Carol Danvers knows the skies of the Marvel Universe. She first became acquainted with them as a member of the U.S. Air Force where she served as a pilot before transitioning into intelligence and security work. Soon she gained the ability to fly without the aid of a jet. That’s because Danvers’ security gig involved her in a battle between the alien hero Captain Marvel (AKA Mar-Vell), who had adopted Earth as his new home, and one of his adversaries.
Danvers was caught in an explosion of an alien device during that battle which endowed her with a variety of super human powers including flight, super human physical traits, and later she gained the power to absorb, and project a variety of energies. She used these powers to become the costumed super hero known as Ms. Marvel.
Ms. Marvel’s heroic career has been a distinguished one. She’s served as both a solo hero and a long time member of the Avengers. This July, Danvers moves into a new phrase of her heroic career as she leaves the Ms. Marvel identity behind and becomes the title character of the all new ongoing “Captain Marvel” series by writer Kelly Sue DeConnick (“Castle: Deadly Storm”) and artist Dexter Soy (“Army of Two”). CBR News spoke with DeConnick about the series, which was announced yesterday at the “Marvel: Talk to the Hat” panel at the WonderCon 2012 in Anaheim, California.
CBR News: With Carol Danvers you’re tackling a pretty diverse character with many interesting aspects, including a military and espionage background. Kelly Sue, what do you find most interesting about Carol? Which aspects of her personality and background are you especially interested in exploring in the ongoing?
Kelly Sue DeConnick: I think it’s safe to say that I’m obsessed with Carol as a pilot. My dad was career military and I grew up on Air Force bases. This aspect of her character hits really close to home for me.
In the new “Captain Marvel” series, Carol Danvers is getting a new title. Will a new status quo come with her new heroic code name? Over the course of her career she’s held several different jobs as well as being a super hero full time. So what will the new Captain Marvel be up to when her series begins?
Yeah, Carol’s been a pilot, a security specialist, an espionage agent, a memoirist and an editor. And a superhero. Well — several superheroes.
We do have an ambitious professional vision for Carol, but there’s some business from her past she’ll need to take care of first.
Interesting. Speaking of Carol’s past, can you tell us who some of the important supporting players in “Captain Marvel” are? Are you interested in giving Carol a new cast of characters? Established supporting players? Or a mixture of both?
A mixture of both. Tracy Burke is coming back. I know, I know — you’re all, like, “IT’S ABOUT TIME,” am I right?
In all seriousness, I like big casts. Her supporting characters will be very important. And I think I have a crush on Frank Gianelli, so don’t be surprised if he turns up at some point. (We are in Deep Nerd Territory here.)
While we’re on the topic of supporting players, let’s chat about villains. In your mind, who are some of Carol’s greatest adversaries?
Does everyone know Mystique was original to the old “Ms. Marvel” book? I love Mystique.
Sounds like an encounter with a certain shape shifting mutant might be in Carol’s future. With Carol taking over the identity of Captain Marvel will she also inherit some of Mar-Vell’s enemies, like, say, Thanos?
I believe Thanos is on someone else’s dance card at the moment.
Which types of characters do you feel make the best adversaries for Carol?
I think the best adversaries for anyone — the best villains are the best characters, the ones who have clear motives and reasoning; the ones who, if you kind of squint, make sense. They’re the ones I enjoy reading the most because they’re capable of breaking my heart.
We’ve talked about characters and status quo. Let’s talk about your immediate plans for “Captain Marvel” when the book launches in July. What can you tell us about your initial story in terms of plot and themes?
My pitch was titled “Pilot” and began with the Madeleine L’Engle quote, “In our dreams we are able to fly — and that is a remembering of how we were meant to be.” This is a book about flight, literally and figuratively. It’s about what elevates us and what grounds us.
It begins with the introduction of a woman named Helen Cobb, who was Carol’s aviation hero, and a challenge, a gauntlet, from one pilot to another: best me. And it will end with Carol being asked to make a great sacrifice.
Going forward, what types of stories and genres are you interested in tackling in “Captain Marvel?”
I have a vision for “Captain Marvel.” I want this to be a book about optimism, about exceeding even our own expectations, about the power of possibility and the seeming magic of flight.
That said, my own optimism, my personal expectations are kept somewhat in check — the market being what it is, an “ongoing” title seems to mean, what? 6-12 issues these days, isn’t it? And that’s if you’re lucky. I want so badly to be proven wrong. We are trying very, very hard to overcome the learning curve and hit the ground running strong but I’m not planning year two at this point. If we get to 12 issues I will consider this a wild success.
C’mon now, people: prove me wrong. Show me that a female-led book about the power of the human spirit, about the many guises of heroism, a book wherein no one gets raped or puts her cervix on display, can break six issues, won’t you?
We’ve covered story quite a bit, so let’s close things out by talking a little about your collaborator on “Captain Marvel,” Dexter Soy. Dexter is a relatively new artist who is primarily known for his work on the comic adaptation of “Army of Two” for IDW. What’s your impression of his work? What do you feel he’ll bring to “Captain Marvel?”
Dex brings grandeur and scope. There’s something epic about his pages. I can’t wait to see more!
“Captain Marvel” by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Dexter Soy takes flight in July.