Marvel’s New SHIELD is Better Than Ever

The following contains major spoilers for Avengers Forever #9, available now from Marvel Comics.

In the war against Mephisto and his Council of Red, Avengers from all across the Multiverse have been called upon to lend their strength to the battles soon to come. Along the way, countless versions of iconic figures have been introduced, with nearly every possible combination of heroes getting their time in the spotlight. Not only are these amalgamations of Avengers astonishing in their own right, what they can accomplish together is truly marvelous, especially when it comes to the Carol Corps.

On one of the bleakest alternate worlds ever introduced, the Dark Phoenix of the Multiversal Masters of Evil reigns supreme. As depicted in Avengers Forever #9 (by Jason Aaron, Aaron Kuder, Cam Smith, Guru-eFX, and VC’s Cory Petit), everything about her ruthless, bloodthirsty regime pales in comparison to the often lethal punishments meted out to any and all who dare to oppose her. While the Carol Danvers of this world has spent most of her life as an ordinary human, one fateful moment is all she needs to turn the tide of power. Taking to the skies where she belongs is already a breathtaking experience for this version of the powerful Avenger, but finding a Helicarrier full of other versions of herself is something else entirely.

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What this alternate Carol encounters is described as the Omni-Carrier, a name that is as apt as any other. This massive, Multiversal vessel is arguably more impressive than SHIELD’s Helicarrier, as is the Carol Corps who inhabit the carrier. This corps appears as a virtually infallible group, highly formidable and far less likely to succumb to the ills that led to SHIELD’s agonizing fall from grace.

The Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement and Logistics Division has been a part of the Marvel Universe ever since they were introduced in 1965’s Strange Tales #135 (by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby). This sprawling, United Nations-sanctioned espionage organization quickly became a mainstay of Marvel comics, with Nick Fury most frequently at the helm. Unfortunately, this meant that SHIELD was prone to keeping the same sort of harmful secrets as its longtime agent turned director, not to mention making just as many enemies. Ultimately, the aftermath of 2017’s Secret Empire showed the world how much harm the organization was capable of creating, causing enmity between them and the general population.

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SHIELD may have brought about its own end by gaining the ire of the world, but it is hard to imagine the Carol Corps suffering the same fate. This is largely due to the Carol Corps being comprised of different versions of the exact same person. Every single version of Danvers is a symbol of hope, trust, and compassion, and is likely to never lose sight of the things that are most important in the protection of the multiverse.

That isn’t to say that SHIELD ever made it part of its mission to sew chaos or acted with any ill intent, at least not under the right leadership. However, the clandestine nature of SHIELD has always made it impossible for much genuine trust to exist towards or within the organization. Thankfully, there is no version of Carol Danvers who hasn’t found a way to do the impossible, completely trusting in herself and her beliefs the entire time.

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