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Captain Marvel #29: Review

Nov 1973
Jim Starlin, Jim Starlin

Story Name:

Metamorphosis

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Captain Marvel #29 Review by (March 16, 2018)
Jim Starlin's been penciller for the last 4 issues and shared the writing for the last 3, but now he takes over as solo scribe.

This history links Olympus with 8 billion years ago, but the Earth is only 4½ billion years old.

The history here is obviously based on Greek mythology. Uranus was *the* father of the Titans, but not a member of a whole 1st generation. Kronos and his siblings were the 1st generation. Zeus and others were the 2nd generation of Titans. Kronos did overthrow his father Uranus. But the War of Titans was between Kronos' generation and Zeus and his siblings/cousins. Zeus' side won and they became the Greek Gods.

Here Kronos is called that once, and then Chronos thereafter. The Greek name is usually rendered in English Cronus, Cronos or Kronos, but not Chronos who was another guy who was Time. But the 2 have been confused for ages so we can cut Starlin some slack. In other early Marvel apps including other Starlin issues of this series he is called (I think exclusively) Kronos. What If #24-25 will rewrite this origin as referring to the Eternals rather than the Olympians. From then on Kronos will be an Eternal, but later changed to Chronos as here. And even later the Marvel Greek Titan will show up and be named Cronus.

Similarly Uranus here will become the Eternal Uranos, and the Greek Uranus will appear in some later comics.

Uranos' banishment to planet Uranus is a throwaway line here, but What If #26-28 will have his followers founding the Uranian civilisation connected to Marvel Boy (Robert Grayson), and also the civilisation on Titan that wiped itself out here. And he also accidentally inspires the Kree to create the Inhumans.

Una's body will be back in #40 when it is animated by an alien parasite.






 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Captain Marvel #29 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Image from Captain Marvel #29
Last issue Eon, a cosmic being who thinks he's multiple, whisked Captain Marvel away from the ongoing Thanos War to a distant star system. He now says he's waited 8 billion years for this moment when he will destroy Mar-Vell the warrior.

Mar-Vell helpfully thinks back over the events of last issue. He fought the Controller who had been sent to kidnap Lou-Ann Savannah, the girlfriend of CM's sort-of alter ego Rick Jones. Controller collapsed part of Avengers Mansion on Captain M, but when Eon abducted him Rick Jones was switched from the Negative Zone to the Mansion.

Eon now clarifies *his* position a bit. He's been waiting since the dawn of Olympus for this event foretold by Kronos the cosmic balance. Now the warrior must die to save the universe. He then shows Marvel a vision of some of his old foes, who Eon claims are holding him back from his destiny by causing him to engage in fruitless combat. (We see Ronan the Accuser, Megaton, an Aakon, possibly a Blood Brother, and what looks suspiciously like the Space Phantom who CM has never met.) They symbolically overcome Mar-Vell. And Eon says he must change to become the universe's champion.

Eon now seeks to motivate the Captain towards that change by showing him some history. Before the time of the (Greek) gods Olympus was home to the Titans. The warlike 1st generation led by Uranus begat a peace-loving 2nd generation led by Chronos, who of course fought their fathers to take over and rule (peacefully). Uranus was exiled to the planet of that name.

Chronos ruled for a long time, and was also a scientist experimenting with cosmic life force. But an accident caused an explosion which scattered *his* life-force throughout the galaxy. He became one with the universe.

Chronos had 2 sons:- warlike Zeus and peaceful A'Lars. Zeus succeeded his father and exiled A'Lars. Wandering the stars (or at least the Solar System) A'Lars came to Titan, a large moon of Saturn. This moon had been inhabited but its civilisation had just wiped itself out leaving only 1 survivor, a woman named Sui-San. A'Lars took her as his wife and under the name Mentor began a new race and peaceful civilisation. But now 1 of his sons Thanos has gained a Cosmic Cube and threatens that world, and indeed the universe.

We now briefly catch up with some of the other players in the Thanos War. Thanos himself is gloating how the power of the Cube has enabled him to imprison his father Mentor and his brother Eros. His most dangerous opponent still left is Drax the Destroyer. The Mad Titan wonders why he let Drax live last issue - maybe because he's curious why the Destroyer hates him so much. Meanwhile Drax has recovered to find Thanos gone with the Cube. And he sets out to find Captain Marvel. Controller gives Lou-Ann a new control disc to replace the 1 which failed earlier. Rick Jones calls out to Mar-Vell because he's running out of air. Thanos notes that the pair have been separated, but even the Cube can't detect CM anywhere.

Wherever CM is Eon is continuing his history lesson. 8 billion years ago Chronos foresaw the rise of Thanos and his acquiring a Cosmic Cube. He knew that his power and that of the Titanians would not be enough to stop Thanos. So Chronos created Eon (who again refers to themself as us) to wait for the man who *could* succeed through skill rather than power.

Eon will give Mar-Vell the requisite skill, but only when he is ready to wield it. The universe needs a protector not a warrior. Mar-Vell must learn the futility of the wars he's fought in service of the Kree Supreme Intelligence. Eon shows him a montage of wars to prove that the only result is death, maiming and loss. Marv says men should fight for honour, but Eon scoffs at that. So Marv says he fights to protect those he loves. Which brings Eon to his next topic.

(Throughout this issue Eon changes form several times.)

He brings the Captain to an asteroid where lies the dead body of his love Una. Eon claims that Una died trying to reach Mar-Vell while he was in combat - he failed to protect her then! (A slightly slanted retelling of #11.) Mar-Vell blamed their superior Yon-Rogg. He got revenge (#18) but failed to bring Una back to life (I'm not sure he ever tried to do that). So now Eon does it for him.

Mar-Vell embraces his lost love but she attacks him frantically. Eon says that's because she has no soul - and this is all he would have achieved if he'd succeeded in his quest.

Mar-Vell admits that everything he ever fought for was false. He's ready to change. Eon says he has now become aware, and he will now expand that awareness to cosmic scope. And the new Captain Marvel is born. (Although the only outward sign is slight change in his mask and blond hair rather than white.) And to prove he's now superior we see him defeat the vision of his old enemies (including a Kree Sentry and possibly a Badoon). Last of all he defeats his warlike self with skill and agility.

So Eon returns him to Earth where he takes Rick's place under Avengers Mansion (and Rick goes back to the Negative Zone). He easily escapes from the rubble, and tells Rick he's just as confused about what just happened as we are.


Preview Pages
Click sample interior pages to enlarge them:




Jim Starlin
Al Milgrom
Jim Starlin
Jim Starlin (Cover Penciler)
Al Milgrom (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski.
Editor: Roy Thomas.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Drax
Drax

(Drax the Destroyer)

Plus: Controller, Eon, Eros, Lou-Ann Savannah, Mentor, Una.

> Captain Marvel: Book info and issue index

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