Yesterday at Wondercon in Anaheim, California, Marvel announced that starting this July, the character currently known as Carol Danvers, aka Ms. Marvel, will move into the role of Captain Marvel – complete with a haircut and costume change. Character concept designs were developed by Jamie McKelvie. Cover art will be handled by Ed McGuinness on issues 1 and 2, with Dexter Soy on interior art. Writing the new series will be Kelly Sue DeConnick (Osborn: Evil Incarcerated, Castle: Deadly Storm w/ Brian Michael Bendis). Says DeConnick:
My pitch was called ‘Pilot’ and the take can pretty much be summed up with ‘Carol Danvers as Chuck Yeager,’” says DeConnick. “Carol’s the virtual definition of a Type A personality. She’s a competitor and a control freak. At the start of our series, we see Carol pre-Captain Marvel, pre-NASA even, back when she was a fiercely competitive pilot. We’ll see her meeting one of her aviation heroes and we’ll see her youthful bravado, her swagger. Then over the course of the first arc we’re going to watch her find her way back to that hungry place. She’ll have to figure out how to be both Captain Marvel and Chuck Yeager—to marry the responsibility of that legacy with the sheer joy being nearly invulnerable and flying really [expletive] fast.
Huh. Chuck Yeager? That sounds a bit similar to the pitch her husband, Matt Fraction, gave when he announced his plans for Invincible Iron Man back in February 2008:
Tony Stark is equal parts James Bond and Chuck Yeager–a pioneer, a test pilot, an engineer, an adrenaline junkie visionary.
Well, Chuck Yeager is pretty cool. I suppose it’s entirely possibly that DeConnick just picked up a Chuck Yeager comparison through some kind of idea osmosis from being in such close proximity to Fraction for so long. Heck, now that Rob lives with me he can tell you exactly how and why you need to temper eggs before adding them to a custard. And he’ll only whimper a little bit when you ask him. I don’t see why he gets upset. Those brain cells were just going to be killed by whiskey anyway.
But is there anything else going on with this relaunch that calls to mind similarities with other creative properties?
It does look an awful lot like the Miracleman uniform (well, Marvelman now):
At least, that’s the opinion of a lot of fans (such as on the Bleeding Cool Forums). Well, that and “What?! No sexy Dave Cockrum style bathing suit uniform?!?! Now what will I do with all these tissues and lotion?” Damn, man. First they came for Power Girl’s boob window and now this. Tough day for fan boys.
Still, I can see the Miracleman comparisons. But, to be fair, I can also see a little of the Jim Lee Wonder Woman re-design that caused such a kerfuffle in the Straczynski run:
Could just be that all three designs involve red and blue with gold, angular trimming. Oh, and pants.
Some fans wished that the new design would at least take advantage of the old Captain Marvel’s green, yellow and white design, but I think, once you bring the color green, and a fly boy hair cut, into the equation, you have a whole other set of problems:
DeConnick is pitching Carol Danvers as a pilot, “the virtual definition of a Type A personality. She’s a competitor and a control freak.” Who then gets imbued with cosmic powers? How do you not get a Hal Jordan vibe off that?
We here at Crisis On Infinite Midlives wish the creative team behind the reboot relaunch of Captain Marvel the best of luck as the July start date approaches, but, honestly, between the concept design and the story pitch, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of original thought going into this. Frankly, we were left pretty cold by DeConnick’s take on Osborn. Still, we’ll give the first issue a try. Who doesn’t like to watch a good car wreck?