Sunday, June 15, 2014
The Death Of Captain Marvel!
I found this neat little trade at my new favorite store Half-Price Books. I would not pay full price for this since I own these stories a few times over, but I was attracted by the fact they reprinted a few stories rarely included in this saga. The stories here span a decade.
The death of Mar-Vell begins in 1974 with Jim Starlin's last issue of the comic which made his bones. In that issue, scripted by Steve Englehart Cap encounters Nitro who is stealing "Compound 13", a deadly nerve gas. Cap comes into contact with the gas and collapses but recovers.
Jump ahead to 1979 and Captain Marvel's comic has at long last been cancelled for good, but the final two issues by Doug Moench and Pat Broderick find publication in the first two issues of the second Marvel Spotlight. In those issues Captain Marvel battles the Thanos-inspired threat of Isaac, the computer which runs Titan. Along with his allies Drax, Mentor, and Eros he struggles against the menace and subdues it in time to settle down with his new love Elysisus.
That is where Jim Starlin finds him in 1982 when he concocted arguably the finest superhero graphic novel of all time detailing the demise of "Marvel's Space-Born Super-Hero". The nerve agent Cap encountered all those years ago finally has its way with his body and he succumbs, as must we all, to his mortality. Whenever I read this story again it always resonates, one of the best ever.