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



Genis, Drax, and Ms. Marvel soared through interplanetary space. Beyond them, in the distance, the great globe of Saturn hung, larger than life, its magnificent ring system dazzling in the darkness of the void. Closer in, the orange-cloud-shrouded moon of Titan, so large as to be a world unto itself, beckoned them on.

"Be careful," Genis stated suddenly. "Titan now possesses a defense field surrounding its entire surface, just beyond cloud level."

"But-- why would they need that?" Carol asked. "Aren't they already protected by the entire surface layer of the moon itself?"

Drax said nothing. Genis nodded, "Yes, they do have that, but it was not enough to protect them from Thanos's bombing campaign during his first attack, years ago.* So they added a further layer of defense."

*As recounted in the epic AVENGERS ANNUAL #7 -- Van

"How do we get through?" Carol asked.

"Simple!" Genis directed one hand down at the cloudy haze beneath them, and at the invisible defense field. A stream of photons sliced out, opening a sparkling circular pathway toward the surface. "Mentor attuned the shield to my nega-bands' wavelength, among other things. It's like having a key."

Down through the clouds they dropped, then out over the eternally hidden, cratered surface. Sparkling photons trailed in Genis's and Ms. Marvel's wakes. Drax rocketed on, oblivious to all but his objective in the distance: the Crater.

The largest of all the craters in this part of Titan, it loomed ahead of them; a fuzzy bulge in the terrain at first, then quickly growing into a broad, flat mountain with a crater instead of a peak. Over the lip they soared, then down, down through the broad passage at its center; through the tunnel, past the layer after layer of Titan's surface, past the layer of living computer which encircled the entire world, and down into the warm air of the secret interior of Titan.

The artificial lighting glared brightly, meaning they'd arrived at midday. The great Tree of Eternity towered to their left, but they ignored it and continued on toward their destination.

Suddenly Genis gestured with one hand and stopped. Ms. Marvel did likewise, even as Drax continued on and curved back around in a broad arc.

"What is it?" Carol glanced at Genis questioningly.

"There." Genis pointed. Ahead, just over the horizon, what appeared to be, of all things, an ancient Viking ship, floated in midair, its striped red and white sail billowing in the breeze.

Carol blinked, stared. "What in the world?"

"In this world," Genis replied, "That would be Mom."

The three visitors approached the floating ship and settled to its deck, but no one emerged to greet them. Yet even as they searched the ship, it began to turn back in the direction from which it had come. Perplexed, they waited, and moments later, the ship settled to the ground before a broad Greek-style temple facade set against a mountainside. Greek pillars adorned the manicured lawns, while fountains sprayed water into the air. Carol looked around in awe, while Drax narrowed his eyes in suspicion.

"I know this place," Drax breathed. "I have been here once before. This is

"Paradise?" Carol frowned.

"Indeed it is," Genis replied. "Mom's private domain. But I just wonder where she is--"


Everyone turned, only to see the caped figure of Mentor walking out from the temple. The master of Titan bowed to them, and introduced himself to Ms. Marvel.

"Mentor," Genis asked nervously, "Where's Mom?"

Mentor frowned. "Genis, I--" He looked away. "She is not well."


"Elysius collapsed shortly after you last left Titan."


Mentor nodded solemnly. "Yes. She's experienced this before, I'm afraid.* She was probably afraid to bother you with it."

* First in CAPTAIN MARVEL (Genis) #6 -- Van

"What's wrong with her?" Genis demanded.

"We've been trying to discover that very thing," Mentor answered, "but as of yet, we are not certain."

"Why didn't you contact me?"

"We've been trying," Mentor replied. "You haven't exactly been easy to track down. Fortunately, she has remained stable. If things had turned for the worse, we would have spared no effort in contacting you immediately."

Genis nodded. "Can I see her?"

"Of course." Mentor led the three new arrivals through the temple facade, into the vast complex beyond.

"At least she seems stable," Carol noted as they finally left Elysius's room.

"Yeah..." Genis stared at the floor, his hands clasped behind his back.

Carol put a hand on his shoulder, squeezed gently. "Come on. There's nothing more you can do." She paused, unsure of what to say. Her warrior's nature sometimes proved a hinderance in such situations. "Just talking to her probably helped, Genis. Just letting her know you were there."

Drax caught Genis's eyes. "I have spent a fair amount of time in that woman's company, Genis. She is strong. She will recover from whatever afflicts her."

Genis nodded hesitantly to both of them.

The solemn moment was disrupted by a crash from down the hall. A tall figure in red and white strode towards them.

"Ahh, Genis, I'm glad you're back."

"Greetings, Eros." Genis nodded.

Eros smiled tightly, then noticed Drax and frowned. Then he became aware of Ms. Marvel standing behind the other two and the smile returned, broadened. "Well, hello!"

Ms. Marvel nodded back. "Hello, Eros. It's a pleasure to finally meet you."

