Tagged: Captain Marvel

Watch the new “Captain Marvel” trailer!

Straight from Monday Night Football, it’s the newest trailer for Captain Marvel!

Set in the 1990s, Marvel Studios’ “Captain Marvel” is an all-new adventure from a previously unseen period in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that follows the journey of Carol Danvers as she becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes. While a galactic war between two alien races reaches Earth, Danvers finds herself and a small cadre of allies at the center of the maelstrom.

CB Cebulski Makes His Marvel

 

It’s been a busy week for Marvel Comics! This past weekend new Marvel editor-in-chief CB Cebulski apologized for using the pseudonym Akira Yoshida in a piece for The Atlantic. Since then, many revelations about the future of the Marvel line have come to light.

Jim Starlin will be parting ways with Marvel as they look forward in how they want to handle Thanos as a character. Dan Slott, after uncharacteristically being absent from Twitter for weeks, will be wrapping up his record breaking run on Amazing Spider-Man, possibly opening the door for Nick Spenser to take the helm which had previously been widely speculated. Dan Slott’s future at Marvel is still unknown.

A wave of cancellation announcements have been made since CB has taken over the reigns as well. Titles including Guardians of the Galaxy, U.S. Avengers, Royals, Uncanny Avengers, Iceman, Jean Grey, Hawkeye, Unbelievable Gwenpool, Like Cage, Secret Warriors and Generation X are all confirmed as canceled. All but confirmed as canceled include America, and Defenders, though Defenders could be on hiatus because of Bendis’ recent health issue. His leaving the company could end up putting the book to bed either way.Another book, Captain Marvel, appears to be going on hiatus for an unconfirmed amount of time as they appear to be changing editorial direction while keeping the creative team in tact.

These are the sort of big changes one may expect from a comics publisher bringing in a new editor-in-chief. It’s hardly the first time we’ve seen major shake ups like this and it will not be the last. While it’s disappointing to see a number of comics cancelled that prominently feature underrepresented communities with creative teams also representing those communities, it is important to note that all of those characters still exist in the Marvel Universe and will hopefully be heavily featured in other titles soon as well as giving other more diverse characters the chance to have the spotlight.

We wish Marvel the best during this transitional phase and most importantly we look forward to reading the new Marvel Comics that will be announced in the New Year.

Dennis O’Neil: Weather Woes

Hurricane Irma is pretty much done wreaking havoc, but the worst of it is very bad. And it’s not over. Much of the hurricane season is yet to come and the weather might still have some nasty surprises for us.

And, of course, there’s always next year.

So let’s have a show of hands (lots and lots of hands): all who agree that Superman be confirmed as our official patron superhero? The more recollective among you may remember that I have mentioned this patron superhero stuff earlier: I can’t say exactly when, but sometime. If you are a practicing pagan, please pause on your way to hell while I define “patron saint.” According to the ever-reliable Wikipedia, a patron saint is a person, having already transcended to the metaphysical, (is) able to intercede for the needs of their special charges.

Now, I don’t have a formal definition for “patron superhero,” but there’s no reason not to make one up if we have a mind to. After all, we can always change it later. Okay, a patron superhero is one whose life, persona and/or deeds can be identified with certain sort of problems and dangers to the common good. So maybe Captain Marvel – the one who changes from an overachieving youngster to a big dude in a red suit when he says “Shazam!” is the patron superhero of storms because a lightning bolt and a thunderclap accompanies the transformation. (The details of that transformation raise more questions than they answer. But back in his heyday, the post-war 40s, apparently nobody asked questions like that. At least nobody I knew.)

My suggestion that Superman be pronounced our patron superhero is not prompted by what Supes does – bend steel in his bare hands, change the course of mighty rivers, those riffs – but his identity. His true identity.

