Thursday, September 01, 2005

Favorite Female Characters #17: Carol Danvers

Carol Danvers
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley.
Carol Danvers is a woman of several hero names and costumes. Ms. Marvel. Binary. Warbird. She has sunk to the lowest depths and hit the highest highs with very few moments in between. Long regarded as a "B" character, Carol has finally gotten the recognition she deserves before Avengers Dissembled and during House of M. I see a potential for greatness that just needs to be tapped.

A former head of security at Cape Canaveral with extensive military background, Carol was also a Women's Magazine Editor for awhile. Her career path has diverged a few times, and she has now come full circle as Chief of Tactical Operations and Super Hero Liason to Homeland Security. Carol knows people and she knows protocol, making her the ideal person for the job.

Starting out as Ms. Marvel back in the late 1970's Carol was as liberated as it gets. Sporting a very feathered hairdo and bright costume, Carol was the first person to encounter Mystique in Ms. Marvel #18. She battled an evil Rogue as well. The series lasted 23 issues, but Carol was by then an Avenger, and therefore high profile.

Making her life miserable and complicated, in Avengers #200, Carol conceived and gave birth to "Marcus" a crazy guy who used her to get out of limbo. The Avengers, thinking Carol would live happily ever after with the guy she gave birth to, let her go her own way. Crazy, huh?

It gets worse as in Avengers Annual #10, Rogue sucks Carol's memories and powers out of her, leaving her amnesiac to a point, powerless, and pissed off. The Avengers feel bad and try to console Carol, but she is hurt by their abandonment after the whole "Marcus" affair, so she lets them have it. Carol stays with the X-Men at this point, not wanting to have anything to do with her former teammates.

Not long after, Carol finds solace in outer space with the Starjammers. She becomes Binary, and is more powerful then ever. I like to think that some of her personal best moments up to this point were with that team of renegades. She was less then pleased though, when she came back to Earth and found out that Rogue was an X-Men. Things went downhill for Carol again.

When Kurt Busiek and George Perez rebooted the Avengers after Heroes Reborn, Carol was made a part of the team. It was here that she took the moniker Warbird, the alias she uses today. Unfortunately, said creative team decide to make Carol and alcoholic, and she was booted off the team for fighting drunk.

In the last great Kang war, Carol found her footing once again. In AA, and taking one day at a time, Carol focuses on being a hero, and has come to terms with her life. Since Avengers Dissembled, we haven't seen a lot of her, but with House of M, I hope this changes.

Carol is the most human of heroes, but like Captain America, also has the heart of one. She has overcome having her life taken away, a few treacherous men, and alcoholism, and has come out stronger.

At first I wasn't too excited about Carol as a character, but she has grown on me. I can hardly wait to see what the future has to bring, and will be crossing my fingers that she comes out just fine on the other side.

Must reads: Ms. Marvel #1-23, Avengers Vol. 1 #172-200, Avengers Annual #10, Uncanny X-Men #150-201 (on and off), Avengers Vol 4 #4-12, 16-18, 28-68.


Carl said...

Strangely enough, there was a "Ms. Marvel" at Tampa Con on Sunday. Her costume was pretty fantastic and looked like just like the shiny one I recall with the sort of lightening bolt on the front. I wasn't sure where to post this, but my con photos are here:

And not only did I enter the costume contest, but I won! So, with my $50 bucks of "convention cash" I got a mini-statue of the GA Flash, "The Chief" action figure from Get Smart!, Catwoman ('90s purple figure) for Daughter #1 and a Simpsons Lego-style playset for Daughter #2. I wanted to get something for the bride but I am getting so weary of guessing what she wants, I gave up. Anyway, had a great time and hope all is well with you and James...

Heidi Meeley said...

Carl, it is so good to hear from you! Congratulations on winning the costume contest and getting such great swag!!

Let us know how things are, Jim and I are hoping things are great!