There's a distinction that, to my way of thinking, I'd make between a missed opportunity and mere wasted potential (the latter having been discussed briefly in my Aquaman article). Although neglected thus far, the possibility still remains that Aquaman may someday be taken in those selfsame aforementioned directions. However, in the example that follows, perhaps the most difficult task - doing the actual work, and then setting everything into place - had already been accomplished. Regrettably, all of the preparation in this particular instance would never be used to any real advantage. Meanwhile, the subsequent actions of individuals not directly involved would only serve to further derail whatsoever benefit there might have been in actually doing so.
It was a little over a year ago when I first read Brian Reed and Lee Weeks' Captain Marvel: Secret Invasion - collecting as it did the Civil War: Rebirth one-shot, and also the subsequent Captain Marvel mini-series. I loved it. Here was a book that skipped right to the heart of that which should be monumentally important to every single one of us! Through its protagonist - Mar-Vell, hero of the Kree-Skrull War - we're taken along on a journey of mutual self-discovery. It allows us to question the very nature of identity: what it is that makes each of us, deep down, who we really are inside.
Are we the sum of our thoughts, feelings, and emotions... or of some combination thereof? And is our heredity - the sheer random chance of our genetic heritage - in any way connected to our unique state of being, our individual sense of self... or even, as some might suggest, our 'souls?' In this, Reed and Weeks achieved the seemingly impossible: They made Captain Marvel infinitely more fascinating than he'd ever been before. Naturally, I began extolling the praises of Captain Marvel: Secret Invasion to anyone who would listen - even going so far as to mention it in the same breath as Silver Surfer: Parable (which is very high praise indeed)!
But then I (recently) read the core title of the Secret Invasion company-wide cross-over event storyline - the mini-series of the same name by Brian Michael Bendis and Leinel Yu - and I made an unfortunate discovery: The intriguing thought-experiment begun in Captain Marvel: Secret Invasion also ended there. There would never be anymore follow-ups along those same lines - in fact, it was all jettisoned in favor of some Johnny-come-lately poseur character named Noh-Varr (just check out the guy's wiki - he's more of a wannabe Brood than he is a Kree)!
And, perhaps most disheartening of all: It turns out that, through it all, Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning have been wanting to use the Captain Marvel character themselves! So basically this whole endeavor (or fiasco, as I prefer) was just a clever way for Marvel's veritable unofficial creative director to officially say 'no' to two of the best writers at the entire company. *sighs*