Monday, December 19, 2016

Live Kree Or Die - Heroes And Villains!

The twelfth issue of Captain Marvel picks up the story of "Marvel's Space-Born Super-Hero" just after he has pledged allegiance to Zo, a godlike figure on a distant planet who has imbued Mar-Vell with new powers of great strength, illusion-casting and teleportation.

Cap uses the latter to tranfer himself completely to Earth where he delays his revenge against Colonel Yon-Rogg for the death of Una. He instead finds himself once again defending the Cape from an artificial menace. This time it is the plastoid Man-Slayer who is the agent of a hidden mastermind who later we learn is the Mad Thinker.

While Cap battles the Man-Slayer and ends the immediate threat, the Black Widow turns the tables on the Thinker. This is the last issue by Arnold Drake and Dick Ayers and the only issue by standout inker Syd Shores.

In the thirteenth issue a new team takes over as Gary Friedrich becomes the writer and Frank Springer takes over the art with inks as usual by Vince Colletta.

Once again Cap battles a revived Man-Slayer and deals with the complications of his return to the Cape where they regard him as a traitor for his theft of an advanced rocket. Carol Danvers, who owes her life to Marvel a few times tries to intervene for him. Mar-Vell at long last confronts Yon-Rogg but their battle is postponed when Marvel jets to save Carol once again from the Man-Slayer.

The story gets a bit more complicated for dedicated fans as the next installment of the whole story is in the pages of Avengers #63 by Roy Thomas and Gene Colan with inks by George Klein.

(I really enjoyed Hawkeye's turn as Goliath. He was a colorful hero and the visuals were great, but I'm happy he eventually returned to his archer role.)
In that momentous issue we are treated to the debut of the new Goliath (Hawkeye for a time losing his arrows and going for raw strength and greater seeming status on the team) and we see him attempt to save the Black Widow who was captured by the Mad Thinker.

The Thinker though was not acting alone, but was part of a deadly trio of villains, partnering with Egghead and the Puppet Master. Goliath proves his mettle when he battles a giant android created by the Thinker.

As part of their larger scheme the Mad Thinker hoodwinks Toro into thinking he's the Human Torch himself, and in that guise he fights the Sub-Mariner in Subby's fourteenth issue by Thomas, Marie Severin and Joe (Mike Esposito) Guadioso.

We learn a great deal about the scheme by Egghead, Thinker and Puppet Master. By the story's end both Toro and the Thinker appear to die in an explosion. You can read that important story at this groovy link.

The Puppet Master shows up in the pages of the fourteenth Captain Marvel issue by Friedrich, Springer and Colletta, where he uses his puppet powers to coerce Iron Man into battling the Kree Captain. They fight furiously but in the end Tony Stark's heart gives way and the Puppet Master in a fit of pique blows himself up good.

At the end of the story Captain Marvel at long last answers Zo's summons and heads to the distant Kree galaxy. More on that later.

This sprawling crossover ends in the pages of Avengers #64 as Egghead unleashes the might of a deadly town-destroying laser from the orbit aboard a vast space station.

The Avengers have to go into space to battle the villain but of course in the end save the day from the murderous Egghead. One nifty feature of this story is we meet for the first time Barney Barton, a hood who helps the Avengers and who it turns out is the black-sheep brother of Clint Barton, the Avenger formerly known as Hawkeye. This is the first time that Hawkeye's name was revealed. New powers and a new identity, they clearly had plans for the former-archer.

But this is a series about about Captain Marvel and we'll return to him next time as he discovers the secret behind the great and powerful Zo and goes through an even more profound transformation.

Rip Off


  1. Seeing these images has reminded me of how few of these stories I've actually read (that I remember anyway). Must do something about that one day.

    1. I've reached that point in life when I know that this might well be the last time I read one of these stories. It doesn't have to be that way, but such is the nature of time and nature that it may well be. I try to savor them.

      Rip Off

    2. I know how you feel, Rip. I've got comics that I haven't re-read (or even read in some cases) in over 30 years. If I don't start soon, I may never find the time to do it all all.

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