Monday, December 7, 2020

Marvel Immersion Project: Marvel Feature #12, The Death of Captain Marvel, Uncanny X-Men #132-133

This week, I finally wrap up Captain Marvel before jumping back to the X-Men, picking up right where I left off here.

Overall, the Captain Marvel story is pretty good.  I appreciate the influence on the last two Avengers movies and the culminating graphic novel offers moments of genuine poignancy.  I would say that I appreciate Jim Starlin's stunning artwork more than the narrative itself.  However, I understand the importance of this arc to the Universe as a whole.

My Recent Reads

Marvel Feature #12
Originally Published November 10, 1973
Writer: Mike Friedrich
Artists: Jim Starlin & Joe Sinnott
  • The Thing and Iron Man team up to brawl with the Blood Brothers.

"The Death of Captain Marvel"
February 3, 1982
Writer and Artist: Starlin
  • Mar-Vell succumbs to cancer, a result of inhaling toxic fumes in his battle with Nitro in Captain Marvel #34.
  • This story has a cast of hundreds, both friends and foes alike coming to pay their respects to the fallen hero.  The assembled mourners create a scene not so different from the end of Avengers: Endgame.  
  • It would be exhausting to list everyone but one character deserves special mention: Elysius, Mar-Vell's longtime lover who holds near constant vigil at his bedside.
  • This poignant story brings up a lot of interesting questions about superheroes in general, most importantly: why don't the heroes take on more real-world problems like cancer, poverty, famine, etc.?  Their last-minute efforts aren't enough to save Mar-Vell but perhaps if they'd been working on a cure all along...
    • Comic books and the worlds they chronicle are meant to provide an escape for the reader.  It's easier to give the enemy a name and a face than to confront more complicated issues.  Some try, of course: Silver Surfer, for instance.  But the usual, dependable formula doesn't allow much room for it.
    • Nonetheless, at least in this story, some of the heroes regret this fact.

Uncanny X-Men #132
April 10, 1980
Chris Claremont and John Byrne/Byrne
  • No longer certain of their mansion's security, the X-Men head to New Mexico where they hang out with former X-Man Angel.
  • Scott and Jean re-connect atop a desert butte.  Scott discovers that among Jean's new powers is the ability to telekinetically suppress Scott's optic blast.
  • The gang heads back to New York to confront the Hellfire Club.  
  • Jason Wyngarde regains his psychic control over Jean and introduces her to the rest of the Hellfire Club as their Black Queen.  He also reveals to Scott his true identity as Mastermind, previously only suspected.
  • Battles ensue.  Cyclops, Colossus, Storm and Nightcrawler are all captured.  
  • Only Wolverine remains free.  As the story ends, he emerges from the sewer below, ready to take on the Hellfire Club all by himself.
  • This issue is the first appearance for Tessa (aka Sage), though she is yet to be identified as such.

Uncanny X-Men #133
May 1, 1980
Claremont and Byrne/Byrne
  • Wolverine battles the Hellfire Club guards.  This is the first issue in which his quick-healing powers are revealed.
  • First appearance for Senator Robert Kelly.
  • Scott attempts to connect with Jean in order to snap her out of Wyngarde's hold over her.  He is foiled by Wyngarde.  The two men duel on an astral plane.
  • Wyngarde wins, apparently killing Scott in the process!
  • To be continued.


  1. I have the graphic novel of the death of CM. That, I did read when it came out.

  2. So many great Marvel work. Who knew, back in the 50s, that such would come from their work. Avengers? X-Men? Dr. Strange? To become the movies they have, wow.

    1. My buddy Mock is a comic book fan for life and was over the moon when the first Avengers movie came out. All of his childhood dreams were coming true.