starring Captain Marvel
with Ms. Marvel, Hercules, Drax, and Eros

by Van Allen Plexico

This story first appeared in MV1's CAPTAIN MARVEL #63-69

From the pages of Marvel Spotlight #3, by Moench & Broderick

"Earth may well die, terminating the golden age of the universe before it even begins. This may happen tomorrow or a million years hence... it does not matter. It it happens at all-- ever-- then all is lost... forever! But yourconcern is for today!

"Others will care for the eons to come, provided you ensure that those eons will come. Therefore, Earth must now become your home, the Terrans your brothers. You must become one of them... but do not hesitate to guide them...

"Remain aware, Captain Marvel. Remain true to yourself. Live up to the reality of your being Guardian of Earth, Protector of the Universe."

--Eon, Marvel Spotlight #3


In the hologram, the red and blue form of Captain Marvel, the former Mar-Vell of the Kree, soars down from the sky, sparkling photons trailing in his wake, to attack a group of heavily-armed aliens who are firing up at him.

Mar-Vell smashes through the center of the big group, sending many of the enemy sprawling, then roars up into the air again and unleashes a massive photon blast into the most heavily- armored of his foes.

By the time the fight is finished, Mar-Vell has sustained a number of small injuries, but the last of the aliens has been finished off by a few well-placed punches. Mar-Vell stands still, breathing heavily, for a long moment, then looks over the unconscious enemies. They are of many different races. Some, he sees, are Kree and, surprisingly, Skrulls--working together!

Shaking his head wearily, he looks skyward, and in a flash, he is gone, soaring away again.


The narration begins:

"This was my first encounter with The Enemy. It occurred shortly before I was first diagnosed with cancer, and clearly, I had already begun to lose much of my strength. My few encounters with The Enemy in the months following this battle only grew more difficult; their numbers grew, and my strength waned. But then, suddenly, all signs of their presence vanished. In recent weeks I have found virtually no trace of their activities, and my cosmic awareness no longer detects their malignant presence anywhere near the Sol system."

"I have warned the Avengers and the Fantastic Four of The Enemy's earlier presence among us, and of what may be coming, but I fear that with the many other problems they must confront on an almost daily basis, they may forget about this danger until it is too late. No matter-- it is my responsibility, not theirs. I am Protector of Earth, and of the Universe, and this is the final task Eon assigned me. I will find a way-- some way-- to--"

A hand touches a panel, and the image blinks, changing to another representation of Captain Marvel, this time obviously recorded much later; Mar-Vell appears haggard, with dark circles under his eyes. He has lost weight.

"The Enemy has vanished. I can find no traces of them anywhere. However, I do not take this as a positive development. Unfortunately, the war must now be abandoned, at least on my part. My condition grows... serious. I can no longer carry on. Mentor and the others do not even suspect that I have continued to sneak out and pursue leads even as they have sought a treatment for my condition. Although I worry that my death may lead to a renewed push on the part of The Enemy to take the Earth, I can do no more... save this."

Mar-Vell's face grows into a close-up image; his eyes burn with determination despite his debilitating illness. In this light, the old majesty, the power, is there.

"I leave this record for whomever follows me in this task. The Enemy is real-- do not doubt it for a moment. Somehow, someone has managed to unite members of the various warlike races of the universe into a growing army of darkness. Their prime target is clear: The Earth."

"Find the manipulator behind the scenes. Find him and stop him. The future of the Earth-- of the entire universe is at stake."

"Find The Enemy. And finish my work."


The hologram flickers and goes dark.

Genis-Vell stands before the space his father's image had filled. He breathes slowly. He wears a navy blue, skintight uniform over most of his body; a golden starburst evocative of his father's logo covers the left half of his chest. On his wrists he wears the nega-bands his father once wore. His former half-mask has been discarded; he has no secret identity to protect, not that that mask would have done so anyway. He has chopped his hair off short, his way of demonstrating the new Genis-Vell who has grown to replace the misguided youth of yesterday.

Slowly he turns away, to face the bizarre being which hovers behind him. It is a great shifting mass; an eye on one side, a face on the other; strange twisted hair atop what must be its "head," and two smooth arms and hands which dart about, gesturing rapidly.

"I have returned only briefly, Genis-Vell, and only to show you this. To show you the duty, the legacy, which now falls upon your shoulders."

Genis nods slowly.

"You are now ready. Your father's role now falls to you. Because of this, I now grant you a portion of the cosmic awareness your father once possessed."

"A portion?"

"Yes. My powers are weak; my existence on this plane tenuous. In a moment I will be gone again. But I grant you what awareness I might, in the hopes that it will be.... enough."

Genis nods. "I thank you."

The power washes over him. Genis-Vell sees... he KNOWS... His life plays out in an instant before his eyes, and he reels, staggering backwards. His arms come up, to ward off the images, but it is too late. He is AWARE.

"I... I've been so foolish..."

"It is the nature of all mortal creatures to be so, from time to time. But now is the time for the boy to become the man. Do you hear me, Genis-Vell? YOUR DESTINY LIES BEFORE YOU! DO NOT FAIL!"

"No-- I--"

Eon flares like a new sun, and vanishes.

