[Editor’s note: At age 18, Chandler Banks is our youngest correspondent here at The Beat, but I think she speaks for many in explaining what yesterday’s new of a Captain marvel movie means for the Carol Corps.]
It’s only been a day, but it feels like months since we found out about the upcoming Captain Marvel movie. I chalk it up to grasping the sheer magnitude of what this means. Where to even start?
KellySue DeConnick is a long time hero of mine. I met her at NYCC this year, and my heart melted when she looked me in the eyes and talked to me about the importance of non-compliance (that’s a big thing in her upcoming series, Bitch Planet). She’s important to me, and her characters are so dear to my heart I wear a Captain Marvel necklace every day.
This morning I had to catch a 6 a.m. bus to get to lacrosse practice, and the thing that kept me awake was sheer love of Carol.
So I’m just one person, it’s not necessarily important that I love her. I just think it’s important that she’s so worth loving.
The fierceness with which KSD protects girls of all ages and personalities has always amazed me. She’s an active advocate among Carol’s primary fanbase, the Carol Corps, as well as groups such as LCS Valkyries that promotes increasing women’s roles in the comic industry or wherever their dreams take them. She also takes duck selfies with fans, because “the duck face selfie was born of young girls and women trying to give themselves full lips and cheekbones in photos.
Because… why? Because the message we have been sending them since they were infants is that their appearance and desirability is their value and having full lips and prominent cheekbones adds to that value. So they’re understandably fascinated by their own appearance (selfies) and, because they’re resourceful and NOT STUPID, they adjust the camera angle and facial expression to play up what we’ve taught them to value. …And then we make fun of them for it.”
I got to take one with her myself.
This all translates beautifully in her works from Pretty Deadly (Image Comics) to her Captain Marvel, hence why I’m so stoked. This is even more than Marvel’s first female-led movie: this is a solo movie featuring Carol Danvers.
I just saw a nice summary of Carol’s backstory on twitter, actually: “Carol Danvers is a military pilot/security officer on the level of Maria Hill/Sharon Carter BEFORE she gets hit with the alien whammy. She left NASA to edit a women’s magazine in the 1970s. Who does that? She’s like CJ Chivers crossed with Starbuck shooting lasers everywhere” -@tcarmody
What makes Carol a compelling character is that you can’t peg her down. She’s strong female character, but more importantly, she’s an interesting female character. She makes mistakes. She misjudges. She’s constantly overreaching, and having to deal with the consequences. She changes her mind. She grows. KSD managed to give us a character that possesses superhuman strength that we can still relate to.
Carol Danvers punches dinosaurs, and she loves her pet cat. She’s got a set or morals Captain America admires, but a willingness to break the rules for what’s right that Steve admonishes. She’s trapped between two worlds and struggles with her identity as a human with Kree-enhanced DNA. One of the challenges for her movie that Feige pointed out today is that “Her adventures are very earthbound, but her powers are based in the cosmic realm.” She’s a female character that supports other female characters (you’ll never catch her saying “you punch like a girl!”). Her powers kick butt and her movie can be an Epic Superhero Movie, but she’s got the character to make it all resonate. I can’t wait for little girls to see in Carol what I see in her now. This whole ordeal reminds me of the first line of Cap’s most recent run:
“Have you ever seen a little girl run so fast she falls down? There’s an instant, a fraction of a second before the world catches hold of her again. A moment when she’s outrun every doubt and fear she’s ever had about herself, and she flies. In that one moment, every little girl flies. I need to find that again. Like taking a car out into the desert to see how fast it can go, I need to find the edge of me. And maybe, if I fly far enough, I’ll be able to turn around and look at the world, and see where I belong.”
Come 2018, a whole wave of little girls will have superhero of their own. I can’t stress the importance of being able to say “Even Captain Marvel doesn’t feel so super sometimes!”
Let’s punch some holes in the sky.
[Chandler Banks (@punchadinosaur) is an 18 year old student-athlete at Columbia University, and aspires to be a professional nerd. She’s a comparative literature major, a Dartmouth Book Award winner, a feminist, a black belt in Hakkoryu Jujutsu, and a proud member of the Columbia University Science Fiction Society, Multicultural Recruitment Committee, Columbia Women’s Business Society, and Student Wellness Project. Hobbies include comics, lacrosse, blogging, horseback riding, boldly going where no man has gone before, cosplay, GISHWHES, and comics.]