Last issue saw Ms. Marvel regain her Binary powers and take the fight back to the Brood. Her Lightning Storm operatives are there to fight the seemingly resurrected Brood Queen. Agent Sum and Arana are preparing a failsafe nuclear device in case Ms. Marvel fails in her quest.
Ms. Marvel brutally slays the Brood army with her resurrected Binary powers. She receives help from Wonder Man and Sleepwalker. Carol revels in her newfound strength. Agent Sum and Arana arm the nuclear device. A blast from Ms. Marvel sends the Brood Queen hurtling through the minicarrier. Sum protects Arana from the Brood. Ms. Marvel comes to their rescue.
However, Carol feels that something is wrong. She does not have time to heed her inner suspicions. Ms. Marvel continues to battle the Brood Queen. All of a sudden, her new Binary powers give out. The Brood Queen recovers and grasps Ms. Marvel in her talons. Ms. Marvel attempts to fight back, retaining her normal powers.
Unfortunately Carol is weakened from her stint as Binary. The Brood Queen moves in for the kill. Without warning, Cru comes to Ms. Marvel's rescue and blasts the Brood Queen straight through the head. She has recovered her lost self. The Brood Queen recovers from Cru's surprise attack and violently kills Cru.
Ms. Marvel takes up the fight once again against her arch-nemesis. She takes the minicarrier's nuclear device and ignites inside the Brood Queen's mouth high above Earth. The battle is over. Ms. Marvel falls back to Monster Island exhausted. Wonder Man recovers her from the sea.
Twelve hours later, Ms. Marvel surveys the ruins of her apartment. Arana reunites happily with her stubborn father. The various members of Lightning Storm enjoy their rest. Cru made Carol face her inner doubts. Carol believes she is a coward and a killer.
Three days later Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, meets with Agent Sum to relay some disturbing news. It seems as though Ms. Marvel is a Skrull! He asks Sum to apprehend Ms. Marvel.
Issue #24 marks the end of the Reed-Lopresti pairing. Lopresti is moving onto a higher profile job penciling Wonder Woman for the Distinguished Competition. The pairing generally worked well. Lopresti's style was generally solid and complemented Reed's fast paced scripting. While I felt that Lopresti never quite drew a completely satisfying Ms. Marvel (her face still looks awkward to me), his talents were definitely on display when it came to innovative action panels.
Reed's Brood arc finally resolves the long held animosity Ms. Marvel has had with this malevolent alien race. This issue packed plenty of satisfying action. A reader feels the exhilaration Carol feels when using her Binary powers. There are also some great colors from Chris Sotomayor. Ms. Marvel has never really dabbled in dark depressing line work. This is somewhat refreshing and reminiscent of earlier Marvel stories.
I am somewhat disappointed that Carol still berates herself for her mistakes. It would be nice for her to win absolutely once in awhile. Carol is learning how to be the best superheroine she can be. Constant self doubt does nothing to advance her character. We're twenty four issues into the series and I can not honestly say her character has been drastically furthered by Reed. There's been some minor revelations but nothing like what's being done in say Iron Man or even the Amazing Spider-Man.
The revelation that Ms. Marvel may be a Skrull ties her into Marvel's big summer event, Secret Invasion. I feel that this added exposure might bring in new readers. In addition, her tie-in looks to be integrally tied to the main event. Reed will not be treading water with this material.
Reed's more interesting in providing some old-school action and fast paced serial fiction. In this case he wildly succeeds. Ms. Marvel is a fun little title that never treads water where plot is concerned.
Reed hits the mark with the conclusion of "Monster and Marvel." He is hitting his stride just as Secret Invasion invades Ms. Marvel's world. Lopresti's yeoman work will doubtlessly be missed.