Surely you know the story. Kal-El is a scientist who insists that his home planet, Krypton, is about to blow up. Nobody believes him, and that nobody includes the savants and solons – the local authorities. Kal-El just manages to get his infant son into a spacecraft and into the sky when ka-BLOOEY! No more Krypton! But the kid makes it to Earth where he crash lands in the American Midwest, where the virtuous folk live. Stuff happens and eventually, the kid goes to a big city where he falls in with the executive of a printing company ad becomes a brand.

Here and now: we have had two category five hurricanes in the last month. Every weather-related catastrophe that has happened recently was predicted by scientists who warned us about Global Warming. And still, we hear from those who refuse to believe the evidence.

They should shut up.

The Law Is A Ass #410: Captain Marvel and I Indulge in Conspiracy Theories

I’ve never lied to you.

Last time I said I had no more Civil War II columns and here I am writing about Jessica Jones #6 and things that wouldn’t have happened without Civil War II happening. But writing about things that happened after Civil War II ended is not a Civil War II column. It’s a Civil War II aftermath column. So I didn’t lie. Technically.

And now that I’ve cleared my conscience, let’s get this over with.

Alison Green was one of the people that the Inhuman Ulysses Cain predicted was going to commit crimes. Which made her one of the people Captain Marvel arrested before they committed the crimes and threw into a preventative justice prison so that they couldn’t commit their future crimes. Unfortunately, Alison wasn’t going to commit a crime. Ulysses was as wrong about Allison as that soothsayer was about the Powerball numbers she gave me last week. And Captain Marvel was even more wrong to arrest Alison than she had been in arresting all the other people she was wrong to arrest.

Alison created an anti-super hero organization. Captain Marvel and Jessica Jones tricked Alison into believing Jessica Jones was disgraced so Alison would recruit Jessica into the organization. Which Alison did and got stung worse than Doyle Lonnegan after stepping on a hornet’s nest. Jessica helped Alison capture Captain Marvel, Then, when Alison thought she had the upper hand, she showed she had what it takes to be a comic-book villain; she went into full-blown monologue mode and revealed her master plan. Which was to kill the Champions in a way that would foster a huge anti-hero backlash and end the age of the super hero forever. (End the age of the super hero? I don’t think Disney pictures would like that very much.)

Captain Marvel said Alison’s Champions plan added conspiracy to commit murder to her other crimes. But I don’t know. See, the crime of conspiracy to commit a crime entails more than conspiring to commit a crime. As the details about Alison’s plan were sketchier than an Artist’s Alley commission, I’m not sure there’s enough there for a conspiracy charge.

Conspiracy has three basic elements. First, two or more people have to be involved. Second, they have plan together to commit a crime. Third, at least one of them has to commit some overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy.

Let’s take those one at a time. If only one person is involved, there’s no conspiracy. No one can conspire with him or herself. Even if all three faces of Eve agreed to commit the crime, that’s not a conspiracy because there’s only one Eve. And conspiracy is all about Eve and someone else planning a crime.

Second, the two or more people have to create a plan to commit a crime. They don’t all have to commit the crime. Even if only person commits the actual crime, as long as two or more of people planned the crime, they’d all be guilty of conspiracy. That’s two defendants for the price of one, what a bargain!

Third, at least one of the conspirators has to commit some overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy. If Bonnie and Clyde create a plan to rob the Commerce Bank in Beverly Hills then go to sleep so they can get a fresh start in the morning, they have not committed a conspiracy yet. However as soon as they do something else – drive to the bank, steal the getaway car, kidnap Sonny Drysdale  to use as leverage against the bank president – they’ve completed the crime of conspiracy. It doesn’t even matter that they haven’t actually robbed the bank yet. By making the plan and then doing an overt act in furtherance of the plan they committed conspiracy, even if they never accomplish their ultimate objective.

So did Alison conspire to commit murder? Well, first we’d have to know did Alison make her plan to kill the Champions with one or more people? And, if so, with which people? If the only person Alison made her plans with was Jennifer Jones, then there can be no conspiracy. Jennifer wasn’t really part of the conspiracy, she was an undercover government operative. Traditionally, when the only other party to a conspiracy is a government operative, then two or more people aren’t agreeing to commit a crime. One plans to commit the crime, the other is just pretending as part of the undercover sting and we’re back to the a person can’t conspire with him or herself rule. Recently, some states and the Model Penal Code have started to move away from this position and allow conspiracy convictions when the co-conspirators are government agents, because the criminal thinks he or she has entered a conspiracy.

