The world is a chaotic place, where even a person who plans out their entire day can find themselves surprised by the unexpected. As John Lennon famously put it in his song “Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy),” “Life is what happens when you’re making other plans.” This is especially true in the fantastic world of the Marvel Universe, where surprises can come in the form of strange and wondrous phenomenon just as easily as from the comparatively mundane news from the family physician.
In this edition of THE COMMENTARY TRACK, writer Kelly Sue DeConnick joins us for a look at a day in the life of Carol Danvers, better known as Captain Marvel. DeConnick guides us through the pivotal pages of “Captain Marvel” #9, an issue that kicks off the next major arc of the series by taking readers inside Carol’s personal world.
CBR News: We start this issue — and the day — with a glimpse at Carol’s apartment, a place I don’t think we’ve seen yet, or at least not much of, in this new “Captain Marvel” series.
Kelly Sue DeConnick: I asked in the script that Carol’s apartment be something both homey and at least vaguely realistic for a New York apartment. I think Filipe Andrade accomplished both.
In this issue, you introduce us to quite a few supporting faces in Carol’s life, starting with Dave, the breakfast cart guy. You live in Portland, a place famous for its food carts — is Dave inspired by or based on anyone you’ve met or know there?
No. When I lived in NYC, I worked for a long time at 388 Greenwich, and there was a breakfast cart there that was staffed by the most high energy talk-a-mile-a-minute guy you could ever hope to encounter before you’ve had your second cup of coffee. I guess I was thinking of him? I’m making him sound annoying, but I actually like him a lot. He always made me smile and he referred to me as “cappuccino muffin” because I always got black coffee, no sugar, and a cappuccino muffin.
Damn, those muffins were good.
The name Dave is meant to be a nod to Dave Cockrum, who designed so many wonderful costumes, including Carol’s former togs. Editor Steve Wacker has decided that Dave is brother to the coffee cart guy in “Daredevil.”
Nice. I also think this page showed how in sync artist Filipe Andrade and colorist Jordie Bellaire are in terms of colors and pencils. It’s a beautiful, bustling scene of a wintery city morning. What’s it like working with these guys?
Jaw-dropping. This issue is so beautiful, I think.
Here we see Carol using her sash to help subdue one of the dinosaurs. This isn’t the first time she’s employed it in combat —
Right. It’s been important to me from the beginning that it be a tool for her and not just a decoration.
This scene, and the fight before it, with the dinosaurs, helps to illustrate the friendship between Spider-Woman and Carol. Why do you think these characters click the way they do? What do you find most interesting about their friendship?
That Carol’s the straight man, I guess. I think they’re funny together, which is a thing I didn’t really expect
Are you interested in exploring any of Carol’s other established friendships in the super hero community like, say, with Jessica Jones-Cage?
Sure, yeah. And AÃ±a Corazon, too. It’s a matter of having a solid story reason to
bring them in.
Here, Carol accepts a job as a pilot for Michael Air, Frank Gianelli’s non-profit NGO. Why did you want to give Carol a job outside of her career as an Avenger? What do you feel it adds to the character and the book?
I think it gets Carol out in the world. We have talked from the very beginning
about wanting to show her as a hero, to show her making sacrifices to protect and serve the people around her. I wanted to show the people around her, find other ways for her to be a hero. Grow her world a little bit.
Carol suggests that Frank is trying to get her to agree to the job by daring her. Frank’s answer is that people often get Carol to do things by daring her. Why is that? Does Carol have a subconscious need to prove things to people?
Ha! I don’t know that it’s so subconscious. I think she’s in a constant state of proving herself, even when no one’s doubting her.
I notice we don’t find out why the people were pointing guns at Frank. I assume you’ll pick up on that later in this story —
I think you’ll get that answer in issue 11.
Finally, the issue ends with a revelation that for her own safety, Carol can not fly. Now, Carol has been through a lot in her long super hero career, and she’s coped with loss and tragedy in positive ways and some not so positive ways. How do you think those past losses and tragedies have affected her? And do you think they have made her better able to deal with being grounded?
I don’t think she’s going to handle it well at all, honestly. Obeying doctor’s orders
would feel like defeat to her, and Carol doesn’t lose with any grace.