It’s been a few issues now since Ms. Marvel “died” and her title was, in a moment of marketing genius, handed over to her Dark Avengers replacement, Moonstone. And in that time, Moonstone has most frequently been on the trail of the AIM “storytellers,”, a collection of reality-warping MODOK fetuses. It makes sense if you’ve been reading the series.
The espionage-focussed antics of the previous arc actually drove me away from the series, and it was only Moonstone’s substitution into the lead that made me pick the book up again. Since then, it’s good to see the title get back to more traditional superheroics. It’s just a shame that Moonstone, aka the “Dark” Ms. Marvel, wasn’t given a more prominent arc.
The return of Ms. Marvel herself has been an ongoing plot for the last few issues -- technically, it was revealed in this issue, but it doesn’t take a genius to work out what was going on. Arguably, this plot has been kept bubbling away to ensure that readers of Ms. Marvel title stayed interested, but as someone who cared more about seeing a Moonstone solo title, it would’ve been nice if Carol’s inevitable return hadn’t been given such a lengthy prelude.
On the other hand, you have to give credit to Reed for spinning a story over the last few issues that convincingly revolves around Danvers even after she’s been exploded into pure energy. The use of the Carol’s Avengers team-mates is way, way overdue for this series, so it doesn’t feel like a particular gimmick to have Wolverine and Spider-Man show up, but then the use of Deadpool does feel like gust-star overkill.
This issue brings yet another new penciller for the arc, as Sergio Arino takes over from Sana Takeda, the originally solicited artist for this issue. There are good and bad scenes -- the anatomy seems inconsistent at times, but the final page showing the return of Carol is a great image that showcases Arino’s promise. The cliffhanger kicks off the “War of the Marvels” story, so it looks like Moonstone’s involvement in the title might be winding down soon -- though if “Dark Avengers’” plans allow it, it’s clear that she could make for an entertaining foil for Carol in the future, and hopefully Reed will exploit that.