Secret Avengers #27: Captain Marvel Goes Bad

No, not 'Billy Batson is a dick' bad, but 'Kill the Avengers' bad. Not fun when the Phoenix is coming.

Andy Hunsakerby Andy Hunsaker

Secret Avengers #27

Thankfully, every Avengers vs. X-Men tie-in issue doesn't have to be pounding square characters into round plot holes to make them fight like lab rats, and when their motivations and actions are questionable, there doesn't always have to be no logical explanation for it. Rick Remender's Secret Avengers #27 gives us the story of what happens to the Avengers away team when they try and stop the Phoenix and get waylaid by the Kree.

While Thor, War Machine and the rest of the crew were getting their butts handed to them by the Phoenix Force, the Kree have manipulated it to resurrect Mar-Vell (provided this isn't some clone or something), and have diverted the Phoenix from its intended course for Earth in order to test the theory Cyclops is fighting for back home – the notion that inviting the Phoenix Force to do its thing will jumpstart the evolutionarily-challenged Kree. The big fiery space bird is death, yes, but also rebirth. It's the massive worldwide death part that makes Cyclops' plan a bit suspect, and have made the Avengers think they're nuts.

When the bested and beaten Avengers set down on the Kree homeworld of Hala to recover from their wounds, they start to become aware of something being rotten in Denmark when Captain Marvel returns, having recruited fellow Kree-esque types Ms. Marvel and Noh-Varr The Protector, to kill them. The Vision then figures out there's some kind of planet-wide mind-subjugation mojo at work keyed to the Kree genetic signature that's messing with everyone's heads, and while this whole enterprise is fairly consistent with the Supreme Intelligence's intentions of the past, it seems even that big floating green head-blob in a jar is being controlled by an as-yet-unnamed Kree minister. So something ELSE must be going on. Strange things are afoot at the Circle Kree, and the fact that whoever's controlling Mar-Vell and Carol Danvers is apparently making them nutty in love with each other as well makes us worry that it's the creepy kind of strange. Not to be confused with Dr. Strange The Creep over in The Defenders.

The artwork from Renato Guedes is also strange, in that it manages to be wonderfully detailed and unsettlingly off-putting at varying times. Art is always a matter of personal preference, of course, but while Guedes' unique style is sometimes beautiful, other times it's a bit icky… although, come to think of it, that might have more to do with the all-too-realistic coloring of  Bettie Breitweiser and Matthe Wilson. The flesh tones are almost too accurate in their fleshiness, bringing to mind maybe some sort of illness in them at times. There first shot of Mar-Vell and Carol kissing each other has Carol contorted oddly as they hover, and there's a slight, odd redness in her… ahem, "thong area" that makes it look a little like she's got some kind of rash. I'm freely admitting that this is very likely a completely visceral, nitpicky and subjective reacton on my part and no indication of actual quality. I get the same sort of weird discomfort looking at classic museum paintings of pasty-yet-rosy Europeans, and that's likely an influence at work here. Who am I to argue with fine art?

Remender always brings us interesting stories, though, and he does have an eye for canon as well, so it will bear keying into Secret Avengers #27 and beyond to see how this shakes out and eventually leads Carol to become the new Captain Marvel.