I was introduced to Carol Danvers, aka Ms Marvel, in an episode of the 90’s Xmen cartoon. Rogue holds onto her for too long and steals her powers permanently. It was surprising when I learned the upcoming Marvel movie titled Captain Marvel will star Carol Danvers. THE Carol Danvers that Rogue stole powers from. I definitely remember her name to be Ms. Marvel though… are they the same person?
Short answer yes. But I realised I don’t know much about Ms. Marvel except she doesn’t like Rogue and what she looks like. With the upcoming Marvel movie, my interest peaked in why she changed her name and costume from the iconic Ms. Marvel black and gold costume, to a blue and red Captain Marvel. I realised there’s a lot of comics to go through to find the answer. Luckily, Marvel has something called Marvel Unlimited which is a monthly subscription service that allows me to read all the comics in the “Unlimited” category. Think EA Access where you can play games in “the vault” at no additional costs. Anyway, I followed the Ms. Marvel stories and fell in love with the character. Carol Danvers is awesome – she’s beautiful, a top pilot, strong and near invulnerable. But that’s the outside, her appearance. What made her character likeable is that she’s not perfect and she knows that. To me, Carol feels very human even though her physique and looks say otherwise. She’s very heroic, and unlike perfect super heroes, she improvises a lot in her fights (and will actually sucker punch people!). I like her attitude, jokes and her inner conflict just makes her a living and breathing person to me. It’s a shame that sometimes, the quality of the story she’s in lets her down a little.
Ms. Marvel is fine in the Avengers comics, but her solo outings are not as well done. Her stories tend to start off with an interesting premise, but quickly loses that interesting arc and becomes… boring. Until something else happens. This is frustrating as when the story is good, it’s really good. There doesn’t seem to be an OK bit, I find myself constantly swinging from being interested to boring and back again very quickly.
Having said that, my favourite story so far is “War of the Marvels” where after an alien invasion, super villains take over the Avengers’ role with Norman Osbourne as the Iron Patriot (replacing Iron Man) and Moonstone replacing Ms. Marvel. I must admit the art style was one reason why I liked it but I liked seeing Carol actually getting what she thought she wanted – a normal life, only for her to realise that actually, aiming to be the greatest super hero is what she wants. It’s also one of few stories she can go all out and have someone go toe to toe with her for a while.
After reading the Ms. Marvel arcs and many Avenger comics, I finally found the issue where she will change her name (I still don’t know why she changed her costume). I’m so happy that Cap is the person who suggests it in such an awesome way (they were in the middle of a fight against a super villain) and when he asks Carol to think it over, she grabs Spiderman for a fun practice session. She takes her time to think about what she wants and compares her achievements to her lifelong hero. Then she decides she will take on the gigantic Captain Marvel mantle. I enjoyed the journey to finding this out and I really like her character, I just wish the stories were more consistent. She’s probably my favourite Avenger right now and I’m really looking forward to the Marvel cinematic representation of Captain Marvel.