Content warning: This piece discusses themes of sexual assault and trauma.
Before Carol Danvers was robbed of her powers and memories by Rogue, she gave birth to her own sexual assaulter, a son of Immortus named Marcus. This is one of the more cringe-worthy story arcs in the Avengers series, because Carol is violated in one of the most intimate ways a person can be and her Avengers teammates fail her in every possible manner with their mishandling of the situation.
The story begins in Avengers #197. Carol and Wanda Maximoff are on the beach having a conversation about Wanda's frustrations with wanting a child when all of sudden Carol falls ill. In the last few pages of this issue, it is revealed Carol is three months pregnant. By the next day, she is six months pregnant. Something is extremely odd about the pregnancy and of course, Carol is confused and by scared by the news. She makes it very clear that she doesn’t know what the hell is happening or even how it happened. Wanda assures her that she’s not alone and that the Avengers will stand by her; unfortunately, that doesn't come to fruition.
The way this arc is written is pretty disgusting because it juxtaposes Carol being thrust into motherhood against Wanda’s conflicting emotions with wanting to be a mother. This contrast essentially downplays the magnitude of Carol’s situation because she gained something Wanda wants and that's supposed to be some miracle of creation. There is nothing beautiful about Carol giving birth to her own assaulter; however, everyone around her treats it like it is.
Carol eventually caves to the pressures of trying to accept both her ordeal and the son she birthed, even though she still has no idea how or why he came to be. By the time she goes to see him, he is a fully grown man, calling himself Marcus. Things go awry due to the machine built by Marcus from the supplies given to him by some of the Avengers upon his insistence. In the middle of all this chaos, Marcus tells Carol that he wants her to go with him. When she refuses, he knocks her out.
In the story, his father, Immortus, saves a woman from near death and manipulates her into falling in love with him after taking her back to a pocket of time known as Limbo, resulting in Marcus's first birth. Once both his original mother and father disappeared from Limbo, Marcus was left stuck there for what would have been forever until he found a strong enough female human to give birth to him. That ended up, of course, being Carol. He then brought her to Limbo and manipulated her in the same way his father had manipulated his original mother. After Marcus used Carol and her body, he then sent her back to Earth and masked her memories of the entire time with him in Limbo. It doesn’t get any more messed up than that. However, the story is treated like some fairytale instead of the very sick and twisted narrative it really is.
Writer Chris Claremont tried to retcon what happened to Carol in Avengers Annual #10. The story provides background to what happened to Carol after she is saved by Spider-Woman following Rogue’s attempt to kill her. It’s with the help of Charles Xavier that Carol gets her memories back and the story of what happened when she gave birth to Marcus is treated like the actual violation and kidnapping it really was. Carol finally confronts the Avengers who come to visit her at the X-Mansion. The Avengers acted as enablers to her assaulter and allowed their fellow teammate to be manipulated right in front of them, betraying Carol in the worst way imaginable. Not even the Avengers are safe from being trash.
It's really unfortunate that Carol has had not one but two stories involving the violation of her body, but it was nothing new then or now. Pop culture to this day often handles depictions of women’s bodies as poorly as it did during Carol Danvers' darkest arc, and that is dishearteningly merely a reflection of our society's systemic misogyny. Hopefully, as the members of the Avengers did, society can come to terms with how it's let the female population down over and over again by refusing to protect them and opting to want to control them instead.