Blinking, Genis surveys the now-dark and empty room. He pauses a moment, considering all he's just learned. Then, taking up his jacket and the rest of his outer uniform, he leaves the room, closing the door behind him, and soars into the sky above the main metropolis of Titan. Fear and uncertainty are gone. Grim purpose has replaced them. Genis-Vell has a job to do. And he aims to see it done.

"All goes as planned, Lord Chaos."

"Indeed it does, Master Order. The Eon simulacrum functioned perfectly."

"Yes. For now, we can only wait. The events which follow are uncertain; but the new champion has taken up his role."

"The situation appears promising, Master Order."

"Appearances may yet prove deceiving, Lord Chaos. We shall see."

"Indeed we shall, Master Order. Indeed we shall."

End Prologue


Genis-Vell rapped firmly on the large oaken door, then waited.

Nothing happened.

He knocked again, harder. "Hello?" he called.

The door opened a crack, and a balding man peered out. "Yes?"

"I'm... Um... I'm looking for the Avengers."

"And you are...?"

Genis stood a bit straighter, cleared his throat. "I'm Captain Marvel."

The man's eyes narrowed. "I'm afraid we already have one of those..." He peered closer. "Although, I do see something of a resemblance to another of that name..."

"Yes--I'm Mar-Vell's son. I--"

The door pulled open wider, and Captain America stood behind the butler. "Thank you, Jarvis-- I'll see to our visitor."

"As you say, Captain." Jarvis nodded once to Genis and vanished into the building.

"Captain America," Genis began hurriedly. "I'm happy to find you here-- I'm looking for help--"

"Just settle down, son," Cap interjected, leading Genis inside and closing the door behind them. "Have a seat, and tell me what's on your mind."

Genis walked into the living room, his eyes taking in the ornate interior of the Avengers' headquarters. Momentarily he imagined his father standing here amidst the Earth's Mightiest Heroes; of the power and respect the man must have commanded. He felt chills run over his skin.

"You were saying, son?"

A female voice rang out, from nowhere, "Yeah, I'm dying to find out what has him so excited myself!" The figure of Janet Van Dyne expanded in an eyeblink, from a tiny shape soaring down the stairwell, to a full-sized, and very lovely, young woman.

"Ah--" Bringing himself back to reality, Genis greeted the Wasp, then started again. "Yes... I've just discovered--" Genis could scarcely find his tongue, startled enough by Cap's presence and the entrance of the Wasp, and now by the arrival of Ms. Marvel and Hercules through the door behind him.

"Wha?-- Genis-Vell!" Hercules roared the name and slapped the young hero on the back with a friendly blow which would have incapacitated anyone of lesser constitution. "What brings you here?"

Genis nodded briefly to both of them, then replied, "Well, as I was about to tell the Captain, I've just been informed that Earth is in extreme danger."

"And when is it ever different?" Jan asked. "What is it this time?"

"I'm not entirely sure... An Enemy..."

"Just point us at the knave," Hercules growled, "and verily, he shalt cease to be a problem."

Genis frowned. "I don't know his name..."

"That doesn't help us very much, I'm afraid," Cap commented. "What DO you know?"

"Less than I'd like," Genis admitted. "But Eon told me about him--"

"Eon?" Ms Marvel stepped forward. "I thought Eon was dead."

"He is, as far as I know," Cap replied, frowning at Genis.

"Nevertheless, he appeared to me. He told me about the Enemy. My father knew of him as well, and left me a warning. He is a being of great power, and Earth is his primary target."

The Avengers looked from one to the other briefly. Then Cap faced Genis again. "Now that you mention it, I do recall Mar-Vell mentioning this perceived 'threat' once. But son... don't you think that if this Enemy were as eminent a danger as Mar-Vell feared, he would have struck long ago?"

Genis said nothing, looking from one face to the other and finding concern, but not acceptance or belief.

"And," Cap continued, "there is the fact that when your father mentioned this to us before, we conducted extensive searches and found no signs whatsoever of any 'Enemy.'"

Genis looked at each of them again, then slid his gaze down to the floor, nodding. "Alright," he stated softly. "I'm sorry to bother you. I'll have to search for allies elsewhere."

Cap put an arm around Genis's shoulders. "Son, we don't mean any disrespect towards you. I'm sure you're sincere. But we have many other situations we're dealing with currently, and unless you can give us something more... concrete... to go on..."

"I understand." Genis nodded slowly, then turned and headed for the front door. "Thanks for your time. Sorry to bother you and all."

Stepping outside, he started to pull the door closed behind him, but it stopped suddenly and the figure of Ms. Marvel followed him out.

Glancing back at her, Genis blinked. "Wow," he thought to himself. "She's really something." And then, "I wonder if Dad ever--"

Ms. Marvel frowned, and Genis realized he was staring at her. He looked away, but her shape was burned into his retinas now; the black swimsuit outfit, the thigh-high boots, the red sash, the long blond hair...

"We DO believe you," Ms. Marvel was saying. "The others are just very busy right now. But I'm not. If you need some help as badly as you say...?"

"Yes! Absolutely!" Genis's heart leapt.

"Good. Then I'll help you round up some others and we can get to work on rooting out this 'Enemy' you're so worried about.

Genis smiled broadly. "Maybe things are starting to look up a bit."

"I mean, after all, it's almost like you're my nephew, anyway."

Genis's smile closed, flattened. "Yeah..." he replied softly. "'Nephew...'"

The two figures leapt into the sky and rocketed into the distance.

Go to Chapter Two