So if New York allows conspiracies with undercover police of if Alison made her plans with anyone in her organization other than Jessica, then the first element of the conspiracy is met. She probably did, but we weren’t given enough information in the story to know this for sure.

Assuming that Alison and others did plan to kill the Champions, the second element is also met. I trust that I don’t have to convince you that murder is a crime. I think I have to convince some writers of that, based on the way they have their heroes kill. But you, I shouldn’t have to convince. As murder is a crime, making plans with other people to commit a murder would hit conspiracy’s second element.

Third element, did any of the conspirators commit any overt act in furtherance of the plan to kill the Champions? We don’t know. We do know they were supposed to carry out the plan later that same night, so it’s likely that somebody had done something, because time was a wastin’ but the law doesn’t allow us to assume the existence of an element. So I can’t say for sure that anyone did an overt act or that Alison is guilty of conspiracy.

Sure Captain Marvel said Alison committed conspiracy. But let’s face it, Captain Marvel’s grasp of the law is about as firm as if she were noodling for mercury. While wearing a catcher’s mitt on both hands.

Now while I may not be able to tell you whether Alison’s guilty of conspiracy to commit murder, I can tell you this; I just checked my pile of write-about-these-someday comics and there isn’t one of them that’s connected to Civil War II. So I should be done with it. Unless Marvel’s got some new story coming up that connects back to Civil War II. And I don’t think they do. Civil War II is so last year. This year Marvel’s too busy secreting Secret Empire stories.

The Law Is A Ass

Bob Ingersoll: The Law Is A Ass #409

JESSICA JONES RECONSTRUCTS THE CRIME

Well, I can’t put it off any longer no matter how hard I try. And believe me, I’ve tried.

The last time I started a column with those words we were engaged in a not-so-great Civil War. It’s how I began my multi-column series on Marvel’s Civil War II. Today we turn to the aftermath of Civil War II. Call it Marvel’s Reconstruction Era, only the historical one was probably less painful.

Inhuman Ulysses Cain predicted future crimes. Captain Marvel arrested everyone the predictions said would commit some future crime and put them in jail. I wrote about why this was against the law. You know, it’s a pity that this Captain Marvel is forcing a perfectly respectable Captain Marvel  to call himself Shazam.

One of the future criminals Captain Marvel imprisoned was Allison Green. Problem was, the prediction about Allison was wrong. She was neither a terrorist nor a criminal mastermind. Or wasn’t until she got so upset by what happened to her that she dedicated herself to bringing down Captain Marvel and other super heroes. Then she became both.

Toward this end, Alison formed an anti-super hero network which Captain Marvel wanted to infiltrate. Toward that end, Captain Marvel enlisted former super heroine turned private investigator Jessica Jones. They faked a fall from grace that sent Jessica to jail and ruined her reputation. Then they dangled the Jessica bait in front of Allison Green.

This fake-somebody’s-fall-so-the-badguys-will-recruit-him ploy was already old when 77 Sunset Strip used it in its first season, and that was so long ago that even men of a certain age are too young to have seen it first-run. (Only men of an more uncertain age, like me, had that chance.) Still, the ploy worked as well as it did back when Hector’s grandfather was a pup. Allison Green scooped up Jessica and in Jessica Jones #6, Jessica lured Captain Marvel into Allison’s trap.

This ploy only works if the big bad cooperates by revealing his or her plan. Allison did not disappoint, other than that she fell for a trick as old as the fruit salad in the Garden of Eden. She monologued like she was performing every tragedy Shakespeare ever wrote. She admitted she was going to kill the Champions and make it look like it was their fault then use the ensuing chaos to turn people against the super heroes. “The world is going to burn you all at the stake. The heroes are going to try to fight back and that ensuing ugliness is the end of the age of heroes.”

