by Vince Brusio
Celebrity status doesn’t protect you from headaches. Margaret Stohl will point you towards Carol Danvers in Mighty Captain Marvel #1 NOW (NOV160757) to show you that celebrity status, in fact, increases headaches. With everything from POTUS calling her to suffering through a TV show based on her life, Carol’s day-to-day existence is a carnival funhouse on steroids played at super-speed in a YouTube video. Who wants this much pressure after being a Marvel character for fifty years? In this PREVIEWSworld Exclusive interview, Margaret Stohl explains when you’re the Top Command of Alpha Flight, you really can’t expect to have time for a leisurely soak in a bathtub. The boss is always on call.
Mighty Captain Marvel #1 NOW (NOV160757) is in comic shops January 18.
Vince Brusio: What’s your interest in bringing Captain Marvel into the spotlight with this new series? What new magic trick are you planning to pull out of a hat?
Margaret Stohl: Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel, pretty much owns the spotlight right now – that wasn’t my doing. I mean, my run begins with Carol as the biggest superhero celebrity on the planet, taking calls from POTUS and suffering through a TV show based on her life. But emotionally, Carol’s just come through a tough period of conflict with her closest friends – Tony Stark, Jessica Drew, Kamala Khan – which has absolutely changed her. Responsibility – and the price of responsibility – has forced her to take a hard look at who she is, both as a person and a hero. So there’s already so much going on, both around her in and her mind, that there’s really no “trick” to writing her, other than to just let Carol be Carol. She’s had fifty years to develop as a character and has really just now hit her stride.
Vince Brusio: What can you tell us about the supporting characters in this series? Are any usual suspects going to appear in the police line-up? Or does this series do more to give birth to new blood?
Margaret Stohl: We’ll get more new blood – particularly younger blood – in the second arc of 2017, but I believe in gradual and organic transitions. Some of Carol’s enemies are being created specifically for Carol, but you’ll see some payout of longer term threats as well.
Vince Brusio: How does this new Captain Marvel fit in with the Marvel Universe as it’s currently designed? Or does Carol Danvers just operate inside her own back yard?
Margaret Stohl: I’d say Carol’s a big player in the current Marvel Universe, and you can see that in both the last crossover event and the next one. For one thing, just the fact that she’s the Top Command of Alpha Flight adds this whole intergalactic dimension to both her responsibilities and her storylines, and there’s a lot of fun to be had with that. She’s sort of the boss of Marvel in space, and I love that.
Vince Brusio: What aspects of Carol’s personality did you want to accentuate in this series? How does both writer and artist get inside of her head? And should we be cautious before looking inside those mental file cabinets? Are there some files that are marked “classified”?
Margaret Stohl: I loved the work Kelly Sue DeConnick did in the original reboot of Captain Marvel, in that she really saw Carol as a fully dimensional character – and a woman – in addition to her role as a superhero. I want to see that again, her friends, her past, her personal life, her sense of humor – which is legendary. Particularly I want to see Carol with the other powerful ladies of Marvel who are by far some of my favorite heroes. In terms of getting inside Carol’s head, she’s definitely taken her share of damage as the only girl in her family, as well as a woman rising through the ranks of the military and NASA, and you’ll see that cast a long shadow in her life. She’s so aware of the thousands of tradeoffs women make every day to get and stay where they are, even superhero women. In that sense, it’s an interesting time to be a woman in comics – certainly an interesting time to write them. As far as I’m concerned, it’s time to fling open every “Classified” file in Carol’s head.
Vince Brusio: If you could isolate a moment during the production of this book and choose a scene or scenes that would work best for an online trailer, what would we see? And what music would work best as the soundtrack?
Margaret Stohl: I’d be torn between doing a character moment or a “mighty” moment; probably I’d show you the opening scene of my issue zero, which is Carol sitting around a table playing cards with Natasha Romanoff, Jessica Drew, Kamala Khan and Jane as Thor…and cut to a later moment in the episode, when Captain Marvel has to throw herself into the collision course of an out-of-control space liner and rip it to a stop with her bare hands. That’s how I see Carol: equal parts laughter and brute force but all hero.
Vince Brusio writes about comics, and writes comics. He is the long-serving Editor of PREVIEWSworld.com, the creator of PUSSYCATS, and encourages everyone to keep the faith...and keep reading comics.