Carol Danvers, as a character, has ties to both the X-Men and the Avengers. Her powers and code names changed along with the character’s evolution since her introduction in Marvel Super-Heroes #13 (March, 1968). In fact, for many years’ after Rogue’s acceptance into the X-Men, Carol’s psyche was trapped within the villain-turned-hero. I liked Carol Danvers. I liked Ms. Marvel. I liked Binary. Now, with recent changes within the Marvel Universe, I say, “Anyone but Carol Danvers!”
Carol Danvers received her powers by accident – literally – becoming a Human-Kree hybrid possessing powers akin to the original Captain Marvel. Thus, Ms. Marvel was born.
After losing her powers to Rogue (and after Professor Xavier restored her memories), Carol distanced herself from being Ms. Marvel – and from the Avengers. An outer space adventure with the X-Men transformed her into Binary. Along with the name change came a new power set, replacing those lost to Rogue. During this time, control over heat, gravity, and the electromagnetic spectrum complimented the ability to exist within the deep vacuum of space. (Add to that – the visual presentation of Binary was “cool”.)
But, as often happens, a good thing does not last forever.
Carol lost her connection to the “white hole” from which she drew her powers as Binary during the 1990s. As a result, her original Ms. Marvel powers returned. (She also retained a very limited ability to absorb and redirect energy as was the case with the Binary powers.)
Carol rejoined the Avengers, the loss of her cosmic abilities resulted in the character becoming an alcoholic. This storyline continued until Carol was suspended from duty after disgracing herself (and the Avengers) during the Operation Galactic Storm storyline.
Ms. Marvel (Again)
The Scarlet Witch changed reality during the House of M storyline. Carol first referred to herself (and the public acknowledged such) as Captain Marvel during House of M. As the story goes, The Scarlet Witch used her abilities to create a world where each person received something that was his/her heart’s (or subconscious’) desire.
Subsequent stories such as Dark Reign and the Secret Invasion further planted Carol into a prominent role within the ongoing Marvel Universe.
And now…this is where things go from good to bad!
According to Wikipedia.org:
In July 2012, Carol Danvers assumed the mantle of Captain Marvel in an ongoing series written by Kelly Sue DeConnick with art by Dexter Soy. Danvers dons a jumpsuit and explores her own past. When describing her pitch for the series at WonderCon 2012 DeConnick said it could be “pretty much be summed up with ‘Carol Danvers as Chuck Yeager.'” She said the series would contemplate what Captain Marvel’s legend means to Danvers, how she will wield it, and how the rest of the Marvel Universe reacts.
While I can’t speak for those inside the Marvel Universe, I CAN speak for myself. Reactions were mixed for me, at first. This was a character who I had no problem reading about. In fact, I sometimes attempted to argue the similarities between Wonder Woman and Ms. Marvel.
I thought it to be a great homage to the title for the mantle of Captain Marvel to be passed down to Carol. After all, didn’t see deserve a break?
Changes to Characterization
Carol received a dramatic update in both look and style. Gone was the bathing suit and replaced with a full body jumpsuit. Gone was the long hair and replaced with an altered (later cut short) haircut.
If a writer takes a female character and bestows a title previously carried by a male, must the female character lose likable characteristics to carry the new title?
For me, it was as if the House of Ideas had the less-than-brilliant idea of making Carol into the Marvel Universe’s lead cap. Law and Order Carol Danvers! Very unlikeable Carol Danvers.
My like for the character evaporated quickly – quickly replaced by an underlying dislike.
Civil War II
Regardless of our stance on the like and/or dislike of “event” comics, Civil War II proves successful when it generates emotional responses from the reader. And, it has done that for me.
I despise Carol Danvers. There…I said it. I don’t like the character’s attitude. I don’t like that she thinks she knows it all. I don’t like her prominence in the Marvel Universe. And, I REALLY can’t wait for her to fall from her lofty perch. (Yes, I know..I know…it’s JUST a comic character.)
You don’t have to make someone unlikeable just to show they are strong. You don’t have to make them vicious and without compassion for them to be a leader. You don’t have to prove your word is the law when you (may not) know what you’re doing. Or, better yet, what you might be doing to others.
If I were able to send a letter to Carol Danvers from our universe into the (what used to be and may still be??) Marvel 616 reality, I might say the following:
Dear Carol Danvers,
Congratulations on becoming Captain Marvel. You’ve been through a lot over the years. I know you know what those things are so I won’t bother to mention them. So, congrats on the title!
I’ve followed your career for a long time, and I’ve always been a fan. Unfortunately, I can no longer say this is the truth. Maybe it’s the media. Maybe it might be the time. I don’t know what it is, to be quite honest, but I know that something is different about you.
It seems like ever since you became Captain Marvel that you’re entire attitude has changed. The news channels used to talk about how you were a good hero and would go so far to say that you should be in charge of national security. Basically, you’re polls were high.
You don’t seem to care about the little guys anymore. It’s all about YOU and your fellow heroes, and it is us who has to be left behind to survey land and pickup after the damage your fights cause.
It’s like you’ve decided you can’t be nice anymore to be Captain Marvel.
Well, I don’t think that is the case. You CAN be nice AND be Captain Marvel. Need proof? Ask Monica Rambeau!
You’ve worked yourself into a position that hands (practical-if-not-all) command of S.H.I.E.L.D over to you. I should mince my words as you’re probably spying on this computer as I type this. In fact, you probably have searches tagged so that it alerts you when someone says/posts/writes anything about you. A bit too much? Yes, you are a bit too much!
Maybe you’re trying too hard. Maybe that’s it! Maybe you just need someone to say “take a step back, Carol.” Maybe someone needs to remind you of the things that made others like you in the first place.
But, quite frankly, I don’t think you will listen until something tragic happens. Maybe it’s when you are responsible for the deaths of Miles Morales, Steve Rogers, or someone else that you will finally see you’ve gone TOO far.
It appears you believe yourself to be a champion of rights. You show a fighting spirit and, I would think, want to be an ambassador to all. You aspire to be great and do great things. And, in all honesty, it takes special people to do those wondrous things. But, I argue that this person is not YOU.
Even though you are misguided and too opinionated to listen, you show dedication – regardless if you are a man or a woman. But, dedication only gets you so far. In the end and no matter what, a Wonder Woman you are NOT.
Give us She-Hulk. Give us Storm. Give us the Invisible Woman, even though we can’t see her anywhere for now. Give us The Wasp – the Janet version, of course. Give us Aurora. Give us Jean Grey. Give us a TRUE Captain Marvel in Monica – who should NEVER have given up the title. Give us Spider-Woman – any of them.
In fact, give us anyone – ANYONE – other than you.
Oh, and one last thing…a little prediction, since you like those so much. One day – maybe not soon but one day – what will you do when/if Ulysses vision shifts focus onto YOU?
But, knowing you, go find someone to ask so that you’ll have another with whom you could place the blame. But, whose advice might you seek??!?
Maybe you could ask Bruce or Rhodey for advice? Oh, wait. You can’t.