At which point, Captain Marvel and Jessica Jones revealed their plan, arrested Allison, and told her that she was going to a deep, dark prison cell where the S.H.I.E.L.D. Psych Squad would “pull all the other names and details of your burgeoning organization right out of your head … whether you like it or not.”

This story raised a few questions. I have a few answers. Let’s hope as many answers as there were questions.

Was faking Jessica Jones’s fall from grace so Allison Green would recruit her into her evil empire entrapment? No.

Entrapment happens when law enforcement officials originate a criminal design and implant the disposition to commit a crime into an innocent person’s head. If an undercover cop offers to sell someone drugs, that would be entrapment, as the government planted the idea of buying drugs into the innocent person’s head.

Allison Green was about as innocent as a newborn babe thirty-six years later; after he had become a paid assassin. She had already committed some crimes. She formed an organization to commit more crimes. Jessica did not implant the idea of committing crimes in Allison.

Did Allison’s monologued confession violate the Fifth Amendment guarantee against self-incrimination? No.

Captain Marvel and Jessica Jones tricked Allison into confessing, so there was state action. But the state action has to force the criminal to confess in order to violate the Fifth Amendment. Allison gave her confession like she was entering Dracula’s castle, freely and of her own will.

If the S.H.I.E.L.D. Psych Squad extracts information from Allison’s brain “whether she likes it or not,” would that information be suppressed under the Fifth Amendment? Hell yes!

In Schmerber v. California, the Supreme Court ruled the police could forcibly take a blood sample from a suspected drunk driver. But taking evidence using a bodily intrusion could only be done after the police obtained a search warrant. Schmerber allowed this because blood samples are not testimonial in nature. That meant only Fourth Amendment search and seizure law applied, not Fifth Amendment self-incrimination law.

Non-testimonial evidence is evidence which doesn’t require the suspect to reveal anything. As the Supreme Court noted in Curcio v. United States, the Fifth Amendment prohibits forcing someone to “disclose the contents of his own mind.” Ordering a defendant to produce blood samples, fingerprints, or the like does not require a defendant to “disclose the contents of his mind.”

Extracting thoughts from a criminal’s brain by telepathy “whether she likes it or not,” on the other hand, does force the defendant to “disclose the contents of [her] mind.” Literally.

So Captain Marvel, if you want to teep Allison’s house – well, her mental house, as it were – I have some advice; don’t. Any evidence telepathically extracted from Allison’s mind would be inadmissible because it would violate her Fifth Amendment rights. In addition, under the Fruit of the Poisonous Tree Doctrine, that evidence wouldn’t be admissible against any member of her “burgeoning organization” either. Apparently Civil War II didn’t teach Captain Marvel anything about the law, because her costume is still a fascist statement.

Last, and most important question, do I have any more columns about Civil Wars II on tap? You’ll be glad to know, the answer is no.

Mike Gold: Truth, Justice, and Hysteria

I guess Marvel senior vice president David Gabriel has had a bad week.

In case you haven’t heard – perhaps you were in solitary confinement – at the Marvel Retailer Summit Gabriel said that some retailers have told him that they “did not want female superheroes out there.” I have no doubt this is true: every industry has its share of morons, and sometimes – the Trump election is a case in point – those morons can influence policy. Capitalism being what it is, if enough morons have their way something really good and necessary gets chopped. For example, our President’s recent budget eliminated the miniscule funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Social media is instant, uncensored, and vox populi on steroids, so Gabriel’s comment was the latest shot heard around the world and everybody jumped on the bandwagon, taking his comments out of context, twisting them around, and making him appear to be the Adolf Eichmann of comics diversity.

Are there retailers who refuse to order, or who under-order, comics that star black, LGBT, and/or female characters? Of course there are. To quote from Blazing Saddles, “You know… morons.” Gabriel did say that Marvel’s commitment to diversity remains unchanged. He wasn’t backed into a corner and babbling bullshit to save his ass – he was standing behind a commitment made by a Fortune 500 company. Fortune 53 company, to put a fine point on it. And a publicly-traded company at that.