"The pleasure is all mine, milady," Eros replied, bending at the waist and kissing her hand. "Entirely mine."

Genis raised an eyebrow; Drax wandered off, disinterested.

"Milady, you simply must permit me to show you around Paradise," Eros began, but paused as another crashing sound came from behind him. He glanced at Genis. "Ahh, I nearly forgot-- Genis, would you be so kind as to restore a measure of decorum to our dining hall? I'm afraid our other new guest has somewhat... different ideas of proper behavior."

"'Other guest?'" Genis's face revealed his puzzlement, but he jogged down the long hallway to investigate.

"Now, milady, as I was saying..." Eros took Carol's hand before she could object, and led her in the opposite direction.


Genis stood in the doorway to the dining hall, his mouth agape. Before him, seated at the closest table, was Hercules, a huge goblet clutched in one beefy hand. On the other side of the table stood a satyr, a jug cradled in his arms. Other jugs lay in shattered fragments across the marble floor.

"Genis, my boy! You're back!" Hercules's eyes momentarily focused on him, then continued their independent courses around the room.

Genis turned to the satyr. "Dionysus-- what are you--?"

Dionysus grinned. "What does it look like? This fool thought he could outdrink me. Me! Hah!" The satyr took another deep swig, wiping his mouth with one wrist.

Hercules frowned, jerked the goblet up, and held it out before the satyr. "Fill 'er up," he bellowed.

"Then hold it still!" Dionysus struggled to ring the wavering goblet, chasing it back and forth with the jug as he poured. "There's nothing I hate worse than spilling wine."

"Verily," Hercules exclaimed in between quaffs, "the Lion of Olympus doth agree with you, friend Dionsu-- Donisi-- my friend." He tossed back the rest of the goblet's contents, then thrust it out before the satyr again. "Sit, friend Genis, sit! Let us enjoy one another's company! We-- err-- umm-- We-- urrrrrr..." With a last gurgle, Hercules slumped forward, lying across the big oaken table, snoring loudly.

"Another fool learns the hard way," Dionysus observed, taking a deep drink from his jug. "Even your father could not outdrink me."*

* Sort of, in CAPTAIN MARVEL #60-- Van

Genis frowned at him. "But you cheated with Dad-- you drugged him."

The satyr sighed. "Details..."

Genis peered down at the slumbering former Greek god. "What's Herc doing here?" he asked.

"I know not. But he arrived some hours before you." The satyr laughed. "He will regret this poor performance on the morrow!"

Genis stood behind Hercules, placing his hands on the big Olympian's shoulders. "You are no doubt correct, friend Dionysus. However, I need him in his right mind, if what I suspect is true." With that, the nega-bands on Genis's wrists began to glow. Photonic sparkles spread out, covering Hercules's body, the shimmering effect obscuring his entire form for a moment. Then the lights faded, and Hercules slowly opened one eye.

"Eh? What enchantment is this?"

"Merely sobering you up, Herc," Genis replied. "We need you in good working order. So I used some of the solar power my nega-bands carry, to help your body more quickly metabolize the alcohol."

Hercules slapped a palm onto the top of his own head, dragging it down slowly over his eyes. "Urrrr... Genis, in truth thou art thy father's son. Only the offspring of Mar-Vell would dare to disturb the Scion of Zeus during a hangover."

Genis smiled, whacking Hercules on the back. "So, why are you here, Herc?"

"In truth, were I to tell you now, you wouldst think me still inebriated." The big god hesitated. "But perhaps two words will suffice." Hercules met Genis's eyes. "The Enemy."

Genis nodded grimly. "As I suspected." He turned, walking out of the dining hall. "Meet me in the central chamber in half an hour. If what I fear is true, time is of the essence."

Hercules nodded absently, then pulled himself to his feet.

"You let that kid give you orders like that?" Dionysus asked in smart-alec fashion.

Hercules glared at him. "Give me no more of thy lip, satyr. Thou hast accomplished more than enow for one day."

The Olympian strode toward the guest chambers. Dionysus shrugged and reached for another jug.

Ms. Marvel sat on the edge of a marble fountain, within a lush tropical glade, the water gurgling merrily behind her. At her feet, on the grass, sat Eros, gazing up at her in rapt attention.

"And you're saying that you and Mar-Vell never...?"

Carol stood and strolled across the grass, then stopped and gazed up at the false sky. "We considered it... once... but..."

Eros followed after her. "But--?"

She laughed. "I don't know... It just never seemed right. I got a nice kiss out of him once, but that's about it."

Eros smiled a devilish smile. "Indeed. For my own part, I always found it odd that Mar-Vell did not surround himself with beautiful women. Women such as yourself..." He moved closer.

