In an exclusive story, Fast Company announced Marvel’s newest “Secret Wars” title today, Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps. Three years ago Captain Marvel was a surprise hit for Marvel. Writer Kelly Sue DeConnick had Carol Danvers, longtime Avenger Ms. Marvel, trade in her butt-displaying leotard for a kick-butt flight suit and had her assume the fully assume the mantle of her namesake, Captain Marvel.
Fans (especially female fans) flocked to the new series which showcased strong characterization and compelling storylines for the hero. The fans bonded online over the character and named themselves “The Carol Corps.”
Co-written by longtime Captain Marvel writer Kelly Sue DeConnick and Marvel newcomer Kelly Thompson with art by David Lopez, Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps finds Carol trapped on Battleworld the last refuge of life as the entire universe nears death.
The series has Carol reunited with the Banshee Squadron, a group of female World War II pilots she originally met while time traveling. They fought giant robots together — because giant robots are always cool.
While this is the second time we have seen the Banshee’s, DeConnick wanted to be sure that this time the squad reflected the same level of diversity as the female readers that love them.
When I created the Banshees in the first go round, I did something really dumb,” DeConnick told Fast Company. “I considered having a black woman be part of the team, and then didn’t because in the real-life air service pilots in World War II, the two black women that applied were turned down because of racism. And I thought, well then, I can’t have black women here either. Even though at the same time I was breaking all sorts of other rules. For some reason I thought it was okay for them to fight giant robots, but having a black woman was too much of a stretch. It’s embarrassing, so when we were talking about bringing these characters back, I had a chance to correct that.”
For some reason I thought it was okay for them to fight giant robots, but having a black woman was too much of a stretch. It’s embarrassing, so when we were talking about bringing these characters back, I had a chance to correct that.
In addition to adding some racial diversity, DeConnick made sure that the characters dressed differently, were different heights and had different hair — making sure that each Banshee was a unique individual and that their personality was reflected in appearance.
As mentioned, the story takes place as the Marvel Universe is destroyed. DC seems to “reboot” their universe once every five years, but this is a first for Marvel. It will give them an opportunity to restart their books with a clean slate, giving new readers a chance to stat at the beginning.
But Marvel also appears to be using the last gasps of the old Marvel universe as a way to test new ideas, whether it’s an all-female team of Avengers or an all-female pilot squadron lead by a superhero from the future who can fly and shoot energy beams from her hands.
Hopefully, some of these bold experiments work and get folded into the birth of the new Marvel Universe.