Did Gabriel say it in the most productive way? Hell, I don’t know. I wasn’t there, and I haven’t heard or read the statement in its entire context. At worst, it was phrased in a manner that was not adequately defensive.

In these days of instant communication and instant reaction – and I’m not suggesting this is bad in and of itself – it is virtually impossible to make an important observation that won’t be shorthanded and tossed to the wolves. And I like wolves. I have been one; I will be again. Getting the full story in these days of shortened attention spans and heightened touchiness is a bitch. But it is what it is.

My own takeaway from this affair: First, David Gabriel reported that some retailers don’t like diversity in comics, and I have absolutely no doubt that is true. Second, David Gabriel stood behind Marvel Comics’ commitment to diversity and reaffirmed it.

Corporate America being what it is, that’s not a guarantee. But it is as good as one can expect given the circumstances. Don’t condemn the guy for reporting an observation made by some retailers, delivered at a conference of retailers.

There’s a broader issue, one that I think is at the heart of the criticism. Previously, Marvel announced that this fall their best-known characters such as Iron Man and Thor will revert to their original constructs. We all knew that was coming. I said so in this space before, and I didn’t hear a peep of criticism. But that doesn’t mean that characters such as Captain Marvel, The Wasp or Ms. Marvel necessarily will be altered, and that doesn’t mean that Lady Thor et al will no longer exist.

What we need, and this has pretty much been ComicMix’s point of view all along, is that we must continue to create original characters who are reflective of our entire society. Yes, that is not easy. Absolutely. It’s tough to sell a new character out there. But Marvel has the muscle of Disney behind it, just as DC has the muscle of Warner Bros. behind it. Archie has been doing this for a long time, and some of the “smaller” publishers such as IDW and Dark Horse have plenty of resources.

Diversity is not a fad. No matter how violently some people might react from behind the safety of their internet service providers, this change is here to stay if we remain vigilant and we protect our gains.

The Law Is A Ass

The Law Is A Ass #402: CAPTAIN MARVEL’S EXCESSES ARE PREDICTABLE

“Bob, we need to talk.”

Those are normally not words I dread. I like a good conversation as well as the next guy and a good deal better, if the next guy happens to be Calvin Coolidge. But, as I studied the room full of people in front of me — family, friends, even editors — all trying desperately not to catch my eye, I knew this wasn’t going to be a good conversation.

“Is this an intervention?” I asked. I didn’t need an answer. Their expressions screamed: this is an intervention.

“We think you’re spending too much time on Civil War II.”

I’m spending too much time on it. The series ran for nine extra-sized issues, plus eighty-eight or so tie-ins in other comics. I’ve seen beached whale carcases that were less bloated.

“That’s seventy-nine or so issues to tell one story! Did you know Stan and Jack produced the first Inhumans and the first Galactus stories in only seven issues of Fantastic Four? Combined!

“And you’re complaining about a measly two columns!”

“But aren’t you about to write a third one?”

“Well, yes. We have Captain Marvel vol 9 #8 to deal with.”

I actually heard a collective sigh of “What now?” rise from the room full of interventionists.

Ulysses Cain, the Inhuman who can predict possible futures, made another one. A pulse of destructive energy was going to take out several blocks in Van Nuys, California. An explosion with an epicenter in the house of Stewart Cadwall, the former super villain named Thundersword.”

I looked up at a room full of stares as blank as the computer screen I had been staring at for hours. Many of the people here hadn’t even read the three — count ’em, three — comics from 1985 where Thundersword showed up. And as for the people in the room who had read those issues… Well, Thundersword was so obscure, I’m not even sure the people who wrote those comics remembered him.

