As announced yesterday at WonderCon, this July, Marvel Comics will be releasing an all new Captain Marvel #1, written by New York Times best-selling writer Kelly Sue DeConnick (Castle) and rising star artist Dexter Soy (Army of Two). Only this time, the Captain in the title is someone we know very well: Carol Danvers, aka Ms. Marvel. To find out why Danvers finally steps up to the plate, what we can look forward to in the series, and what artist Jamie McKelvie’s secret nickname is, we chatted with DeConnick over e-mail:
MTV Geek: There’s been a number of different takes on her, but for you, what makes Carol Danvers unique as a character?
Kelly Sue DeConnick: You know that song, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”? That “I done told you once” moment? Carol Danvers is capable of *owning* that moment.
She’s got these dueling tendencies — a quick temper and extraordinary self control; dramatic tension is inherent in her character. She’s in a constant state of Trying Not To Explode — with fury or joy or pure energy.
Geek: Why is it important for her to become Captain Marvel, versus being Ms. Marvel? Is this something she’s always strived towards?I
KSD: On the contrary, I think she’s avoided it — out of respect for Mar-Vell. But her thinking is backwards. It’s out of respect for Mar-Vell that she should carry the mantle.
Geek: Will she be wearing a weird white cloak now, and be more gritty and “realistic” than usual? I may be thinking of someone else, not sure…
KSD: Weird is in the eye of the beholder, man. C’mon. She’s going to be wearing an AWESOME white cloak, smoking a pipe and singing about dragons and moss and shit.
KSD: Yes, new uniform! New look. She’s getting a uniform that makes story-sense, that’s appropriate to her character and her station.
Geek: Speaking of designing costumes, what’s it been like working with Dexter Soy? What does he bring to the mix, artistically?
KSD: Dex brings grandeur. He brings weight and scope. Dex is amazing.
The new costume, however, was designed by fan-favorite Jamie McKelvie. Or “Kitten,” as he’s known to his friends.
Geek: It almost feels like part of what you have to tackle in a series starring Danvers is the issue of identity… Is that something you’ll be looking at? Her place in the world, and what she thinks of herself? Or am I way off here?
KSD: You’re not way off — or rather, that’s an astute question. Both of her previous solo titles were very much meditations on identity, weren’t they? And I think I’ve said in interviews before that that’s a theme that I seem to come back to in my work, whether I mean to or not. I love both of the previous volumes. Conway, Claremont, Reed… Conway is incredibly progressive, more culturally-engaged and willing to explore the feminist angle than virtually anything on the stands today. Claremont can build a social world like just about nobody else. Everything he touches is rich with the dramatic detail of human relationships. And I especially love Reed’s Ascension arc — absolutely seek it out of you haven’t read it.
Geek: The thing is, I do think Carol knows herself now. The Carol of my imagining knows herself, anyway.
KSD: My pitch was Carol Danvers as Chuck Yeager–she’s highly competitive, highly competent and a bit of a control freak. The closest I can come to saying this is about identity is to say that she’s been playing the good soldier for a while now and she’s lost a little bit of her swagger. Not that she’s been daunted, just that she’s forgotten it — the way you do when you’re not young and hungry any more. We’re going to watch her find her way back to that metal-soundtrack kind of place.
I have just described Rocky III. This is the book where Carol defeats Clubber Lang.
Geek: As Ms. Marvel/Binary/Warbird, Carol has been vitally important to both the Avengers and X-Men… Is this in any way tying into – or spinning out of – events in that little ol’ Event that’s happening at the same time? And if not, what’s the inciting incident that kicks this series off – if there is one?
Geek: What about her supporting cast? You could probably fill three books with all the characters vital to both Carol Danvers, and Captain Marvel’s histories, so anyone we know showing up here?
KSD: Yes!!! That’s right, people–you begged for it and now it’s here! The return of Tracy Burke!!
Geek: How about villains? Will we be seeing her face someone new, or is this a threat from her/Captain Marvel’s past?
KSD: I don’t want to show my cards too much here. I have plans for both.
Geek: Last but not least, for those who know nothing about Captain Marvel, or Carol Danvers, what’s one reason they MUST buy this series? Other than you being awesome?
KSD: Oh, pish. (Autocorrect keeps trying to make that “Oh, push.”)
Buy it if you love wonder. Buy it if you ever held your daddy’s (or your mommy’s) hand at an air show. If you ever watched a shuttle launch with a tear in your eye. If you know who the Mercury 13 are. If you recognize the name Fifinella…
Buy it if you ever dreamed you could fly.
Captain Marvel #1 hits comic book stands from Marvel Comics in July! Check out two covers, and two full-size pages below: