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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

X-amining Avengers #200 - Patreon First!

"The Child is Father to ... ?
October 1980

In a Nutshell
Ms. Marvel gives birth to the son of Immortus, who also impregnated her, then leaves Earth to live with him in Limbo.  

Plot: Jim Shooter, George Perez, Bob Layton, David Michelinie 
Writer: David Michelinie
Penciler: George Perez
Inker: Dan Green
Letters: John Costanza
Colors: Ben Sean
Editor: Jim Salicrup
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

After just three days of pregnancy, Ms. Marvel gives birth. Though the Avengers are overjoyed at the prospect, Ms. Marvel feels used, having no memory of the child's conception, and wants nothing to with the boy. Within hours, the infant grows and becomes a young man who calls himself Marcus, and sets about building some kind of machine. Meanwhile, all over New York, time displaced elements like dinosaurs and medieval knights begin to appear, terrorizing the city. As the Avengers do their best to fight back against the time-tossed elements, Hawkeye comes to suspect Marcus' machine is responsible for the time fluctuations, and destroys it. Dismayed, Marcus tells the Avengers his story: the son of Immortus, lord of the time-lost realm of Limbo, he craved an escape after the Avengers prevented Kang from ever becoming Immortus, thereby leaving Marcus alone. He proceeded to kidnap Ms. Marvel and after his attempts to woo her proved unsuccessful, used devices at his disposal to make her love him, at which point he conceived himself then sent her back to Earth moments after she left, with no memory of the encounter. On Earth, he quickly grew, but his presence caused disruptions in time, disruptions the now-destroyed machine he was building would have averted. But now he must return to Limbo or risk the destruction of all existence; Ms. Marvel, unsure of her feelings for him, decides to join him, and Thor uses his hammer to transport them both back to Limbo. With Marcus gone, the time displaced elements disappear, and the Avengers are left to wonder if they made the right decision in letting Ms. Marvel go. 

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  1. I've only ever known this comic by its reputation and mention in Avengers Annual #10. I'd say it's hard to believe that this issue ever went to print but it's not. Had I read this as a child I don't think I would have given it a second thought but probably would have enjoyed it for the superhero stuff. Now, though? Wow.

    I am actually surprised that it was reprinted in the Ms. Marvel Epic Collection. I'm guessing it's there for completion's sake than for anything else. I'm also glad that Avengers Annual #10 takes this issue to task.

    I know it's not the norm for these Patreon reviews but I would love to have seen the X-Men review templates used here. I'd like to inow which of the 4 plotters came up with this (not surprised to see Shooter's name).

    1. Well, not to give away for free what you can read on Patreon, but I quote an excerpt from Jim Shooter's website where he basically washes his hands of the whole thing, claiming ignorance of why he even merited a plotter credit (while also assuring us that, of course, as E-i-C, he ultimately did sign off on it so he's not blameless). :)

    2. Ah, thank you.

      I'm not familiar enough with the writers on this to even begin to guess who might have been the "idea man" for this. But I do remember Shooter wrote the Dazzler graphic novel where the "good" was basically the one that was just a little less creepy than Eric Beale.

    3. Notably this was left out of Essential Ms Marvel which was probably the better editorial choice.

      With regards Jim Shooter's credit there are a number of issues from his time that are either controversial or trying to undo messes (the Web of Spider-Man in Northern Ireland issue springs to mind) where he winds up with a co-plotter credit for what seems to have been an order from on high and he can't recall writing the issue. I'd check but his site often returns "Forbidden" at the moment.

  2. This brings up the question: would the original concept- Carol delivering a baby Supreme Intelligence- have been less offensive? I’m sure someone would take the Kree energies that empowered Carol and led to this nonsexual production as a rape in itself.

    1. Any story about a woman character with a mysterious unplanned pregnancy will bring up the observations of rape and lack of agency. I think the Supreme Intelligence would have pkayed slightly better in that it doesn't have her running off with her rapist.

    2. I tend to agree; really, the only thing the Supreme Intelligence plot removes is (hopefully) Carol going off to live with him afterwards. Otherwise, it's pretty much the same icky beats.

    3. I've never really thought about it until reading through the comments here, but the way you mention it being a Kree Energies situation reminds me of Shmi Skywalker and how she became pregnant with Anakin. I've never seen anyone bring up this discussion point towards Anakin's birth either.

    4. I think the Anakin thing is more accepted as "Immaculate Conception" despite hints in Episode III to the contrary. It's vague enough in Star Wars that you can comfortably rule out any intent outside that of The Force itself. Now if they definitively stated that Darth Plagueis the Wise was responsible I can see where it might raise eyebrows. I don't think Disney will allow that to become canon anytime soon, for obvious reasons.

    5. @Drew — While it’s a common mis-youknowwhat, Immaculate Conception does not refer to Jesus’s origins but to Mary’s. Nothing to do with virgin/fatherless birth. The Church decreed after considerable debate that she must necessarily have been conceived without Original Sin as ordained by God so as to be a proper vessel for impregnation by the Holy Spirit.


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