Ms. Marvel #37Warning: Spoilers for Ms. Marvel #37 ahead.
Once upon a time, Carol Danvers was Ms. Marvel.
And she was alive.
But with Ms. Marvel #37, this chapter of Ms. Marvel's journey has ended with quite a fireworks show as writer Brian Reed made good on the promise he revealed to Newsarama two months ago: Carol Danvers is dead.
"She's dead," Reed flatly stated. "There's been a lot of speculation about this, because Carol got a new identity set up part way through the story -- Catherine Donovan. So people have been speculating that Carol Danvers is dying, but she's going to take on the Catherine Donovan name.
"No, she's dead," he said. "There's a big dramatic death scene. It happened. It's over. There's no switching identities. It's the death of Carol Danvers."
For the last few months, Ms. Marvel has been following Carol as she worked undercover with a group of spies from her past, pursuing what Reed called her "first enemy" -- the terrorist Ghazi Rashid, who once tortured her in Afghanistan. Even though she thought she'd killed Rashid years ago, it was revealed a few months ago that the evil man still lives.
And as Reed revealed during this most recent storyline, Carol Danvers hasn't been able to use all of her powers since Secret Invasion.
"Over the last few issues, Carol recounted the events with Cru back in the day. When she was fused together with that alien, it was healing her all the time and keeping her going until it could get back to its body," Reed said. "When it was separating out from her, it told her, you think this is good, but bad things are happening and you're going to pay the price. And we hadn't mentioned that since, because Carol had forgotten about it. But now it's come back to haunt her.
During Secret Invasion, Carol used more power, faster and harder, than she ever had before in her life, Reed said. "She hit that wall Cru had warned her about. And she had a burnout," he said. "Since then, she'd been using things sparingly until she got to the point where she couldn't do it at all anymore."
After a confrontation with Norman Osborn in Dark Avengers #1, Carol finds out the hard way that he's been plotting against her behind the scenes. As she finally catches up with Ghazi Rashid, she is surprised to find out he has superpowers -- thanks to the help of Norman Osborn.
"She realized that he was powered up, and that he was going to kill her. And she just wanted to take him out before she died herself," Reed said. "When she powers up, it's kind of like a nuclear reactor melting down. And she got all her emotions back, so she was feeling this for the first time."
Reed, who has been writing the Ms. Marvel ongoing since it began three years ago, admitted it was a little tough to write the death scene for a characters he's come to care about.
"The thing that got me was when she explains that she finally got her emotions back. When I realized what that meant, it got to me. After all these years since Rogue screwed her up, she finally remembers stuff and remembers how to feel about it. And now she's dying," he said. "That was the part that made me stop and realize what I just did.'"
Now that Carol Danvers is dead, Norman Osborn has cleared the way for Moonstone to take over the role of Ms. Marvel, and he was seen at the end of issue #37 telling Moonstone that she is now the only Ms. Marvel flying around.
Ms. Marvel #38Starting with Ms. Marvel #38, the ongoing series begins what Reed calls "the Karla Sofen Show," although solicitations reveal that the memory of Carol will continue to affect the series as it makes the transition.
"Anybody with that name and that job history, it's going to affect the next person," he said. "There's going to be fallout from what that person was doing. And that's what we're seeing here -- some fallout from that."
Along with a new lead character, Ms. Marvel will also get a couple new artists doing interiors.
"Rebecca Isaacs is doing the art for next month's issue and, 'Oh my God, it's gorgeous!" Reed said. "And Sana Takeda is taking over after Rebecca. I've got some amazing artists. And Sana sends in layouts, and layouts are supposed to be stick figures, you know? And she sends in things like some artist would turn in as finished pages. And these are her layouts!"
Over the next few months, Reed said Ms. Marvel will take a turn toward the darker side as Karla Sofen's role in Dark Reign in explored, although the guest stars appearing might bring a little levity to the situation.
"There's a couple of issues coming up that Deadpool is part of," Reed said with a laugh. "I basically sent in an email to [Marvel editors] Steve Wacker and Tom Brevoort and said, look, here's the insanity that I want to do in Ms. Marvel. And I outlined it, and if I had gotten to do 50 percent of it, I would have been happy beyond belief, but they told me I could do everything.
"It starts with Deadpool," he said, "and ends with all of the New Avengers. And things really get crazy."