Infographics

The Evolution of Captain Marvel

Brie Larson didn’t say yes to Captain Marvel right away. As she’s explained in multiple interviews, signing up for a Marvel movie means changing your life forever and sacrificing whatever relative anonymity you might have had. It might sound strange for an Oscar-winner who has been acting since the age of 9 to worry about anonymity. Like, didn’t she say goodbye to that decades ago? However, no little girl is putting up Room posters on their walls or playing with Glass House action figures. There’s making movies, and then there’s becoming a Marvel star, a frightening prospect for a self-described “introvert.”

However, that wasn’t the only thing holding Larson back. Due to her experience on Kong: Skull Island, she knew how easily a female star can get lost in the mix in a blockbuster movie. Marvel needed to sell her on solid story ideas and positive representation, not just money and stardom.

This divide was on display in an early meeting between Larson and Marvel. As Kevin Feige pitched her on their vision for the movie, Larson motioned toward the back issues of Captain Marvel comic books which were displayed on the wall. A curious evolution – or de-evolution – was immediately noticeable:

“If you look at the comics, the further you go back, the less clothes Carol Danvers seems to be wearing,” Feige told THR while recalling the interaction. “Oftentimes it’s a one-piece bathing suit basically, with outrageous comic proportions. Brie pointed it out on the wall, and we went, ‘Yeah…just so you know, that’s not what we’re doing.’ She goes, ‘OK. I didn’t think so, but I’m glad you said that.”

As a new HalloweenCostumes.com infographic concedes, Carol Danvers’ original Ms. Marvel costume from 1977 was basically “a skimpier version of Captain Marvel’s costume.” She didn’t always stay so curiously unclothed, but through different costume iterations Carol remained Ms. Marvel until Kelly Sue DeConnick promoted her to Captain Marvel in the 2012 reboot which serves as the direct inspiration for the new movie. That’s the version Larson, Feige, and writer-directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck responded to.

However, Carol Danvers has had decades of comic book history prior to the 2012 reboot or this 2019 movie. If you’re not familiar with how far she’s come, this infographic doubles as a quick primer:

Sources: THR, HalloweenCostumes.com

3 comments

  1. I still hate all the names involved. Not Larson’s name… but it is a bit cheesy.

    Captain Marvel is a bit on the nose. DC doesn’t have a series called Colonel DC, which gets annoyingly abbreviated to CDC. Image doesn’t have Super Image.

    Danvers – it’s the same surname as Supergirl’s adopted name.

  2. Clearly this movie isn’t made for white men… luckily, I’m brown. And of course, I’m kidding.

    I like the Classic Costume. Yes, it has some exposed skin (which would be impractical in battle—some could slash you with a sword in the thigh and your practically done for) but she’s superstrong and part-alien(?). Why do MCU make all costumes so utilitarian, even alien ones. I mean, hello! it’s supposed to be alien with alien and all. (Of course, they’re making movies for kids, PG-13, and wider audience.) Also, that mask would be awesome. I hope someday, Marvel would try to have a hero/ine were that type of mask. That would be bold.

    Is she the same Ms. Marvel from whom Rogue got her powers (at least in the 90s X-Men cartoon version of the story)?

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