WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Captain Marvel #11 by Kelly Thompson, Carmen Carnero, Tamra Bonvillain and Clayton Cowles, on sale now.
In the latest Captain Marvel storyline, Carol Danvers' life has been unraveling. It all started when her half-Kree heritage was leaked to the media, something that lead to her losing not only her military rank, but the public's trust. What's more, her powers began to fade, just as a new mysterious superhero called Star started stealing her spotlight. Eventually, Star was revealed to be Ripley Ryan, a reporter who not too long ago helped Captain Marvel defeat Nuclear Man. However, Star is no hero -- in fact, she's a downright villain. Thanks to the help of Kree technology, Ripley became able to siphon Captain Marvel's powers, making her just as powerful, if not more, than Carol Danvers. Now, in Captain Marvel #11, the titular superhero finally defeats her newest enemy.
But don't count Ripley Ryan out just yet because, as it turns out, she is more powerful than any of us realized. At first, she had powers just like those of Captain Marvel's. But now, all of reality is hers to control. That's right, Star doesn't just have the Reality Stone... she is the Reality Stone.
At the end of the Infinity Wars event, Adam Warlock decided it was time to change things up and used his power to make the Infinity Stones sentient. Now with their own wills, the Stones left the Earth behind to merge with hosts. So far, we have seen the first host in the Time Stone's Hector Bautista. Since then, however, it's been quiet on the Infinity Stones front.
In Captain Marvel #11, Carol Danvers finally defeats Star by punching a hole in her and ripping out the Kree device giving her superpowers. But while this would have killed nearly any other human being, Ripley Ryan somehow survives. Now finding herself locked up in the superhuman prison The Raft, her chest begins to glow red, and she instinctively knows what has happened to her. She doesn't need a piece of Kree technology to have special abilities anymore, because she understands reality is hers to reshape. As the issue comes to a close, Star flies away from The Raft with the realization the she is now the Reality Stone.
Of course, this brings a lot of questions. Has Ripley been the Reality Stone since first appearing in Captain Marvel #1, or is this a recent development? There is always the possibility that the Kree device was masking her true power and that, now that it's gone, the Reality Stone has awakened inside her. Then again, it's also possible the Stone merged with Ripley after her defeat at the hands of Captain Marvel.
Whatever the answers are, this is just the start of Star's adventure, and her story will be explored in more depth in her upcoming solo series.
Captain Marvel #12 releases November 20.