Strange Comic Trends: Carol Danvers Week
Secret Wars is now in full swing, and with so many crossovers being resurrected it can be hard to keep them straight. With Battleworld in full swing, there are still new stories coming into the overall mix, with yesterday seeing the release of some new #1s like Spider-Verse, Civil War, Spider-Island, and Age of Apocalypse. While it should be expected that with so many big name-crossovers being brought back from the past, that there are going to be a lot of recurring characters, it is interesting exactly who is showing up so much. We expect Captain America, Iron Man, the Hulk and a handful of the X-Men, but we don’t really expect to see so much of Carol Danvers, as she showed up yesterday in a wide variety of titles such as Age of Apocalypse, Civil War and Spider-Island. She was a big enough player in Civil War when it first came out, but not so in the other two.
Of course there is no reason that we shouldn’t see so much of her. She has undergone somewhat of a renaissance in recent years, with the change from Miss Marvel to Captain Marvel and having her monthly series relaunched once again. There is perhaps something a bit deeper going on here though. It happened first with the Inhumans, how they were almost forgotten by Marvel, and then all of a sudden, they were everywhere it seemed. If a random hero was going to show up, it was probably going to be an Inhuman. The reason came from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Without the rights to the X-Men and in an expanding universe of the movies, it became necessary to explain the origins of certain characters, and as Inhumans are close enough in essence to mutants, with similar stories to do with their backgrounds and the prejudice against them, that it became an easy explanation for them.
Perhaps this week might represent the beginning of that process for Carol Danvers and Captain Marvel. She is scheduled for her own movie in 2018, and that is only two years off, which is daunting enough task for a character that has not yet been introduced on the big screen. Of course certain other characters have had the ability to pull off their big screen debuts without much of a lead-in, but not surprisingly, the odds are more against a female superhero than a male one like Iron Man. It might be that Marvel is getting a start on its own hype for the movie, as well as increasing awareness, just as it did with the Inhumans, as Captain Marvel slowly but surely becomes a constant addition to most story lines, whether that be as a human-spider hybrid in Spider-Island, a colonel of Iron Man’s half of America in Civil War, or as a human freedom fighter in Age of Apocalypse. Whatever her role in these stories, Marvel has decided to increase it, to essentially make her the first in terms of female superheroes, the first to get her own movie and to carry forward the Marvel Cinematic Universe.