Captain Marvel #9-12/44-47 (2003): Coven

Three years ago, Rick Jones witnessed murders by a brutal serial killer named Karl Coven, and testified against him. This arc starts with Coven’s execution by lethal injection. Jones is a witness to the killing, which means Genis Vell is, too, and this is another time when we can see how Jones is acting as Genis Vell’s conscience now.

Vell also questions the jury system.

Peter David’s exploration of infinite power and knowledge continues to be deeply provocative and thoughtful. Love this comic.

After being executed, though, Coven wakes up. Since he was completely dead–and pronounced so by the medical examiners–the courts feel they have to release him because, after all, he DID get the death penalty. (Yes, this is silly but it’s also funny.)

Once released, Coven decides to get revenge on Rick. During their fight, Genis Vell takes over their shared body but instead of taking Coven out, he decides they should work together for a bit.

As lawmen.

How did Coven return to life? Well, it turns out, he’s an alien. The new partners capture some aliens living on Earth–and Spider-Man–and hold a “trial.”

The aliens are angry because Coven killed one of them, and Genis Vell–as Judge–finds Coven not guilty.

Coven then decides to kill the wives of the men he already murdered. Rick tries to defend them. Coven is killed in the big final battle–and this time, he’s really dead.

In that final battle, Genis Vell strips Rick Jones of his power and almost lets him die.

The tension between these two characters continues to increase. I suspect we’ll be seeing some kind of big resolution soon.

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