“Stewart Cadwall was a failing Hollywood writer who became a super villain when the Beyonder imbued an award he won with powers. Cadwall used those powers to become Thundersword. He was captured sometime off-panel, made parole at some point, and hadn’t appeared since 1985. Until Ulysses sent Captain Marvel, Black Panther, and a cadre of SWAT police to Cadwall’s door. This was, as Captain Marvel described it, to bring Cadwall in, ‘by the book.’

“If, that is, the book is Mein Kampf.

“Captain Marvel’s team smashed in Cadwall’s door, searched his house, and found his old award. Cadwall had kept it, because it was the only thing he had to show he had ever been successful at something. Unbeknownst to him, the award was building up energy and was going to explode at some point.

“Yes, by keeping his former super-villain weapon, Cadwall was technically committing a parole violation. So, yes, Cadwall was guilty of something. But that still doesn’t justify Captain Marvel and her SWAT team breaking into Cadwall’s house and searching it without any warrant.

“At least, they never showed a warrant. But the prediction also said the explosion wouldn’t happen for several hours; plenty of time for Captain Marvel to obtain a warrant before going into Cadwall’s house. And as there was enough time for Captain Marvel to obtain a warrant, the Constitution required her to get one before she could enter or search a citizen’s house. If Captain Marvel acted without obtaining a warrant, she violated Cadwall’s constitutional rights and her team’s search and seizure was illegal.

“If they acted with a warrant, how did they get it? Would a prediction of a possible explosion give a judge enough probable cause that the judge could issue a search or an arrest warrant? I’m not sure it would.

“Anyway, Cadwall was arrested. But not to worry. In Captain Marvel vol 9 #10, another person stole Cadwall’s trophy from the evidence locker and used it to empower himself. When Cadwall helped Captain Marvel capture this new villain, she arranged for Cadwall’s parole violation to be dropped. She even let him keep his trophy. So it all went well for Stewart Cadwall.

“Which is more than we can say for Alison Green http://marvel.wikia.com/wiki/Alison_Green.”

I wasn’t surprised by the blank stares from everyone in the room this time. Alison Green wasn’t even an obscure villain everyone had a right to forget, she had never appeared before.

“In Civil War II #4

“See, that’s why we’re worried about you, Bob, you’re losing track of things. In your last column you talked about Civil War II # 2. Now you’re talking about # 4. What happened to Civil War II # 3?”

“Nothing happened to it. It came out before # 4, like it was supposed to. Oh, you mean what happened in # 3? Don’t worry, I’ll get to that.

“But in issue 4, Captain Marvel arrested Alison Green, a finance banker, because Ulysses predicted she was secretly a Hydra agent and was going to detonate a black hole bomb in the New York Stock Exchange. Captain Marvel reasoned this gave her the authority to hold Alison Green indefinitely so she could force a confession out of Alison.

“While Alison was in custody, S.H.I.E.L.D. investigated her. It found no ties between Alison and any terrorist organizations. Even the psychological screening S.H.I.E.L.D. put her through didn’t turn up and any connection to any suspicious organization. Nevertheless, Captain Marvel held Alison even though there was nothing suspicious about Alison.

“Well, Alison liked karaoke. That makes her suspicious in my book. But not in any law book. The law books might actually question whether Captain Marvel had the authority to hold Alison without charge forever.

“I’m not fully conversant with all of the provisions of the PATRIOT Act. I know it does say the government can hold an alien indefinitely, if it believes he or she may cause an act of terrorism, but I’ve never heard of a similar provision that applies to American citizens like Ms. Green.

“And, guess what? Turns out the prediction was wrong. Alison Green wasn’t a Hydra agent. Turns out the closest Ms. Green got to Hydra was a preference for Hydrox cookies. But she wasn’t any sort of a villain.

“Then.

“Now, Alison wanted revenge against Captain Marvel, so she’s taken to hiring super villains to cause problems for Captain Marvel and her friends. So, congrats, Captain Marvel, if the prediction about Alison does come true, it’s because you and your preemptive-strike predictive justice task force pushed her into becoming a Hydra agent.

“And that’s all I really had to say about Civil War II this week.”

