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The Wednesday Club’s Comic Picks: Higher, Further, Faster
The Wednesday ClubThe Wednesday Club

The Wednesday Club’s Comic Picks: Higher, Further, Faster

The Wednesday Club is Geek & Sundry’s weekly talk show chatting about all things comics. On this episode, hosts Matt KeyTaliesin Jaffe, and Amy Dallen chatted about Carol Danvers and the many names and titles she took on before becoming Captain Marvel, as well as about the others who have gone by that name.

Captain Marvel is the name of several characters in both the Marvel and DC universes, although currently there’s only one on everyone’s mind: Carol Danvers, the first woman superhero headlining a solo film in the Marvel cinematic universe.

The first hero with the name of Captain Marvel (in the Marvel universe, that is) was Mar-Vell in 1967’s Marvel Super Heroes #12. Mar-Vell wasn’t human but a Kree, one of the aliens that inhabit the galaxy. “The Kree are the best of what humans could become, but also just kind of over the top,” Taliesin said. “They’re a conqueror people.”

Mar-Vell is sent to Earth to be a spy, but ends up defecting and falling in love with humans, Matt said. In the next issue of Marvel Super Heroes, we meet one of his associates: Carol Danvers. She becomes part of his supporting cast. Several issues into solo run, Carol encounters a Kree device that will change her life forever, the Psyche-Magnitron. She would disappear from the series, and the Marvel universe, until 1977.

Ms. Marvel #1 (1977)

 

msmarvel-1

Empowered by the Psyche-Magnitron, Carol Danvers is now the hero Ms. Marvel! In her first solo outing, she takes on classic Spider-Man villain Scorpion. Her two personas are unknowingly separated, unlike most superheroes, and unaware of each other’s actions. As Carol, she’s made a career change to journalism, and does some work for one J. Jonah Jameson.

“This next generation with Spider-Woman, Ms. Marvel, and She-Hulk all have these identities derived from established dude heroes,” said Amy. “But they’re all much more scrappers, all much more active. In this case for Ms. Marvel, in 1977, it’s an actively feminist title.”

This issue and many more classic stories are collected in the Ms. Marvel Epic Collection.

(Marvel Comics, Gerry Conway and John Buscema)

Avengers Annual #10

avengersannual10

In future X-Man Rogue’s first appearance, she’s a short-haired villain–and she steals Carol’s powers and memories. Rogue’s ability to absorb powers through touch is often uncontrollable, and when she comes in contact with Ms. Marvel (off-panel) it has devastating and long-lasting effects on Carol Danvers.

Amy noted that it’s clear Claremont loved the character. “Rogue would go on to struggle with Carol’s powers and personality for years,” she said. “They had a really interesting and antagonistic relationship when Claremont made Carol a supporting character in X-Men.”

(Marvel Comics, Chris Claremont and Michael Golden)

Captain Marvel: Monica Rambeau

monica-rambeau

Before Carol took the title of Captain, there was Monica Rambeau. Monica was Captain Marvel in the 1980s, a New Orleans police lieutenant who gained the ability to wield all types of energy. Her first appearance was, remarkably, in a Spider-Man annual included in this collected edition. She later takes the name “Photon” in 1996, Matt noted.

“[She’s] an Avenger, a really wonderful character, and a big deal,” said Amy.

(Marvel Comics, various writers and artists)

Captain Marvel: Higher, Further, Faster, More

captainmarvel2016

Carol is back with a new name and a new costume, and as Captain Marvel, she’s an instant sensation. Her new solo book begins on Earth but eventually places her back in space where she’s felt she always belongs. In these pages you’ll meet the Carol Danvers we’ll be meeting in the Captain Marvel film.

“It was not a sure thing,” said Amy of the relaunch of the character. Kelly Sue approached Jamie McKelvie, a relatively unknown artist, and offered to pay him out of her own pocket to take a stab at re-designing Carol’s costume because she believed in his artistic talents. The rest, as they say, is history.

“[This title] was right ahead of a tidal wave of new energy in the [Marvel] books,” Amy said. “This book sort of started a fire.”

“When I read these pages for the first time in 2012, I cheered,” Matt said.

This is the book and run The Wednesday Club hosts suggest for new readers.

(Marvel Comics, Kelly Sue DeConnick and David Lopez)

Amy, Taliesin, and Matt also talked about other books with Carol Danvers and Captain Marvel like Ultimate Secret (“Warren Ellis makes her scary”), Kamala Khan as Ms. Marvel, X-Men’s Brood Saga, Jim Starlin’s The Death of Captain Marvel, Carol’s turn as Binary in Uncanny X-Men #164, Jessica Jones: Alias, House of M, Ms. Marvel: Best of the Best, The Life of Captain Marvel, and the new ongoing Captain Marvel series by Kelly Thompson.

THE DAILY WEDNESDAY

Did you know The Wednesday Club has their own letters column with questions and comments from viewers? Send in your thoughts, comic recommendations, questions, and more to Matt, Amy, and Taliesin at [email protected] and you might just see yourself on the next episode.

wedclub-hosts

MORE COMIC AWESOMENESS!

Hang out on the Geek & Sundry Twitch channel and on Alpha every Wednesday night to catch the next spectacular episode of The Wednesday Club.

All Images: Marvel Comics (Featured Art by Julian Tedesco)

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