April 23, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Heroes Case File #219: Genis

Hey, it's another Captain Marvel!

I’ve said more than once that Marvel, when it’s being creatively lazy, will just add the word “Marvel” to one of its superhero names.  There have been a number of Captain Marvels, and while I am personally inclined to let Carol Danvers call herself that, I also don’t see the harm (aside from the obvious legal ones) of Billy Batson using the same name.  But there have been other Captain Marvels at Marvel, such as Monica Rambeau and Nor-Varr.

But then we have Genis, and that guy couldn’t hold down any codename for very long.

Genis first appeared in a Silver Surfer annual, going by the name “Legacy,” and that made sense because he was the son of Marvel’s first Captain Marvel, Mar-Vell.

Try saying that sentence five times fast.

Alright, so, he was Mar-Vell’s son…when did that happen?  Well, Mar-Vell did have a love interest about the time he died in the form of Elysius, an Eternal from Saturn’s moon of Titan…you know, the people who gave the universe Thanos.  After her boyfriend’s death, Elusius decided she wanted his children, and that wasn’t completely impossible for the Titans of Titan.  She just used some of Mar-Vell’s genetic material to make herself pregnant and gave birth to a son she named Genis-Vell.

At first, he called himself Legacy in honor of his father, and due to his parentage, he possessed a few common powers of long life and super-strength from the Eternals, but also cosmic awareness (or knowing everything or some such) and some energy manipulation through the use of his father’s Nega-Bands.  Eventually, he took the name “Captain Marvel,” and that time Monica Rambeau didn’t mind as she just changed her superhero name to Photon.

Now, the most interesting point in Genis’ comic book life was more something behind the scenes.  Due to various reasons, he was bonded to longtime superhero sidekick Rick Jones, switching places whenever one of them clapped the Nega-Bands together just as his father used to.  One would always be in the Microverse (or, in Mar-Vell’s case, the Negative Zone),and the other would be in the regular world.  There was a solo series at the time, written by longtime comic book writer Peter David, and it didn’t sell all that well.  The book was up for a cancellation or some such, and David made a bet with then-Marvel president Bill Jemas.  What was the bet?  Well, it would be to see if Jemas could create a more popular series than David’s second run on the Genis series.  As it is, David’s second run ran 25 issues, making for a total of 60 between both runs.  Jemas created something called Marville, a somewhat universally panned “comedy” series.  Look that one up sometime.  I am not reading that one, ever.

As it was, the second series ended with David wrapping up his plot points when a minor supporting character revealed himself to be a cosmic entity called Expediency, a clear parody of DC’s Endless characters.

Anyway, Genis returned and actually joined the reformed villain group the Thunderbolts under the name of…Photon, and Monica Rambeau took his taking her superhero name a second time less well, but she eventually took the name Pulsar.  Things go less well for Genis there as Baron Zemo’s actions did something that meant either Genis or the universe had to die, so he chose Genis.  And the death involved dividing Genis into pieces and shifting them off into different parts of the Darkforce Dimension, never to be reunited.

Or so it goes in the world of comics.  Genis hasn’t been seen since.

But he did have a sister…