bethbethbeth: (Captain Marvel (bbb))
[personal profile] bethbethbeth posting in [community profile] comics_reviews_etc
Once upon a time, this was Captain Marvel:

Mar-Vell, as he was then known, was a Kree warrior (i.e., an alien), who came to Earth to observe (i.e., spy on) humanity as it transformed into a space-traveling race, and eventually came to like humans. For a variety of reasons (which I won't mention in case some of you don't want to be spoiled), Mar-Vell has shared his identity with a number of other characters, male and female, over the years, many possessing similar powers and similar (i.e., not always identical) names. Amongst the Marvel Comics "Marvels" was "Ms Marvel," the alter ego of US Air Force office Carol Danvers, who made her first appearance in the 60's. but acquired superhuman abilities - and her new Superhero name - by the time her first self-titled comic appeared in 1977. This was Ms Marvel then:

Now honestly, there's nothing wrong with a little skin showing when one performs their superhero duties (just ask the Hulk!) - and really (she said, editing the post *g*) - usually Ms Marvel didn't flash that much skin:

...but in 2012, when writer Kelly Sue DeConnick and artist Dexter Soy took over the character, Ms Marvel got brought up to date. She was given a name change (now Captain Marvel), a hair cut and a costume change...

...and became part of a really great new series.

So,'s Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel (and can I just add that she's not always entirely comfortable with using this name, given how laden it is with historical significance in the Marvel universe). She's tough and smart and powerful, and despite being - in the most literal way possible - at least somewhat super-human, Carol is also an inordinately human character.

More to the point, she lives in a very human world, fully 'stocked' with friends and colleagues and rivals and, you know, a cat - and one of the most welcome aspects for me, at least, is how very many women there are populating this world. Her hero (a legendary avaiatrix), women friends, women who used to be Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau, who features in a two-part post-Katrina story.), fellow female superheroes...and they talk about everything. Yes, sometimes they talk about men (romantically or otherwise), but usually their conversations are about flying, about history, about health matters, about education, about working together to take on villains, you know, the same sorts of things any random grouping of male characters would discuss. Basically, it's like somebody intentionally set out to pass the Bechdel Test (which I'm perfectly willing to believe Kelly Sue De Connick might have done).

The storylines, too, are pretty cool: time travel, environmental concerns plus ROBOTS, a glimpse at the day Carol Danvers became Captain Marvel (I love origin stories), and a 'normal' day in Captain Marvel's life, which somehow just happens to include dinosaurs. (Note: the normal day story is in #9, i.e., the current issue - which is a decent starting point if you don't want to go back to issue #1. If you do want to go back to the start of the run - and you should! - #1-6 are now available in trade paperback form)

Basically? Two thumbs up from me for this series.

Note: There's an interesting (spoilery) interview featuring writer Kelly Sue DeConnick here if you'd like to get some sense of how Carol Danvers was (re)-shaped for this run.

BTW...are any of you Spider-Man fans? I'd love to see a review of #700 of "Amazing Spider-Man" and #1 of "Superior Spider-Man" if anybody's interested in putting something together.
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