulk. Specifically swinging sixties this-is-what-Stan-and-Jack-thought-teenagers-sound-like Hulk. It’s hilarious.


Seriously, I had to fight hard to not just have every picture in this thing be shots of Rick Hulk calling Banner a square.


Anyway, Rick Hulk escapes into the night and Bruce gives chase. The Rick is spotted by General Thunderbolt Ross but he sneaks away using all the stealth power of a giant green greaser and hides in the desert. Banner eventually finds him but Ross never does. He’s eventually shipped back to Washington to fill out paperwork, dreams of wasting taxpayer money throwing tanks at the Hulk washed away.


Meanwhile, the Rick is about to smash the holy hell out of puny square Banner when the sun comes up. Bruce takes Rick to a secret underwater base out in the desert(?) where he can keep Rick stashed during the night while Bruce works on a cure during the day. It would actually be a pretty good plan if not for the fact that Loki decides that the best way to get revenge on Thor is to free the Hulk and then get him to blow up a bridge. Apparently Loki tricking the Hulk into blowing up a bridge is pretty standard across the multiverse.


Anyway, long story short. Hulk joins Avengers, beats up Loki, beats up Space Phantom, quits Avengers. At exactly that moment of Avengers quitting, Banner shows up and zaps Rick Hulk with his new cure laser. It turns Hulk back into Rick permanently. That done, Bruce ditches Rick to return to the exciting field of comic book science.

We jump forward a couple of months to Rick randomly wandering around New York when he happens to come across Captain America getting his ass whipped by Hydra* Agents. But while these mighty foes may be a threat to the Living Legend of World War II, they’re no match for a whiny harmonica player. Rick helps Cap defeat them and in return Cap agrees to train Rick to be the new Bucky. This seems like it’d be an important twist in the story but don’t be fooled. On a mission to fight more random Hydra guys, Rick Hulks out again and runs away. The fact that this issue of What If does not feature the Hulk dressed as Bucky is a huge missed opportunity.


So Rick runs away again and we jump forward another couple of months (Does Captain America come looking for his new sidekick? No, he does not.) to more random wandering. Say what you will about this issue, it certainly keeps alive the tradition of sad Hulk wandering. Suddenly, an image of Captain America appears guiding Rick to some strange bracelets. He puts them on because this is a superhero comic and is instantly contacted by Kree hero Captain Marvel. Marvel tells Rick that he must bang the bracelets together and when he does, Rick is transported to the Negative Zone. Which is basically space but you can breathe there. Which is lucky because Rick needs to breathe.** Marvel goes on to explain that Rick will only have to stay in the Negative Zone for three hours before he is swapped back and that he will be safe in the Negative Zone. Which is an outright lie because then Rick is attacked by giant metal bug monster Annihilus.

Huh. Really? Annihilus is in my googledocs spell checker? Alright then.


So Rick is getting his ass whipped by Annihilus when he suddenly blasts the ugly sonnuvabitch with new mind powers and is then rescued by a hideous giant green head. It’s the Supreme Intelligence! Ruler of the Kree Empire and gross thing! The Supreme Intelligence needs Rick’s special brain to stop a war with the Skrulls! Which happens off panel and ends with Rick bushed out on the ground. Rick finally returns to Earth and hooks up with a foxy lady named Lou Anne. He also tells Captain Marvel where to stick it because he’s frankly tired of always having to go to space. And frankly I don’t blame him. Kid’s been having a weird year.


Eventually Captain Marvel is forced to return when Rick is attacked at the lab of Professor Savannah (No, not the one you’re thinking of. Different Captain Marvel.) by a large gold man. He too is defeated off panel and Rick returns to the Negative Zone. This time, Lou Anne visits with Dr Banner and the two of them go to get help from Reed Richards, the only guy who knows anything about the Negative Zone. Bruce brings his giant Hulk shooting laser again.


Back in the Negative Zone, Rick has ended up in another fight with Annihilus, who is clearly stalking the little bastard. Rick turns into the Hulk again and he and Annihilus beat on each other for a while. Eventually, Bruce and Reed are able to zap Rick with the Hulk Laser, this time seperating Rick and Hulk into two people. While Rick is rescued by Reed and his gross stretchy arm, Hulk uses the martial arts he learned from Captain America to kick Annihilus into an asteroid where he explodes to death.


Rick returns to Earth, freed of the Hulk, Captain Marvel, Captain America, the Fantastic Four and various other Marvel super heroes and is able to freely date his attractive lady-friend, while playing the harmonica in places a harmonica ought not be played. In the Negative Zone, Hulk is worshipped as a hero and gets to jump around on flying rocks. A solid win for everybody!


*Hydra does not stand for anything.

**Rick’s needed to breathe oxygen since his first apparence in Irritating Baby Comics #1, True Believers! -Marvelous Matt