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Things That Turned Out Bad – That Time Carol Danvers Gave Birth to Her Own Rapist

by  in Comic News Comment
Things That Turned Out Bad – That Time Carol Danvers Gave Birth to Her Own Rapist

In this column, I will spotlight plotlines by writers that probably weren’t a good idea at the time and have only become more problematic in retrospect. I’ll try to stick with stuff that’s more ill-conceived than flat-out offensive (like racist stereotypes of characters during the 1940s).

The story we’re looking at this time is one that I’ve already covered a few other times on the blog in other contexts. I wasn’t originally planning on re-featuring it here, but A. There was another story I was going to feature here that was so similar that it seemed weird not to first cover this one (and please, avoid mentioning the other story that is similar to this one in the comments section – I WILL be featuring it eventually) and B. This story is SUCH a notable example of an idea that turned out horribly that it seemed silly for me NOT to have it featured here. So today we look at the tale of how Ms. Marvel ended up giving birth to her own rapist…

In 1978’s Ms. Marvel #19, written by Chris Claremont, the Supreme Intelligence muses on the idea of using Ms. Marvel’s half-human/half-Kree body to serve as a sort of breeding ground for a new race of beings…

Ms. Marvel’s ongoing title ended four issues later. She then moved over to the Avengers, becoming a member of the team. The Avengers at the time were written by David Michelinie.

In 1980’s Avengers #197, writer David Michelinie revealed that Ms. Marvel was pregnant…

In Avengers #198, she reveals her secret identity of Carol Danvers to Scarlet Witch and also the fact that she could not be pregnant…

In #199, the rest of the Avengers find out and even though her pregnancy is pretty clearly unnatural (as she has matured four months just since Wanda learned of her pregnancy and, you know, the whole “there is no father”), the Avengers are pretty thrilled for her…

As I noted in a Comic Book Legends Revealed a couple of years ago, Michelinie’s original plan was to have the Supreme Intelligence make good on his threat to use her to create half-human/half-Kree hybrids.

However, in an issue of What If…? written by Tom DeFalco a few months earlier, the Supreme Intelligence had used Rick Jones’ dead body to create…a half-human/half-Kree hybrid…

So Marvel Editor-in-Chief let Michelinie know that he couldn’t repeat the story of a comic that had just come out. So Avengers #200 was re-written by Shooter and Michelinie (with plot assists from Bob Layton, Michelinie’s co-writer on Iron Man and George Perez, artist on the Avengers) to give it a new resolution to the pregnancy arc. And, well, it was not good.

In Avengers #200, Ms. Marvel gives birth. The Wasp is shocked to find that Ms. Marvel is not happy about her body being used by some unnatural event…

She, of course, realizes it is foolish of any woman to not embrace motherhood, no matter the circumstances, so Ms. Marvel apologizes and goes to meet her baby only for things to get REALLY messed up…

Time disturbances are appearing all over the world. Hawkeye, naturally, blames this guy and his machine so he destroys the machine. It turns out that the machine was the key to FIXING the disturbances.

The guy, Marcus, then reveals how he came to be born on this Earth…

And so a story that is already pretty darn weird goes to a whole new level when the guy specifically admits that he used his father’s mind-altering machines to make her fall in love with him.

And he’s not even sorry about it! He even bizarrely notes that, in effect, “I could have used the machines to make her love me, but I didn’t. Okay, maybe I used them a LITTLE bit, but can you blame a guy? She wouldn’t have had sex with me otherwise!”

And yet…

And after Ms. Marvel and Marcus are gone, Iron Man and Hawkeye think about it…

Seriously, guys? You sent one of your teammates off with a dude who specifically told you he used machines to make her fall in love with him and you’re cool with that? I mean, at least they do seem SLIGHTLY conflicted about it all, but not nearly enough.

The story was so clearly a bad idea that a pal of mine, Carol A. Strickland, wrote a scathing article about it in the comic magazine LOC #1 later that year.

Chris Claremont agreed with Strickland, and then wrote a classic Avengers Annual the next year where he calls out how stupid the story was (I featured that in a Meta-Messages here).

You have to give Marvel some credit for realizing their initial mistake and letting Claremont effectively apologize for how dumb the idea was. Also, you have to cut Michelinie a little slack since his original idea was much different than what happened.

The published story, though, definitely turned out bad.

If you can think of a good example for this column, drop me a line at bcronin@comicbookresources.com.

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