After the Civil War tie-in and conflicts with Rogue and Warbird, Ms. Marvel looks for some love in her life. Unfortunately, her personal life must take a back seat as her old nemesis Doomsday Man is back for revenge. Arana returns to once again provide teenage spunk. A.I.M. takes on the role of background villain with a diabolical plan.
Carol runs into William Wagner, a profitable restaurateur. They agree to go on a date despite the fact that his restaurant has been destroyed by the fight between Warbird and Rogue. A heavy make-out session commences between the two but is interrupted by Arana. She has brought a prisoner with her.
Next, it is revealed that the Doomsday Man is being kept alive by A.I.M. His storage facility also contains Targoth. He is mysteriously released from his bondage for ulterior motives. Doomsday Man decides that his first goal is to draw out Ms. Marvel into a fight and defeat her once and for all.
Carol's date goes well. A heavy make-out session commences between the two lovebirds but is interrupted by Arana. She has brought an A.I.M. prisoner with her. A conversation with the prisoner leads to a flashback on how Doomsday Man came to be and what might be the current motivations of A.I.M. for releasing him.
Eventually, events lead to Carol being surrounded by the resurfaced Doomsday Man and his Targoth army. I smell a knock-down drag-out...
I thought this latest issue was a pretty mediocre effort from a usually solid Brian Reed. It's pretty obvious that Ms. Danvers has had a lot on her plate recently, what with being one of the leading proponents of Pro-Registration (see Civil War tie-ins) and finding out that a future version of Warbird has come to kill her. The more personal focus in this issue Reed seems fine on paper but shows some glaring flaws.
Over the past few issues and the one- shot (also written by Reed) we saw a growing chemistry develop between Ms. Marvel and Wonder Man. Inexplicably, in this issue we see Carol hook up with a random dude (apparently his name is William Wagner but you get the point!). It's somewhat disappointing that Reed would choose to rush into an alternative relationship for Carol after so much building up with Wonder Man. But I digress, is this new relationship any good for the title? The answer is Noooooooooooo!!!!! I totally hate this new guy. There really is nothing particularly wrong with him, it's just that he should go find someone in his own league to date. And I hate Carol's quick fawning over him as well. Her shacking up with this dude seems totally unrealistic (even for comic books) and totally refutes the feminist principles of Ms. Marvel.
Thankfully, these oversights are lost in the shuffle once we get to the villains of this issue: A.I.M. and Doomsday Man. Doomsday Man is a classic foe of Ms. Marvel and it is a delight to see him resurface. Reed has a knack for bringing back classic foes in this newest iteration of Ms. Marvel (see Brood, Rogue) with a modern twist. Here, the Doomsday Man has been resurrected by A.I.M. in order to draw out the disfavored M.O.D.O.K. Suffice it to say, Doomsday Man, has other goals in mind. It's just a shame that this arc for Doomsday Man is only a two- part deal.
As mentioned, Arana shows up once again. This has been one of the better editorial decisions by Marvel recently. Arana brings out that partnership dynamic that is hard to pull off but brings many benefits to a title when done right. Her humor is a nice change of pace to a rather ominous ending.
The art in this issue is hit or miss. Predictably, the pencils used in the interactions between Carol and her new dude (aka William Wagner...sigh) are uneven. One panel manages to portray Ms. Marvel as both cross-eyed and gap-toothed (!). The cover doesn't do it for me either. I like the previously clean style that was used. Ms. Marvel as a gritty heroine a la Daredevil is not something I wish to see again.
The good: Doomsday Man, Arana, Seeing that the dude's restaurant was destroyed
The Bad: The dude that seduces Ms. Marvel, the uneven art, Wonder Man's disappearance
Overall: The shortness of this review should tell you something. However, the potential for good stories remain despite some blunders which plague this particular issue.