Civil War: The Return (Story 1)

 Posted: 2007
 Staff: The Editor (E-Mail)


Captain Marvel died many years ago in the classic tale as shown in Marvel Graphic Novel (No. 1) Death Of Captain Marvel. But nobody dies forever in this universe, and at last it's time for... The Return.

Story 'The Return'

  Civil War: The Return (Story 1)
Summary: Return of Captain Mar-vell (Spider-Man Appears)
Editor: Stephen Wacker
Writer: Paul Jenkins
Pencils: Tom Raney
Inker: Scott Hanna

The "Fantasy Island" containment facility in the Negative Zone is home to all the heroes and villains who have been captured by Iron Man's forces in Civil War. As our story opens, the chief of security is desperately appealing to "The Warden" of the facility to help them in their time of crisis. The outer envelope has been breached, and the entire facility is drifting towards the screen of explosives set as a final failsafe against escape.

It's not clear in this story if this event is the final invasion of Captain America's forces (as described in Civil War #7) or if this is an earlier, unrelated event. But regardless, all are doomed unless "The Warden" acts. But the warden needs time to think, as it is revealed to us that the mysterious warden is in fact Captain Marvel.

But what, isn't he dead? In flashback, all is revealed. It seems that Sentry, Iron Man and Reed Richards were experimenting to create a portal in the Negative Zone to contain their new prison. Meanwhile, years ago, Captain Marvel was drifting in space and found a strange fissure in the void. He was pulled through and found himself in Sentry's watchtower, where Tony, Reed and Sentry were shocked to see him - naturally, since he was dead.

Sentry asks Marvell to act as the Warden of their new facility. But Marvel naturally is more worried to learn what has happened. He forces them to explain, and learns that he himself died years ago in their timeline. He has been pulled forward in time, though the seeds of his death were planted long ago (untreatable poison received during a battle with Nitro), and his time here appears to be only a temporary retrieve.

Marvel agrees to act as the governor of their new prison, but clearly his mind is not fully on the job, as it thinks of his former lover Elysius - who may perhaps still be living, though she saw Marvel die years ago. He also thinks of his own inevitable painful death, of which he knows the time to the minute. But that must be put aside as he deals with the crisis at hand.

General Comments

It's a fact of comic books that sooner or later, anybody popular enough will almost certainly return. There are exceptions, perhaps. Uncle Ben has never truly returned, though we have seen Peter speak to his ghost, and Ben from other timelines arrive in Peter's timeline.

When Aunt May died, many imagined that might also be forever. But no. It seems that no matter how important and significant the death (both Aunt May and Captain Marvel's death were pivotal events), nothing is truly sacred.

As a result, we must ask... will Captain America ever return? If Captain Marvel can be brought back, anything is surely possible.

Overall Rating

This nothing really wrong with this story. It's standard Paul Jenkins material and does the job perfectly. But myself, I think that bringing back Mar-vell just cheapens the earlier story. Can the dead really not be left to rest in peace?

I'm going to knock this down below average, simply for the events, and not for the story itself. Sorry Paul.

 Posted: 2007
 Staff: The Editor (E-Mail)