Captain Marvel #125

Before Laura Linney started calling herself Wolverine, before Jane Foster picked up Mjolnir and became The Mighty Thor, and way before Kate Bishop fronted her own Hawkeye title, Carol Danvers was protecting the cosmos as the heir to one of Marvel’s Silver Age stalwarts. Granted, she had to go by Ms. Marvel for decades, but as the cover of her new book proudly affirms, complete with Legacy-laden title design, she is Captain Marvel. We’ve finally entered an era in which gender qualifications for our superheroes no longer exist; that’s Jean Grey, thank you, not Marvel Girl. We’ll grandfather in folks like Wonder Woman and Spider-Woman, but it’s nice to be reminded that women can do the job too. (Besides, it’s not like Spider-Man is gender neutral). More significant, I think, is the fact that many comic book fans are unaware that there even was an original Captain Marvel, much less that he was a dude. And if Week 4 of the Legacy initiative is doing its job, we get a chance to celebrate the fact that a badass Air Force officer named Carol has taken up the mantle of the late Mar-Vell and elevated the character to the forefront of the Marvel Universe.

This week’s issue #125 restores the series numbering from the original title (which has gone through multiple volumes and restarts since the late 60’s), but it has very little in common with the pre-2012 issues. Instead, writer Margaret Stohl, along with artist Michele Bandini, seem eager to return to the story and direction that had been initiated at the start of last season’s NOW! era (before things got ridiculous with Captain Hydra’s Secret Empire, the planetary defense shield, and a video-game style infinite onslaught of Chitauri). Carol’s Alpha Flight may be out one multi-billion dollar space station, but the team has no time to rest on its laurels, as Dr. Eve and her shapeshifting assassin Mim are back on the scene.

And if you’ve been falling along since the conclusion of Stohl’s Mighty Captain Marvel series, you’ll know that the villains’ presence has a lot to do with the reappearance of Bean, the Kree energy kid that Captain Marvel saved a few months ago.
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The Mighty Thor #700

Every once in a while a book comes out that reminds us not only how much we love the glorious spark and bombast of superhero comics, but also how much we’ve loved them over the years, and how much these characters, creators, and concepts have meant to us through various stages of our lives. One of the principal aims of Marvel’s Legacy initiative is to pay tribute to Marvel’s storied past while paving the way for an exciting future. No one has taken that more to heart, or done a better job embodying those ideals, than Jason Aaron. In Week 3 of Marvel Legacy, Aaron and a host of incredible artists drop the “god-sized” Thor #700 on the shelves, and, verily, the earth doth shake with its majesty.

The War of the Ten Realms is still raging, and now things really escalate as Malekith and his armies move against the stronghold of the Norns at the base of the World Tree, Yggdrasil. The sisters who weave strands of fate are besieged, and in the process, the very fabric of storytelling itself comes under attack. It’s the perfect milieu for this launch, and the gorgeous two-page interior spread by Thor artist extraordinaire Russell Dauterman portends enough future storylines, each of them with threads connecting back to that legacy tapestry, to make your head spin. There’s Loki with the Infinity Gauntlet and Odinson with what looks like a golden hammer. Both Namor and Brunnhilde look primed for battle. Jane Foster might really (snif…) succumb to cancer and, in the background, the Mangog looms!

You want more Legacy? You’ve got more Legacy. What’s more Marvel than a classic Hulk vs. Thor battle? Except in the modern era, that means Thor, Goddess of Thunder, taking on Jennifer Walters, the hero formerly known as She-Hulk.

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