The Road to Captain Marvel: The Enemy Within

This was a great culmination of the first stretch of Carol as Captain Marvel, even of Captain Marvel in general. It felt like a grand season finale… On with the details.


This is one of those mini events that spans a couple books. It starts with this one-shot and then leap frogs between Captain Marvel and Avengers Assemble. So go for a trade or Marvel Unlimited if you don’t want to trouble with tracking it down by the issue (only assuming there’s a trade, I haven’t checked).

So during Carol’s initial stint as Captain Marvel she’s been suffering from a brain lesion on account of her flight abilities. This resolves in her utilizing a hand-me-down jet-bike from Captain America and a whole lot of doctor drama in between.

It turns out the Kree enemy of old, Yon-Rogg, has been surviving for years as dispersed matter on account of the accident that granted Carol her powers. More specifically, his core has been surviving in the Kree lobe of her brain. Ew.

So he materializes himself and is basically a living version of the Psyche-Magnetron. He starts screwing with Carol’s life and driving her insane. It gets bad enough that Jessica Drew has to talk Carol into confiding the Avengers with her problem. It’s a noteworthy moment to actually see a hero dealing with this immense internal struggle and then finally ask for the greatest help. You don’t see it often. Not like that.

What follows is a grand race-against-time as Yon-Rogg throws dozens of Kree Sentries at the Avengers all over the world, herding Carol to New York where he means to use her mind to materialize a new Hala right on top of Manhattan. Carol ultimately sacrifices herself by flying into the upper atmosphere out of Yon-Rogg’s range and so blacks out, defeating him.

It ends on a cliffhanger as Carol essentially floats brain-dead through space, with us, the unknowing audience, wondering what her fate will be… Though considering there have been at least three more ongoings since then I’m sure she makes it out okay.

Like I said above, it feels like a nice bookend to the Captain Marvel legacy. Bringing Yon-Rogg, the Sentries, and other Captain Marvel tidbits made it feel like an end. Even having the Avengers there raised the stakes, but it didn’t feel cliche. There was true desperation on Carol’s part as she was backed into a corner and had to make the choices she did. I mean, if she had died here I think it would have been a suitable finish, but I’m not upset that it isn’t either.

It’s like by defeating Yon-Rogg Carol can now close the book on the old Captain Marvel and forge her own destiny. Not that anything should be forgot, but in her case it’s about going higher, further, and faster, right? And that’s what she does.

TL;DR Score: I’m still in awe of the moment she gives in and seeks the Avengers’ help. It’s so real.

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