Women, men & minorities in geek culture and pop culture
Comics 101 is an introduction to running series for those who are interested in trying comics, but are unsure of what to try. The Comics 101 series is aimed particularly at female readers who may be interested in trying comics for the first time.
Last week, we introduced the prototypical series of a woman in comics. This week, Comics 101 showcases a relatively new series featuring a heroine who, in some ways, changes the role of women in comics.
Carol Danvers joined the Marvel universe in 1968 as Major Danvers of the U.S. Air Force in Marvel Super-Heroes and debuted in her own series, Ms. Marvel, in 1977 after gaining new abilities. The 70’s were an interesting time for women, and Ms. Marvel was no different. Gerry Conway, a comic writer who worked on the original Ms. Marvel comic, noted “you might see a parallel between her quest for identity, and the modern woman’s quest for raised consciousness, for self-liberation, for identity” in the notes at the end of the first issue.
Carol’s representation since her debut has been mixed and received very mixed reactions from fans. In her newest incarnation, she’s received a promotion: she’s no longer Ms. Marvel, but the newest character to take up the name Captain Marvel, the seventh in the Marvel universe and the third woman to do so.
As a Carol Danvers newcomer, I’ve been quite pleased with the storyline, the art, and the character herself. While one reader in CAPTAIN MARVEL #10 references internet chatter saying “the art is not for everyone,” fans of other comics may see it as a welcome departure from the same old tired superhero style while those new to the game may find the latest art charming and visually appealing. I myself am in the “charming and visually appealing” camp.
In particular, I have a great appreciation for Captain Marvel’s latest costume design. Her Ms. Marvel costume consisted of a black leotard with a yellow lightning bolt emblazoned across it, cut rather scantily along her hips and the sides of her breasts. In the new series, her redesigned costume features a full-coverage bodysuit in red, yellow, and blue, which is much more suitable for a character with the ability of flight. Many fans adore the new design, with Facebook fans remarking, “I think the swimsuit was a bit embarrassing” and “The current Capt. Marvel costume makes sense, reflects the sensibilities of a super hero and a strong female.”
Overall, the current Captain Marvel series is a great way for new readers to get acquainted with Carol Danvers.
Those who are interested in reading Captain Marvel can find the first six issues compiled in Captain Marvel, Vol. 1: In Pursuit of Flight. Issues 7-12 will be compiled in Captain Marvel, Vol. 2: Down, to be published this month. This month’s issue will be Captain Marvel #13, and the most recent issue was Captain Marvel #12.
You may like Captain Marvel if:
Feliza Casano is the founder and editor of Girls in Capes and writes for all sections of the magazine. She is a relatively new reader of comics and is more than happy to test drive new series. She originally fell in love with the Teen Titans animated series and wishes she had the power of flight.