Captain Marvel #12
Writer: Peter David
Pencil Art: Ivan Reis
Color Art: Chris SotoMayor
This is the last issue in the four part Coven storyline. Peter David usually has somewhere he is going on these little trips and he definitely let us know where the destination was this time. Coven was a madman, worse even than Marv, he also survived being executed by the state, he claimed because he was some kind of alien. Rick Jones believed because Marv saved him. The question where does justice end and vengeance begin? has been the theme of this entire story line. With this final issue Marv makes his point to Rick that they are more closely related than the "Junior Partner" has thought.
At the start of this story arc Rick Jones has had some power over Captain Marvel, in that he could cause him great pain when he was doing things Rick deemed inappropriate. This entire storyarc has been Marvel setting up people for his amusement. Rick, Coven, Lucy, an entire war fleet from off world, and the entire population of the Microverse. It has all been Marvel proving that Rick wasn't immune, and that he was still sane enough to manipulate things in ways Rick couldn't imagine. He proves it.
The issue starts with Rick asking Captain Marvel to "stop" Coven. After last issues story in which Coven gets hold of Lucy (the widow of one of his former victims) and Rick at the same time, you get the feeling that Rick doesn't care how. Rick is acting very much like he is the one in control. Giving Genis ultimatums, and telling him "How it is going to be". You just get a bad feeling for him right there. I must admit, as much of this ending as I did foresee, Peter David kept me right to the end. The ultimate ending (despite in some ways being spelled out in issue number 10) still caught me somewhat by surprise.
The family of an alien that Coven had killed in issue 10 is coming to get Captain Marvel. THe Alien had a relationship with another, in which the one was subservient, much like a slave. The relationship, it turns out AFTER Coven killed the master, was consentual, and somewhat sexual. The "Bottom" goes home and gets more big guns. They are coming to kill Marv as they believe him to be Coven's "Top".
At one point in the issue Genis acts as requested by Rick and removes the Cosmic Awareness he has lent Coven from him while Rick Fights him. Rick shoots Coven. But it doesn't kill, or even maim him. This is his evidence that he is, in fact, an alien. Then he "pulls" the cosmic awareness back from Marv, just in time to be mistaken for Marv when the warfleet arrives. (At which point Marv pulls back the Cosmic Awareness He's toast. The End...
After the little "The End..." above Marv walks Rick through a little post-mortem. Attempting to explain how he views the universe through the lenses of his insanity. Including the fact that he still considers himself Rick's friend. I wouldn't call it a moral, more of an instance of a character demanding the respect he feels he is due.
One of the things I love about Captain Marvel is that it always makes you think. I've only been reading it for the past twelve issues, since the restart, and I must admit that I have really enjoyed it. Peter David manages to tackle deep concepts that require thought and participation from the reader while maintaining a pacing that is simply amazing and breathtaking. The artwork is superior, and the plots believable, and tractable. I really hope everyone will give this one a try.