Reading List- Captain Marvel V5
So I told Ed that I was gonna put together a reading list for him to accompany all of the X-men stuff he’s reading right now. Many of the titles on this list are going to be Marvel titles because, well, this is a very Marvel-centric project we have here, but some of the titles will be unrelated. This list, when complete, will feature a complete look at everything that I personally consider awesome about comics. So, let’s get started and take a look at the first item on Astounding Dave’s Reading List- Captain Marvel Volume 5.
Captain Marvel Volume five was released in the early 2000s, which was a wacky time for Marvel. A lot of titles were getting rebooted, reformatted, renamed, or just generally messed around with. And a lot of the new stuff was completely insane, but the new Captain Marvel took it to a whole different level. This is a short series, like a lot of the stuff I loved from that period. It ran for a few years, for 25 issues. The beginning premise is that Captain Marvel’s cosmic awareness, which allows him to know about pretty much every thing that is happening, has happened, or will happen anywhere in the universe, has gone haywire. While he could at one point control this ability somewhat, it is now running at full force all of the time, and has driven him cataclysmically insane. He has become a rampaging monster, and like all great villains, he thinks he’s the hero.
Genis Vell, son of the legenary Kree warrior, Mar Vell, is, much like his father, molecularly bonded to perenial sidekick, Rick Jones. While Rick is on Earth, Genis occupies a nearby reality called the microverse, and vice versa. When the one on earth touches the nega-bands on their wrists together, the two switch places, and so share their time on earth. They are also able to communicate with each other, appearing as orange, Obi-wan Kenobi type spectres to one another. Ricks role in this book is mainly to try his best to minimize the damage that Genis is doing, but he is never very successful. Genis is an absolute maniac who is just tearing the Marvel universe apart. This is a story about people, heros, gods and monsters, and what the distinctions between those four roles are, if there are any.
Here, we have Captain Marvel dealing with a hostage situation. Shortly after this, he runs into a hallucination/ apparition/ who-even-knows-what of his dead father, and reacts poorly:
So more or less, Genis just goes out looking for trouble and finds it over and over again. He gets himself involved in conflict after conflict that he has nothing to do with, and eventually settles things by murdering anyone that he finds disagreeable. The book is very well written, and makes a real effort to look at all of the different sides of all of these little disasters. The running theme of gods and monsters gets explored thoroughly, and over and over again the good guys turn out to be bad guys and the bad guys turn out to be good guys and then Captain Marvel Murders them. Seriously, almost every secondary character that shows up in this and isn’t an established Marvel character gets torn apart. And as as Genis says, “The thing about good guys and bad guys… is that they’re all just guys.”
Captain Marvel as a whole is a really great bunch of comics, and I’m gonna talk about the other parts of the story eventually, but volume 5 is were it really shines. Just to put it on the timeline, this picks up right after volume 3, which also centered on Genis and Rick, which ran in the nineties, and began right after Avengers Forever.