ROUND 4, BATTLE 2
CAPTAIN MARVEL AND THE CAROL CORP (#1-4)
SQUADRON SINISTER (#1-3)
Both Captain Marvel and the Carol Corp and Squadron Sinister have what it takes to make it to the elite eight of our bracket. But only one can move on to the final four. Because that’s how brackets work. So lez go!
One of the over arching themes of the entire Battleworld series is the struggle against those who have been corrupted by power. Throughout all the comics the characters are questioning authority, social and political hierarchies, even the nature of the fabric of the universe. And everyone in charge is pure, Machiavellian evil. It is a natural byproduct of the fact that an inherently villainous character has been granted unchecked godlike power over their worlds; hallowed be Doom’s name. But which one of these comics is an inherently more complex and treatment of what happens when characters take a peek at the man behind the curtain?
Captain Marvel and the Carol Corp is about a squad of female fighter pilots led by Captain Marvel. After the obviously sinister baron…
…orders Captain Marvel to attack innocent civilians under false pretenses, she and her gang of banshees start to question the very nature of the power structure. There is a set of superstitions governing their world to distract from the fact that Doom has upset the natural order. They are not allowed to question the hierarchy for fear of Doom’s private police force or enter what is known as “the void,” or the space behind the sky. It is a blasphemy to even discuss those issues. What is particularly fascinating is how easily these women disregard the lives they have established: their status within the military, homes, possessions, liberty, freedom, possibly even their lives, all in pursuit of having a glimpse at what those in power don’t want them to see. If you had a chance to see the face of god, but it cost you everything, would you take that chance? These women did without a second thought. And as the reader, you are left to admire the bravery and insanity of these characters. And the story complexes these feelings by leaving one of the banshees on the beach to watch her brethren reach into infinity to realize their destinies. She is left, possibly forever, to ponder what truths they uncovered without ever knowing.
On the other hand, we have Squadron Sinister. The struggle against those in charge stays on the floor, deeply rooted in humanity’s desire for power, and the twisted, evil consequences that grow from a power grab. Man’s inhumanity against man is born in greed. A group of superhero thugs run a province and fight other superhero thugs for control of their provinces. There are so many factions, betrayals, and double crossing that you’d swear this was a George R.R. Martin joint. The main conflict in the story is Nighthawk’s (the Batman caricature) attempted coup against Hyperion (the Superman spoof.) Hyperion’s absolute and godlike power over the mortal population has corrupted him absolutely, making him an unfit and terrifying ruler. But the only possible threat to his power is an equally evil, murderous, scheming villain? Now very, very unfortunately, Squadron Sinister is a cliffhanger. By the publication of this article, the 4th and final issue hasn’t been published. It isn’t slated until November. So the ultimate expression of this exploration of the corruption of power is yet to be known. So the winner of this bracket will have to be based on whether or not the questions we have about god are more important than an exploration of corruption and greed. This is a questions of what is more important, why are we here? Or who are we here?
The answer is: both. Both of those questions are of equal importance in art. The one that moves on here is the one that explores their question more extensively. And that means that this round ends in disqualification because at this point that answer is impossible to give. Squadron Sinister is not a complete story. It is ¾ of a story, they didn’t get it in on time to win this bracket. Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps is an complete look at what happens when people question god. Congratulations, Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps, welcome to the final four.