Marvel Rising is a 2018 five-issue limited comic series that serves as the first entry in the Marvel Rising franchise. Unlike the animated entries of the franchise, which are set in their own continuity, the comic series is set in the mainstream Marvel Comics continuity. It tells the story of how Ms. Marvel and Squirrel Girl first met and had their first team-up adventure.
The comic starts with Doreen Green, who has recently starting teaching an after-school game design and programming class at Kamala Khan's high school. One day when taking the class through a computer science exhibition in New York, some A.I.M. agents attack the museum, leading both Doreen and Kamala to suit up to take them down. They defeat the agents, but the reader soon learns that the purpose of the attack was to scan the crowd there for superhuman abilities, and abilities were detected in Kamala's ostracized classmate Ember. We quickly find that Ember is secretly an Inhuman with the power to create portals that summon video game-like characters from other dimensions, an ability that interests a certain "KingOfPWN".
Soon Doreen and Kamala must work together to stop Ember, who has been manipulated into becoming a super-villain known as Emulator by KingOfPWN, who has promised to help her better understand her powers. As the danger that results from Emulator's actions grow, fellow heroes America Chavez and Inferno find themselves coming along for the ride.
The limited series began with issue #0, which was released for Free Comic Book Day 2018. Confusingly, each subsequent issue was released as Marvel Rising: [subtitle] #1.
- Part 0: Marvel Rising #0
- Part 1: Marvel Rising: Alpha #1
- Part 2: Marvel Rising: Squirrel Girl & Ms. Marvel #1
- Part 3: Marvel Rising: Ms. Marvel/Squirrel Girl #1
- Part 4: Marvel Rising: Omega #1
In 2019, another five-issue limited series began release, also titled Marvel Rising, or "Heroes of the Round Table". Ms. Marvel, Squirrel Girl, Inferno, and Spider-Man (Miles Morales) are on a campus tour when a bunch of people enthralled by Morgan Le Fay start kicking up trouble. As the heroes deal with the thralls and make their way toward Morgan, they are joined by Quake and America Chavez. Meanwhile, Morgan takes over New Attilan, the home of the Inhumans, to make it her new throne.
Contains examples of:
- Bait-and-Switch: In Part 1, it seems like Doreen has figured out Kamala's secret identity as Ms. Marvel. Instead, she's only managed to discover Kamala's fanfiction handle. It takes until Part 2 for either character to be certain about the other's identity, with Kamala figuring it out first.
- Chekhov's Gun: The margin notes in one issue reference this trope in regards to the idea of Ms. Marvel transforming into a truck — which itself, is not an example of the trope, but rather a Running Gag.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Arcade is mentioned offhand in one issue, and turns out to be the Big Bad.
- Covers Always Lie: Some of the covers feature several heroes who don't appear at all in the story, most prominently Captain Marvel and Spider-Gwen.
- The Dog Bites Back: Ember uses her powers to get revenge on the guys who got her server-banned.
- Extra Life: Ember uses one to survive her heroic sacrifice in the final issue.
- Fastball Special: In Part 0, the maneuver is called out by name as Ms. Marvel throws Squirrel Girl to the back door of the museum. During the zombie attack, America throws a flaming Inferno into a pack of zombies.
- Fictional Counterpart: Some video games named are clear counterparts to real life ones. There's Danger Kong, Complete Fantasy XXXVI, and Skyscrolls.
- Genre Savvy: Squirrel Girl and Ms. Marvel are both this upon realizing Emulator's powers run on video game logic. For example, when Squirrel Girl is infected by a zombie bite during the reality-turned-game scenario, she remarks that if they were in a real game, there would be a crate of potions nearby guarded by a scary NPC. She's right, and quickly obtains the cure.
- Griefer: This is one of the plans the heroes attempt when trying to escape the MMORPG dimension. It doesn't work, so they spend a few weeks trying to cause an overflow error instead.
- Handbag of Hurt: During the zombie attack, a woman can be seen hitting a zombie with her handbag.
- Headphones Equal Isolation: When Ember first appears in Part 0, she's wearing earphones, showing her disengagement from the class field trip as she looks at her tablet. She doesn't even notice at first when A.I.M. invades the museum.
- The One Guy: Inferno is the only guy among the heroes, which is pointed out when Squirrel Girl does a variation on her "powers of a squirrel and a girl" catchphrase to refer to the team, and Inferno adds, "Also, boy."
- Reality Warper: Ember, especially as her ability to bring video game characters into reality expands into the ability to overlay entire virtual worlds on top of it.
- Running Gag: Part 2 has Doreen and her friends assume that Kamala's shapeshifting abilities include the ability to turn into a truck. She later explains during a fight that becoming a functional truck would require her to detach parts of herself, which she can't really do.
- Shoe Slap: During the zombie attack, a guy can be seen throwing his shoe at a zombie, nailing it in the head.
- Stop Hitting Yourself: America rips off the arm of a giant robot and hits it with it, yelling, "Why are you hitting yourself?!"