“All? But you said you’d get to Civil War II # 3.”

“And I will get to it. Next week.”

Next week. Hey, maybe an intervention wasn’t such a bad idea after all.

Bob Ingersoll: Captain Marvel Fails At Being Civil

The Law Is A Ass Installment # 401

Despite Marvel’s claims about Captain Marvel being a human-Kree hybrid, she must really be an X-Man… because she certainly x-acerbated the whole Ulysses Cain problem.

Civil War II is a series about said the Inhuman Ulysses Cain and the problems he caused for the Marvel Universe. Ulysses, you see, was a seer; able to predict the future. He used mathematics to, “determine, to within a fraction of a percent, the probability that certain events are going to take place.” Kind of like Isaac Asimov’s psychohistory, only more refined. In Dr. Asimov’s Foundation series, Hari Seldon used psychohistory – a discipline that combined history, sociology, and statistical analysis – to make general projections about the future acts of very large groups of people. Ulysses’s brand of mathe-magic let him make specific projections about the future acts of specific people.

And why am I dragging the good Doctor into this? Foreshadowing. Psychohistory contains “psycho.” In comic books, has anything good ever come from something with psycho in its name? Or Civil War in the name, for that matter.

Iron Man overreacted to what Ulysses could do. Ulysses predicted that Thanos was going to invade. Captain Marvel heeded that prediction and sent a superhero team to Thanos’s predicted landing point, so heroes would already in place when Thanos put boots on the ground. Iron Man’s best friend, War Machine, died fighting Thanos. And the Shinola hit the fan. Iron Man kidnapped Ulysses and tortured him to find out how his powers worked. That’s how Iron Man overreacted.*

*(See last week’s column, Boisterous Bob.)

But let’s not spend all our time criticizing Iron Man. It’s not like Captain Marvel didn’t pull out the cooling rods on her own overreacter.

Captain Marvel saw Ulysses as having more potential than stopping random alien invaders. Ulysses could predict when people were about to commit crimes. Captain Marvel realized that if she acted on those predictions, she could “stop tragedies before they happen.”

So Captain Marvel went up to the people who were about to commit crimes and said to them, “Hey, I know you’re about to [insert whatever Ulysses predicted the person would do here]. Don’t do it. Because if it happens, I’m coming right back and arresting you.” Right?Unfortunately, no. That’s only a little onerous. Not nearly bad enough. Think bigger.

Captain Marvel assigned some superhero or government agent to follow the predictive baddie around very noticeably, until the time window for the prediction was over, to make sure the bad guy didn’t do whatever it was Ulysses predicted would happen? That might be a little sword of Damoclesian, but still not nearly authoritarian enough. Think even bigger.

What Captain Marvel did was…

Assembled the Cadets, a “predictive justice” task force composed of volunteers with “unique skill sets.” Then in Ms. Marvel Vol 4 # 8, put the Cadets under the supervision of Ms. Marvel. And not any of the first three Ms. Marvels, you know the adult versions. No Captain Marvel put the current Ms. Marvel in charge. The one who’s still in high school. What’s the matter, Captain Marvel, no supervisors in their terrible twos available?

And why did Captain Marvel think her Cadets needed a teenage mutant ninja babysitter? Well, as Captain Marvel put it, “Until we understand exactly how Ulysses’ powers work, [the Cadets] need to stay within the law.

In Ms. Marvel Vol 4 # 9, we learned exactly how Captain Marvel and her Cadets stayed within the law. By physically rounding up all the people Ulysses predicted would commit crimes and imprisoning them in a makeshift jail in Jersey City until the time frame for their predicted future crimes had passed.

That’s staying within the law the way a kid with a coloring book stays within the lines.

Captain Marvel was an operative of a defense agency which was overseen by a multi-national Board of Governors, so she was an operative of several governments, America included. For our purposes, how many governments doesn’t matter. Just as long as she was an operative of the American government. The government which is, itself, governed by the United States Constitution.

