At our Issues on Issues: Marvel Retrospective I was asked a really good question. (Actually I was asked a lot of really good questions.) This one focused on the Captain Marvel movie and if I thought it suffered because of the lack of romance.
Short answer-Absolutely NOT. The long answer is more complicated.
Captain Marvel is an origin story and it suffers from that a bit. I thought the beginning was slow, spending way too much time on the Kree rather than ramping into what it ultimately is…an identity story.
While I enjoyed Wonder Woman (it’s impossible not to get teary during the No Man’s Land scene) it felt like more of a Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor movie. Additionally, Diana is very often depicted through the male gaze in the form of wide-eyed male reaction shots to her appearance, both when she is showing more skin and dressed in more conservative period appropriate clothing; and Steve Trevor’s overbearing guidance and protection as he leads her around while trying to reign her in.
This is not the case with Captain Marvel. And while in some ways, Carol is also a fish out of water when she first comes to earth, her relationship with Nick Fury starts as an alliance against a common enemy rather than an infatuation. He seems more interested in seeing what she will do next rather than trying to direct her. Visually, despite the character’s previous comic book costumes, this version of Carol is covered because that is how you should be when you are riding a motorcycle, or fighting in space. She chooses the colors she wants to fly and even in her “magical girl” transformation scene, when we finally see Carol take full ownership of her power, there is no costume change or full visual transformation; instead it’s an addition to the base; she becomes more, not different.
Carol finds herself through friendships, and a connection to her past, rather than through romantic love. Her connection to the Rambeau’s, both Maria and Monica, is a critical part of her background and highlights the importance of female relationships and mutual support; and the relationship that develops with Nick Fury is one that comes from trust and respect. Nick Fury is very much along for the ride, but it’s clear that Carol is the one behind the wheel, driving full tilt toward her better self.
Romance is only one kind of relationship, and giving female characters a chance to explore other types of relationships is a critical part of making well rounded female characters who are more representative and realistic.
If I actually lived by the advice “dress for the job you want, not the job you have,” I would probably end up in my boss’s office explaining why I thought it was okay to wear an Iron Man suit to work (or maybe this). Point being, as much as we want to show our fandom, there is a time and place and your 9-5 desk job isn’t always that place.
But never fear, it’s not all business casual or Ann Taylor Loft from here on out. There are ways to push the boundaries (especially on casual Friday) to let your geek flag fly even without wearing that super cool Captain America hoodie you got at Target.
Previously you heard from TRM about her loves and unloves, and Cartoon Sara shared her origin story. I thought it was time to tell you a little more about me. I love media. Movies, TV, books, comics, podcasts…I’m a consumer. In this arena, wanted to share a few things that are giving me particular joy right now. Here’s what’s currently making my world spin.
Matt Fraction and Kelly Sue DeConnick-
So, um….I have sort of unwittingly become a Fraction/DeConnick household fan. I have been reading Hawkeye and Captain Marvel for months, (and The Goog has gotten me hooked on FF as well). Initially I was drawn in by the cover art and character redesign of both Hawkeye and Captain Marvel. Seriously, even if you don’t want to read them, check out the amazing work of artists David Aja (who recently won 2 Eisners, including one for best cover artist) and Joe Quinones. Once I started reading, I went into mass consumption mode, reading all the available issues of these two books. What I didn’t know for weeks while I was reading these two books is that these two writers are married! So clearly a super talented household, and I bet they have some really cool art in their house.
Boston Comicon was a success on many levels. Not only did we Boston fans get another chance to celebrate and relax after the sad circumstances around the cancellation of the original Comicon date due to the Marathon bombings, but wow, that placed was packed with good stuff.
The Ladies were out in force and we were honored to have had the opportunity to meet a lot of amazing women who are out there doing even more amazing things. As a little special extra for the blog, I am going to be posting a series of mini-features on some one the truly awe-inspiring cosplaying ladies who are, in my opinion, not only making everyone’s Comicon experience richer, but doing their fellow females proud.
Bethany Maddock as Captain Marvel
Facebook page of awesome: https://www.facebook.com/BLMaddock
Cosplay Origins: Bethany worked with a friend who also cosplayed and encouraged her to try it out. 3 years later, Bethany is making her amazing costumes and attending about 10 conventions a year! In addition to Captain Marvel, Bethany also does a lot of video game characters including a female version of Scorpion from Mortal Combat.
Favorite Piece: I decided to ask all the ladies I interviewed what piece of their costume was their favorite. Bethany immediately pointed to her gravity defying hair. “This hair is impossible!” she told me. “But I really think I nailed it this time!” A mixture of both her own hair and extensions, I can’t even being to think about how time consuming this was.
Damn girl! You and your magical hair are amazing!
This just in: Bethanny not only got our attention as Captain Marvel, but also as part of the Howling Banshees:
Still reeling from this. pic.twitter.com/eJTf8H7fIr
— Kelly Sue DeConnick (@kellysue) August 4, 2013
As if we weren’t already impressed enough before!
Oh, and for those who would like to know who our photo-bombing Death is, that would be Jen-Jen Noodle Bowl. You should “like” her Facebook page too. She is another talented lady we should be looking out for.