- The Svengali: Arcade grooms Ember online to become a supervillain so that he can steal her powers.
- Year Inside, Hour Outside: The heroes spend weeks inside a video game pocket dimension, while hours at most pass in the real world.
- Animated Armor: Morgan Le Fay's army includes animated suits of armor.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: At the end of issue #3, Morgan summons a giant Muck Monster out of the Hudson River.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Inferno is bitten by one of Morgan's monsters and becomes possessed, turning on his teammates.
- Book-Ends: Issue #1 opens with Ms. Marvel narrating, "Yup, that's me," and issue #5 opens with Squirrel Girl narrating the same thing.
- Call-Back: When Ember arrives to help, she brings up Squirrel Girl saving her life in the previous series as a reason why she's helping.
- Covers Always Lie: Several covers show Ghost Spider as part of the group, despite the fact that she doesn't show up and, in fact, doesn't exist in this universe. (The animated series takes place in a different universe from the comic.)
- Evil Overlooker: The cover of issue #3◊ shows Morgan overlooking the heroes as if they're inside a crystal ball.
- Fantastic Racism: One of Morgan's enthralled confidantes explains to her the Attilan settlement in the Hudson River, twinged with a hint of resentment at the Inhumans.
- Fastball Special: America throws Spider-Man at the griffon carrying Inferno so he can catch up to it.
- Flowery Elizabethan English: The enthralled humans speak like a bunch of Ren Faire-goers, using words like "thou".
- Freudian Excuse: Morgan Le Fay's descent into villainy is instigated by her half-brother King Arthur's betrayal. She dismisses any imploring by the heroes to change her ways or even resolve things peacefully as a ploy to get her guard down and stab her in the back again.
- Funny Background Event: While Quake is talking about why she works alone, Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel gather with some fans in the background, preparing to take a photo together. Then Inferno and Squirrel Girl go and join them while Quake keeps talking in the foreground, oblivious.
- Genius Loci: The Muck Monster summoned by Morgan turns out to be the spirit of the Hudson River itself.
- How We Got Here: Issue #1 opens with Ms. Marvel, Squirrel Girl, Inferno and Spider-Man dealing with a bunch of cars with possessed drivers. It then flashes back and most of the issue is spent showing how they got to that point.Ms. Marvel's narration: Yup, that's me, Ms. Marvel—currently losing her grip on a possessed vehicle. You're probably wondering how I got into this situation. The day started innocently enough
- Ignored Epiphany: After Morgan is defeated, the heroes talk with her and help her come to some revelations about moving on, but before she can accept their peace offer, Mothball swoops in and escapes with her, Morgan declaring, "If I had to listen to those heroes' incessant chatter for one more minute " Squirrel Girl isn't too put off by it, saying that "[a] change of heart doesn't happen overnight."
- I Work Alone: Quake tries to avoid working with the other heroes; she goes on a mini-tirade about how she hates teams because they slow you down and innocents suffer in the end, then says she's gotten friends tangled in her mess before and is trying not to repeat that. However, after Inferno calls her out on her lone wolf attitude and Squirrel Girl steps in to defuse the situation, Quake ends up relenting and agreeing to work with the others.
- Long Speech Tea Time: While Quake is going on to Inferno and Squirrel Girl about how teams only slow you down, Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel prepare to take a group photo with some fans. Inferno and Squirrel Girl walk over to join them while Quake keeps talking; she only notices that no one is paying her any attention when Squirrel Girl calls out to her to join in.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: After having a heart-to-heart with the spirit of the Hudson River, Squirrel Girl considers that she may just be suffering from an oxygen-deprivation hallucination. Good thing she's not.
- Mind-Control Eyes: The enthralled people have glowing green eyes.
- Place of Power: Morgan's powers rely on her connection to her home waters. Being near bodies of water brings her closer to her source of power.
- Shout-Out: In issue #1, Squirrel Girl mentions that she wants to major in computer science, partly helped by her experience with web design in the Neopaws (a Bland-Name Product of Neopets) forum. This is a common background for quite a number of computer science students and others who have interest in coding. Dante, like Doreen, also used to play Neopaws.
- Sophisticated as Hell: The enthralled humans mostly speak in Ren Faire-esque English, but sometimes some of their original speech patterns can slip in. When the superheroes decide to take some of the thralls' cars to get across the city, one of them objects: "Don't you dare touch my baby! Theft! Theft!"
- Switching P.O.V.: Each issue has a different character narrating. Issue #1 is Ms. Marvel, #2 is Inferno, #3 is Quake, #4 is Morgan, and #5 is Squirrel Girl.
- Unspoken Plan Guarantee: In issue #3, Squirrel Girl has an idea, then it cuts to 10 minutes later to them finishing going over the plan, without revealing what it is. Then they carry it out, successfully disabling the animated suits of armor.
- Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: One of the enthralled humans starts to say too much to Ms. Marvel — one of the others kicks him in response, and he says, "Ow-eth."