Welcome back, gentle readers! My cute little roll call format and I have missed you so. Lady Saika and I wrote a post about the new Mighty Avengers (2013) #1, which features a great cast of characters, many of whom are black and/or Hispanic. Since you might not know who some of them are, I figured I’d give you a little rundown on the crew.
Let’s jump into it, shall we? According to Wikipedia, the Infinity Event Mighty Avengers includes the following characters: Luke Cage, Victor Alvarez, Ava Ayala, Monica Rambeau, Otto Octavius/Peter Parker, Adam Brashear, Samuel Wilson, and Jennifer Walters. You’ll recognize some of those names right off the bat, but I think it’s telling just to look at the names of the cast laid out. I’m not going to address all of them, just my relevant favorites (sorry Otto/Jennifer/Sam/Adam)!
Saika: I’m starting to consider the possibility that Marvel has a psychic on staff. How else could they have perfectly timed the release of The Mighty Avengers #1, a comic that unbenches and gives the spotlight to several well-loved PoC heroes, to coincide with their not-so-Distinguished Competition’s putting likeeight feet in its mouth last week?
Ink: Speaking of eight feet, do you know who’s completely unbearable? Superior Spider-Man, aka Otto Octavius in Peter Parker’s body. This issue opens with the first of several chump villains, the Plunderer. As he and his henchmen attempt to separate Horizon Labs from their hi-tech doodads, they are confronted (which is a euphemism for beat about the head and body) by Cage’s new Heroes for Hirecrew. Superior Spider-Man joins the brawl against the Plunderer, and ridicules the gang for their mercenary behavior, right after giving the etymology of the word mercenary. That’s what’s different about our soon-to-be Avengers: they have to keep the lights on. After being abandoned by White Tiger, the team retreats, leaving its individual members, which includes the new Power Man (Victor Alvarez) and the Blue Marvel, to contemplate their future.
Okay, moving on with my life and focusing on nicer, happier, excitingly feminist things happening in the Marvel comic book world, let’s talk about the new Captain Marvel.
So this lady with accidentally-got-them-from-an-alien-device superpowers named Carol Danvers apparently used to be Ms. Marvel for a super long time. But I’m not worried about that because I have never read a Ms. Marvel comic and know nothing about her and you don’t really need to either. What you do need to know is that she recently decided to promote herself to Captain and she is now in her own series, being billed as Earth’s Mightiest Hero. It is amazing.
So, weirdly enough, the first thing I read in Captain Marvel was… the first page of #1. And this one page actually made me stop and stare for like ten minutes, grinning like an idiot, and then go find my roommate and show her and babble a bit, and then stare a bit more before I managed to move on to page two. Okay, let’s compare Carol as Captain with Carol as Ms. Marvel. The image of Ms. Marvel is much more sexualized, with a more unrealistically proportioned body type, an outfit that isn’t exactly practical superhero wear, and her hair down. The image of Captain Marvel is just so much better to me in so many ways: her one-piece costume, despite still being skin-tight, seems so much more practical for crime-fighting than a bathing suit, opera gloves, and thigh-high boots (have you ever tried to wear them? They slide down the second you put them on!). Her hair is pulled back and up, also a more practical change. And the way she is drawn is less sultry and more confident and powerful. From the first page I was loving Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel.
And then I read the actual story, and I was hooked.