Much like the first set of Christmas decorations in September, the Entertainment Weekly Cover kicks the most wonderful time of the year. After years of anticipation — made longer by the additions of Spiderman: Homecoming and Ant Man and the Wasp–Captain Marvel is finally getting her turn on the big screen.
While “break the internet” may have been an overstatement, my fannish joy hit peak levels when the cover hit my Tumblr dashboard. After months of seeing the blue-and-green suit (which seems like a Kree military uniform), we finally got the first look at her silver-screen costume and WOW. THAT is a costume. Entertainment Weekly also treated us to some old friends and new faces alike – Ronan the Accuser, two-eyed Nick Fury, Maria “Photon” Rambeau, and the Skrulls who are just as terrifying as I thought they would be.
But, the great thing about the MCU has always been its ability to connect to the non-comics reader. That’s where I started off. I didn’t have a darn clue why everyone in the theatre was freaking out at the end of Iron Man when Samuel L Jackson graced the screen. But now, I realize there were just as many confused people in the theatre when I started shrieking over Nick Fury’s pager message.
So, if you are not so sure what all the excitement is about, here are some quick ways to get up to speed on Captain Marvel.
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Carol Danvers was an ordinary
bad-ass human woman, working for the US Air Force when she met an undercover Kree alien named Mar-Vell (the original Captain Marvel). A blast of energy mixed his DNA with hers giving her super-human strength, speed, and the ability to absorb and blast energy. This is a power she can and will use to heat her morning coffee. (I mean, Wolverine makes sandwiches with his claws so why not?)
Getting into comics can be daunting. So, if you need a place to jump in, Kelly Sue DeConnick’s run of Captain Marvel defined the character as we know her today. The introduction of Carol Danvers as a US Air Force Officer in 1968, later emerging as Ms. (not Miss) Marvel in 1977, was radical for its time. DeConnick lauched our Boston-born heroine into the atmosphere — literally — in her take on the series.
Leaning heavily on her military background and ace pilot skills, Carol is suddenly thrown back in time to the Pacific front of World War 2. Coming face to face with her hero, Helen Cobb, forces Carol to make some decisions about the direction of her life. Pick up your copy below.
The series later introduces us to Monica Rambeau a.k.a. Photon, also previously known as Captain Marvel. I had thought the movie might be pulling a name change. However, my friend pointed out that Monica’s mother is named Maria. Perhaps we are going to be getting a taste of mother-daughter relationships in the upcoming film? I’d enjoy that, especially since a lot of recent Marvel films focused on father figures.
Want to dig more into Carol’s backstory? Marvel’s brilliant marketing scheme “Captain Marvel: The Ms. Marvel Years” is an amazing curated collection of Carol stories that pre-date her title-change.
An updated version of her backstory is currently running by Margaret Stohl and the trade paper back can be pre-ordered here!
After introducing us to the Kree in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 1, we’re finally meeting their greatest enemy. The Skrull and the Kree have been at war since, at least the 1970s. Probably longer. You won’t find Carol here. You will find Mar-vell Captain Marvel and the rest of the Avengers caught between the two alien races and fighting for the fate of the earth.
If you want a little less camp, the best Skrull related arc is Secret Invasion. The shape-shifting Skrulls have strategically replaced key people in an attempt to take over the world. How can the Avengers band together to save the day, when they can’t even trust each other? A book with so many characters seems daunting. However, Secret Invasion was the first Marvel crossover series I read. Who knows? You might meet your new favorite character!
It also had the creepiest ad campaign in existence.
While we don’t know if she will be making an appearance in this film, Marvel confirmed we will see Kamala Khan in the MCU. Who is Kamala? Well, as you may have noticed, when Carol took her promotion in 2012, she happened to leave a Ms. Marvel title open.
Enter an excitable superhero fangirl from Jersey City who suddenly finds that she is the one with superpowers. She’s also the very first Pakistani-American, Muslim character to lead a solo book. This Hugo-award winning book has had multiple volumes hit the New York Times Best Sellers List. As of last month, Ms. Marvel has sold over half a billion books worldwide. Not individual issues either. She’s sold half a billion trade paper backs.
An amazing hero in her own right, you should absolutely check her out!
Any more questions about Captain Marvel? Hit me up at email@example.com
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