Carol met his eyes. "Eros," she said, "I'm enjoying your company. It's nice to have a man pay me a little attention every now and then." She smiled sweetly, then leaned closer, reached out, closed her hand around his collar, and suddenly Eros found that his feet were no longer touching the ground. "But listen well," she continued, her lips close to his ear, her voice suddenly a dangerous whisper. "I do not-- DO NOT-- like the idea of a man messing with my mind. Not again. Not ever again." A half-smile crept over her mouth, as Eros stared back, wide-eyed and dumbfounded. "Now, I'm not saying that you are, or that you have at all, done anything inappropriate. But I know what you CAN do, what your powers include. And I know how you operate. And I'm just warning you once-- ONCE. Don't even think about it." With that, she set him back on the floor and strode imperiously away.

Eros watched the blonde exit the glade, his eyes never wavering from her black-swimsuit-clad form. After she was gone, he slowly exhaled and started breathing again. Smoothing his collar back down, he squared his jaw, and thought of the worst curses he could possibly utter.

But instead, all that came out of his mouth was, "Wow..."

The gigantic space armada spread from one side of the viewscreen to the other, a thousand twinkling lights, brighter than the stars, amidst the velvet blackness of space.

At the center of the bridge, the man known to many only as the Master, and to others as the Enemy, fastened the last seal on his armor and raised his hands out before him, accustoming himself to the feel.

"A perfect fit, sire," the Skrull technician observed.

"Yes. Thank you for the assistance."

The Skrull bowed low and shuffled away.

The Enemy peered at the viewscreen through his armor's lenses. "Perfect indeed. For while my armies will sweep the Terrans from the stars, I will attend to my old nemesis--or rather, his offspring-- personally."

Energy crackled from the blue gauntlets, as the Enemy clenched his fists and held them up before him. "What is the status of the Titan defensive sphere?" he demanded suddenly.

"Still active, sire," one of the officers replied, "but our agent should be ready to deal with it shortly."

The Enemy nodded, then turned back to the screen. "Curse you, Mar-Vell," he muttered harshly, "for succumbing to the Blackend and denying me my rightful revenge." A cruel sneer crossed his face. "But those who cared for you-- they will not be so fortunate. Elysius will pray for death before all is finished. And Genis-- he will suffer as none before him have. So swears the designated Champion of Chaos! So swears Y--"


The call came from behind him, and the Enemy whirled. "Yes?"

"Our pawn on Titan is in place! All is ready!"

"Wonderful." The Enemy's eyes narrowed to dark slits. He gestured with one hand, and the officer nodded.

"Then let it begin."

Having shed his red and blue outer garments due to the near-tropical environment of Titan, and now clad in the navy-blue single-piece uniform with a broad gold star across the chest, Genis walked slowly into the main control center. His thoughts remained with his mother--he'd scarcely left her side since they'd arrived. Looking around, he saw Mentor and Eros standing near the large video screen, a screen displaying the darkness of interstellar space. The two Titanians were discussing technical matters with the holographic image of Isaac, the computer, which stood nearby. Across the room, at a broad table, sat Drax, while a number of other Titanians busied themselves at their various tasks.

"Ah, Genis," Mentor called, turning. "We are devoting our full attention to locating any anomalies which might represent this 'Enemy' you seek."

Eros nodded. "No luck so far, but we do have a--" he paused as Ms. Marvel entered and strode up to them.

Carol smiled a wry smile. "You were saying, Eros?"

Eros gathered his wits, as the others blinked in confusion, at the thought that Eros would allow any woman to so fluster him.

"Er--" Eros motioned toward the screen. "I was simply saying that we are tracing a faint signal from far out beyond the solar system. It is particularly large, so it may be nothing but a passing asteroid storm. Then again..."

Genis's expression blanked. His eyes grew distant, and it seemed as if his complexion darkened, reflecting the dark depths of the cosmos.

"Genis? Are you--?" Mentor started toward him, followed by Carol and the others.

"The ENEMY!" He shouted, pointing at the screen. "He is THERE!" Genis's expression twisted. "And he is also-- HERE!!"

The others gaped. Across the room, Drax cried out, fell to his knees, clutching his head with both hands. "NOOOOOOOO!"

"What--?!" Eros rushed towards the purple-caped figure, but even as he did so, Drax leapt to his feet and fired a powerful blast of energy at Eros, sending the Titanian sprawling.

Everyone gasped. Even as Genis struggled to regain his senses from the intense flash of cosmic awareness, Ms. Marvel and Mentor dashed towards Drax.

They were too late. The Destroyer lived up to his name: He unleashed a massive blast with both hands, the crimson energy searing into a broad bank of computers and controls, melting them instantly.

The Isaac hologram wailed. Mentor stared in horror at the melted consoles.

"What did he do?" Ms. Marvel called out.

"The defensive shield!" Mentor shook his head in dismay. "He's destroyed our defensive shield!"

Drax the Destroyer bellowed a blood-curdling roar of rage, fear, and pain.

Go to Chapter Five