Why Captain Marvel?

Why Captain Marvel

If we take a step back from the actual comic and see what was occurring when it was introduced. Wonder Woman, the character in Marvel, was created before Carol Danvers and the timing was interesting. This is because, at that time, America was not only going through the civil rights movement but what was also in progression was the second wave feminism. Now second wave feminism started around 1960’s and then slowly faded away by the 1970s but it hit its peak in 1968 which is when the character of Carol Danvers was introduced.

Now second wave feminism was basically about women stepping away from gender-specific roles which most men are expected to do and speaking up about it and moving away from the stereotype that women belong to their households and not one step further to that.  Now marvel had demonstrated quite a progressive attitude towards diminishing racism, but when it comes to sexes, they were lagging behind a little. If we look at the character of wonder woman, she was introduced to us 20 years before Carol Danvers.

During this time we can see in the comic book that Captain Marvel was trying to figure out the reason behind the several attempts that were being made on his life by an enemy Captain Marvel was oblivious of. The name of that enemy was Yon Rogg and his basic purpose was to eliminate Captain Marvel altogether for his own purposes. After this, there was another attempt made to take Marvel’s life but during this, a plane had come between Mar-Vel and Yon Rogg which was shot and blown. To Marvel’s realization, the person on the plane was a man named Walter Lawson who was an expert in missile guidance who was traveling to Cape Canaveral for a reassignment.

Monica Rambeau Captain Marvel

To Marvel’s understanding, if he undertakes Walter Lawson’s men and travels to Cape Canaveral he may come closer to who is his real enemy. When he reaches Cape Canaveral, this is when the introduction of Carol Danvers starts. This is linked to feminism because Carol is in an authoritative position, she has people who are answerable to her and is strong and confident. This is not a very common perception of the society in regards to women and her character contradicts that by being a reflection of second-wave feminism.

Now before this, women as characters in comics were more likely to be sidekicks. They were never on the same level as male characters. Carol takes on the role to find out on her own as to what is that Walter is hiding as she was initially suspicious about it. Normally in comics, a woman would report this to a male superhero but in this particular comic, she decided to undertake this on her own. She stands alone because she is a reflection of feminism as to being a strong and independent woman. 

If we look closely, Captain Marvel has had his own solo series since the beginning and its an important thing to note because not all superheroes have had that. If we take the example of Thor, even he did not have a solo series in the start. Coming to Carol, she was shown a single-headed strong woman in the start but then somehow leapt into a character which had feelings for Captain Marvel and ended up doing things to gain his affection somehow. Although she was shown as an intelligent woman that Captain Marvel now has but was still thrown back to the background once again.

Carol Danvers still continued to make several appearances in the solo comic of Captain Marvel. After the introduction of Miss Marvel somehow created the comic in such a way that it seemed like a metaphor originally depicting the struggles that feminists were going through. What he did was that he split the essence of the characters of Miss Marvel and Carol Danvers in half in a sense that both the characters were like a sort of split personality in which one character could not remember the actions of the other.

The closer details were given in the packs of Miss Marvel issue number one and two explaining the struggle of feminists to seek more equality and more liberation as opposed to how they are already treated as the inferior sex. Carol Danvers was just a human being with no superpowers whatsoever and on the other hand, Miss Marvel was a metahuman with superpowers. 

After this, it was predicted that once again this character which is so highlighted despite being a woman will take a backseat and leap into the traditional style of comics where they are in the background or are sidekicks of their male counterparts. This was seen because Miss Marvels outfit was highly indicative of that of Captain Marvels which by the looks of it seems like she was just some sort of a clone of Captain Marvel. 

Furthermore, we can see that Miss Marvel was not actually the main superheroes has her fights had never been with one of the main and strongest villains. Instead, all of her fights were with thugs and muggers more or less like street fighting. This continued till the next issues and after several issues, the story turned to the point that while the conflict between Captain Marvel and Yon Rogg was occurring, Carol Danvers was exposed to the psych magnetron to the psych magnetron which was actually a device in from which it gave powers to individuals which were such that it could make them live their dreams. Due to Carol having very strong feminist tendencies, she looked up to Captain Marvel and aspired by him as a superhero which then turned her into Miss Marvel.

We can see that the character of Carol Danvers had was very strong initially as being a strong and confident woman but then she has pushed to the background again as not being a very important and powerful superhero. It seems that Marvel did not progress so well in regards to sexism as it did to racism as it continued to put female characters in the background.

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