That Constitution says that when a government locks people up for something they haven’t done yet, it denies those people of their liberty without due process of law. The pre-crime detainees haven’t committed a crime yet so, obviously, they haven’t had a trial, let alone been convicted of anything. Nevertheless, they’re being imprisoned. It’s like that old Dostoevsky novel in reverse, Punishment and Crime. Or worse, punishment without crime.

By imprisoning people without due process of law, Captain Marvel was acting unlawfully. People who unlawfully restrain people aren’t the luckiest people. They’re criminals. After all, New Jersey may have been willing to look the other way over Snooki, but it actually has a law against false imprisonment.

So, good job of staying within the law, Captain Marvel. When you were a kid, did you keep secrets by saying, “Daddy, we didn’t go get ice cream today?”

Look, I know this sort of thing happened in the past. During World War II, thousands of Japanese Americans were interned without trial for fear of what they might do. But that was decades ago. Has anything like that has happened more recently? Guess I’ll have to Gitmo .

However, just because something that was wrong happened once before, or twice before – or probably more times than any of us really want to know about before – doesn’t mean it’s right for that same wrong to happen now. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Two 45̊ angles do.

And, yes, I know Captain Marvel had good intentions. Doesn’t matter. Because it wasn’t just Dostoevsky that got flopped. Captain Marvel’s road to good intentions was paved with hell.

Molly Jackson: It’s About Time

About time

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been chugging along for the past eight years. For the most part, almost all of their films are considered hits with the fans. Their most recent offering is up to par for Marvel, pleasing comic and non-comic fans. In fact, there is only one big glaring mark against Marvel – for me at least. Where are my female-led movies?

We are talking eight years of a major blockbuster franchise. In the MCU, there is only one central female character, Black Widow, that has been in it from almost the beginning, and a handful of female supporting characters, like Pepper Potts, Sif and Jane Foster. You can make the argument that Scarlet Witch is now a central figure but she is still very new to the universe.

Before you start yelling at me, yes I know there is a female-led movie on the Marvel schedule. Captain Marvel is set for March 8th, 2019. So almost three years from now. So, eleven years into the MCU, we finally get a female-led movie that fans were asking for four years ago. But even before that, since the moment Scarlett Johannson appeared in Iron Man 2, fans have been asking for her to get a solo film. Or toys (or as I liked to put it, any recognition at all), as in the Black Widow flash mobs in 2015.

Kevin Feige, head of Marvel Studios, has finally gotten the hint. He told Deadline that they are committed to doing a Black Widow movie, after the current slate of films is done. So, maybe early 2020s, if we are lucky.

Traditionally, movie studios like to point to underperforming female-led movies and blame the gender of the character for a bad box office rather than any other issues, like script, direction, plot, editing, set design, general stupidity of the film. Really, who is to blame for Catwoman: Halle Berry or the writers/director/producers? Meanwhile, any high-grossing female-led film is ignored as a happy accident.

What it looks like to me is that Marvel is waiting to see how Wonder Woman does first. BvS might have been horrible, but Gal Gadot’s few minutes on screen really did the character justice. If Wonder Woman can strike gold with a lesser known actress for a troubled DC Cinematic Universe, then things will look brighter for Black Widow. Then on to Ant-Man and Wasp in 2018, to see how fans react to a female character in the title of the film. Finally, if Captain Marvel does well in 2019, I think Black Widow will be greenlit.

I don’t doubt Feige’s sincerity in wanting to do a Black Widow solo film. He has helped mold the character into a rock for the Avengers to lean on. To take her to the next level would be a dream. However, Marvel is traditionally stingy with pay and Scarlett Johannsson has proved her box office worth time and again. She can ask for a larger sum and it is totally justified. With Captain Marvel, they can pick a lesser-known actress and pay her less money for the honor career boost of being in a Marvel film.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has given us a lot – most of it we didn’t even know we wanted until we had it! (Guardians of the Galaxy, am I right?) Still, fans have been asking from the second movie in for a Black Widow film. We have stuck with you this far Marvel, don’t let us down.