Secret Wars and the Carol Corps

"Secret Wars," issue 1, Marvel, May 2015
“Secret Wars,” issue 1, Marvel, May 2015

Prior to the start of Marvel’s Secret Wars in May, I overheard several patrons of Ultimate Comics express their excitement. What I didn’t know is that the Secret Wars storyline originated in a 1984 – 1985 miniseries and these patrons were fans.

"Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps," issue 1, Marvel, June 2015
“Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps,” issue 1, Marvel, June 2015

The most daunting thing about starting to collect comic books is where to begin. I’ve only been collecting for about three years and the philosophy that keeps me sane is “start with the now.” There’s a plethora of independent publishers so finding new titles or titles whose mythology doesn’t span decades creates an easier inlet for n00bs.

"Secret Wars" Reading Chronology
“Secret Wars” Reading Chronology

Secret Wars does not feel like an inlet for a new collector. The number of intersecting storylines and characters involved makes my head explode.

Released on May 6, 2015, the storyline includes a core Secret Wars mini-series, written by Jonathan Hickman and drawn by Esad Ribić, which picks up from where the “Time Runs Out” storyline running in Avengers and New Avengers ends.

The storyline involves the Marvel Universe combining with various other alternate universes (including those seen in the Ultimate Marvel and Marvel 2099 imprints, and the “Age of Apocalypse” storyline) into Battleworld, a planet that exhibits aspects of the various universes. This results in a new, single universe that will become the status quo for Marvel Comics, similar to how DC Comics restructured its universe in storylines such as 1985’s Crisis on Infinite Earths.”Secret Wars”, Wikipedia

"Secret Wars" cast
“Secret Wars” cast

Many of you, like me, may have gotten issue 0 of Secret Wars on Free Comic Book Day. Later I was persuaded to buy issues 1 and 2.

The huge mishmash of characters and stories just doesn’t work for me. Maybe I’m too OCD but it seems like chaos. Issue one has a cast list of 57 characters! It’s a series for Marvel collectors—fans of the publishing house.

"Captain Marvel," issue 1, Marvel, July 2012
“Captain Marvel,” issue 1, Marvel, July 2012
"Captain Marvel," issue 29, Marvel, November 1973
“Captain Marvel,” issue 29, Marvel, November 1973

Captain Marvel, issue 1, was rebooted July 2012 with writer Kelly Sue DeConnick. The Captain Marvel character has been around since 1967 when he was Captain Mar-Vell but, I didn’t have to know the six prior iterations of Captain Marvel to pick up the reboot.

The idea that Captain Marvel was going on hiatus and a new title, Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps, would come in as a part of Secret Wars thrilled and frightened me.

Captain Marvel leads an all-female squadron of ace pilots. It doesn’t take long to realize there’s something upside down about this world where there are dozens of Thors and the source of light is believed to come from Doom. Are Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps on Doom’s side? Say it ain’t so.

It’s beyond flattering to know that a grassroots movement of self-proclaimed Carol Danvers fans created Carol Corps and now it is a Marvel title. Does that give anyone else chills? We, the fans, have been written into Captain Marvel. We thank you.

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Taking a winning plan from the July 2012 reboot, Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps does not require an understanding of too many canon characters or crossing storylines. Even casual fans of Marvel will recognize Doctor Doom by sight or by name. But stil, it doesn’t take a lot of backstory to know someone named Doctor Doom is a really bad guy.

Secret Wars maybe too big for a new collector like myself, but I’m happy to have a little corner of battle I can enjoy and participate in as part of the Carol Corps.

Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps
Issue 1
June 10, 2015
Writers: Kelly Sue DeConnick, Kelly Thompson
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Artist: David Lopez

Rhonda has a BS in Mathematics and Computer Science and is a self-taught graphic designer. She considers herself a geek*wildcard because she has a little bit of experience in everything.

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