Movies Marvel Ought To Be Making #1: Insert light-related pun here.
Starring: Tracie Thoms as Monica Rambeau and Margarita Levieva as Tabitha Smith
Monica Rambeau, born and raised in New Orleans, joins up with the harbor patrol right out of school. She picks up on a couple of strange incidents at the docks and starts her own investigation when nobody will take her seriously. A super weapon? Here? Keep your head down, kid.
Tabitha Smith ran away from her family when she was just 13, when she’d manifested her mutant powers and her family reacted very, very badly. Six years later she ends up in New Orleans, relying on a guy she knows damn well is a two-bit criminal but he’s reasonably decent to her and too dim to pick up on her mutant powers.
When Tabby’s boyfriend gets involved in ‘the big one’ — the job that’s supposed to set them up for life — Tabby’s not too sure this is where she wants to be. It sounds like a bad idea, and she sneaks out the back for a cigarette when she and her boyfriend are supposed to be guarding the whatever-it-is while it’s being sold.
She runs into Monica, who’s sneaking in to try to get evidence. Honestly, Tabby’d yell for help, but Monica’s kind of amazing. Better company than Tabby’s boyfriend. So. Monica sees a chance to turn Tabby, and she’s got her this close to going for it when it all goes to hell.
The sale goes bad, the weapon goes off, and Tabby only survives thanks Monica getting all heroic and law-enforcement-y on her. The whole warehouse is just a wreck of ashes, and there goes that case. Tabby takes off and Monica limps home after a long and frustrating interrogation by her superiors.
Of course, no good deed goes unpunished, and when Monica saved Tabby she was exposed to the weapon’s radiation. A few hours later, she wakes out of a dead sleep to find it’s given her energy powers she has trouble controlling.
Tabby’d followed Monica home — she had nowhere else to go, after all — and she breaks in when she hears Monica’s powers go off for the first time. She helps Monica control what she’s got, as a thank-you for saving her life. Monica offers her couch, at least for the night.
The dust settles in the morning, and the big boss is pissed — he’s out a weapon and money, and he’s looking for someone to blame. He gets his hands on surveillance footage and finds out Tabby survived — and he starts looking for Monica.
Monica knows she’ll get fired if they find out she’s been working off the books, much less with superpowers. Tabby’s got a couple of warrants out for her arrest — and actually, the authorities half-suspect she’s already dead. When they realize someone’s after them, they decide that secret identities are the only way to go.
So, Photon and Boom-Boom. Together, they fight crime.
They do decent work together, and they take out the big boss — who, it turns out, wasn’t working alone. HYDRA was involved, and ain’t that a kick in the teeth? The authorities aren’t all that thrilled with heroes in their city, but if you’ve got HYDRA you’re going to want someone with powers keeping an eye on things. They solemnly swear to only fuck things up for great justice, and the police agree to not arrest them this time. Just. Watch it.
Post-credits scene: Fury shows up at the apartment to recruit’em as Avengers, and they both say nah, thanks, but we’ll call if we need anything. Tabby asks for Hawkeye’s digits, tho’.
(Fan art in upper right of the Monica collage by paulsizer at Deviantart)