WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Captain Marvel #126 by Margaret Stohl, Michele Bandini. Erick Arciniega and Joe Caramagna, on sale now.
Captain Marvel has struggled to find a proper place in the Marvel Universe since the absence of writer Kelly Sue DeConnick, who revitalized the character and — along with artists such as Dexter Soy and David Lopez — brought the hero to the level of prominence to where she’s now getting her own movie in a few years time. However, since the end of Secret Empire and the dawn of Marvel Legacy, the renumbered Captain Marvel has quietly undergone a little resurgence and by leaning on classic sci-fi tropes it has managed to embrace the genre fully and engage in some genuinely fun stories.
While her title has been flying under the radar a little bit, Captain Marvel is about to get the spotlight shone on her in a big way as the hunt for the Infinity Stones is on across the Marvel multiverse and by the end of this issue, we know exactly where the Reality Stone has been hiding.
This issue takes place entirely outside of the Prime Marvel Universe, as after a run in with the alien shapeshifter Mim in the previous issue, Carol was shunted into a parallel dimension where things are a lot different. As she slowly starts to piece it together, she finds out that she works for Zeta Flight rather than Alpha Flight, she’s a Corporal rather than a Colonel (while her name is Captain Marvel as an ode to Mar-Vell, she actually surpassed that rank while in the Air Force and retired a Colonel), and her colleagues are acting very strangely. For one, Puck doesn’t go by that name, preferring to go by his given name of Eugene. Not only that, he’s less a grizzled Canadian bar brawler and more a coiffed Williamsburg coffee drinker. Sasquatch and Wendy Kawasaki also have their own new tics and traits that are different from what Carol remembers.
While it takes Carol a bit too long to realize what’s going on, the Zeta Flight space station is attacked by The Widower’s Quinjets. Carol learns that in this reality, her friend Natasha Romanoff is still alive and angry at Carol for betraying her. It seems that everyone who is a good guy in the Prime Marvel Universe is a bad egg in the mirror dimension, in classic Star Trek fashion. The Widower accuses Carol of cutting her out of a score and of preparing to cut her colleagues out too, so Carol is forced to adopt the role of the thieving space pirate whose place she has taken in order to find out what’s going on and get home.