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Captain Marvel #17: Review

Oct 1969
Roy Thomas, Gil Kane

Story Name:

And a child shall lead you

Review & Comments

4 stars

Captain Marvel #17 Review by (September 17, 2022)
This series had been languishing under somewhat lackluster plots and artwork. Roy Thomas and Gil Kane take over here with a new costume and direction. But even this can't save it as it gets cancelled with #19, then revived for 2 more issues before dying again. When it returns 2 years later with #22 it has Kane covers but nothing else of note until Jim Starlin takes over the art (and later the scripting) in #25 to usher in its heyday by importing his mega-villain Thanos.

At this time the Supreme Intelligence is referred to as the Intelligence Supreme, but the former version is the accepted standard.

It appears here that there is 1 pair of Nega-Bands which Rick Jones is led to find, and the Bands remain on the wrists of whichever of them is on Earth. So only the 1 on Earth can initiate the switch by striking them together. Mar-Vell's costume just so happens to have yellow circles on the wrists even when he's in the Negative Zone. Next issue we'll see that Rick doesn't have yellow wrist-bands when he's in the Zone.
However I believe it will be claimed later that Captain Marvel's costume had Nega-Bands of it's own courtesy of the SI.

Yon-Rogg will (seemingly) get his comeuppance next issue. Despite this issue's dummy version he really does have Carol Danvers captive (since #16) but CM will rescue her.

The Supreme Intelligence will return in the Kree/Skrull War starting with Avengers #89.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain Marvel #17 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Last issue Ronan The Accuser and Prime Minister Zarek were exposed as plotting to take control of the Kree Empire from the Supreme Intelligence, with Captain Marvel as an unwitting pawn in their scheme. Mar-Vell saved the SI from a Negatron Sphere bomb, taking a dose of Negatron radiation in the process. The SI intended to kill CM's enemy Colonel Yon-Rogg, another traitor, with a remote blast that would have destroyed Earth as well. But Mar-Vell pleaded with the ruler to spare Earth so SI allowed him to go to Earth personally to punish YR. But his Earthist sympathies made him unfit to wear the green & white Kree military uniform so he was given a totally new red and black outfit. Using the teleportation ability given him by Zo (who was Zarek in disguise) he set out for Earth. But the Negatron radiation caused him to be diverted into the Negative Zone.

Now the Supreme Intelligence contacts him trapped in the Zone (seemingly saying it's Mar-Vell's own fault for seeking vengeance on Yon-Rogg for the death of his love Una). It promises him a way out and shows him what's happening to the human youth Rick Jones (who Mar-Vell has never heard of before). Rick is currently wearing his costume as Captain America's sidekick Bucky, but we see him rebuffed by Cap (in CA#116, but he doesn't know it's Red Skull in disguise). Then we see him (CA#118) leaving Avengers Mansion and his Bucky outfit and tearing up his Avengers ID card. He remembers how he was Hulk's companion from the beginning (Hulk#1), then led the Teen Brigade and switched allegiance to the Avengers (Av#1), and then Cap when he joined them (Av#4). Later he switched back to being Hulk's pal (Av#17/Tales To Astonish #68) until he was injured in 1 of Hulk's rampages (CA#110) and Cap saved him and allowed him to become his partner.

Now Rick hitchhikes to the middle of nowhere (unknowingly influenced by the SI). Then he follows a glowing image of Cap to a cave containing super-scientific equipment. The vision leads him to 1 thing in particular - 2 golden bands which he is compelled to put on his wrists. Then Captain Marvel's face appears to him and persuades him to slam them together. And Mar-Vell appears on Earth and Rick finds himself in the Neg Zone. Mar-Vell tells the teen not to worry and marvels at the legendary Nega-Bands which are the only antidote to the Negatron radiation.

At this point of course Yon-Rogg turns up and blasts him with a photonic gun. But the Nega-Bands give our hero powers (which replace those given by Zo). He survives the blast and also being buried in boulders. He chases after his foe who has reached a space-cruiser and taken off. But Mar-Vell now finds he can fly and catches up with the fleeing craft. YR delays him by tossing a screaming Carol Danvers out of the ship. CM saves her but she turns out to be an exploding dummy. He regains consciousness soon enough to mentally activate the Bands again to stop him hitting the ground.

But Yon-Rogg is long gone so Mar-Vell clashes the Bands on *his* wrists to swap back with Rick Jones. But Rick on Earth speculates that there has been some merging as well as swapping places because he now shares Mar-Vell's desire for revenge on Yon-Rogg.

Gil Kane
Dan Adkins
Gil Kane (Cover Penciler)
Dan Adkins (Cover Inker)
? (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Art Simek.
Editor: Stan Lee.


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