Thursday, December 20, 2012

Monica Rambeau NOW!!

It's a hero's anniversary this year, although no one has remembered (admittedly, not even me, until I was looking something up yesterday):

Yup, 30 years ago saw the debut of Monica Rambeau as (the new) Captain Marvel:

Don't you feel old now?

Sadly, it's no surprise that's there has been no recognition, no celebration of this character's three decades as a hero.

Naming her Captain Marvel was a huge mistake, frankly. While Marvel decided to they had to preserve the trademark, if only to piss off DC, it left her the aura of not really being her own hero, as a place filler.

After Marvel decided to take the name away from her and give it to that dufus Genis (and how did that work out?), she went through a series of uninspiring name changes--Photon (which Genis once again took from her--WTF, Marvel?!?), Pulsar...And whatever your opinion of Nextwave, the goofiness of that title didn't help the public's perception of her any.

And, let's recall, her origin had her as a fairly badass character. She was a cop--New Orleans Harbor Patrol! A cop who didn't go by the book!

Even without her powers, she was a tough fighter:

And not going by the book? She's the type who knew how to infiltrate the oil platform of a Latin American dictator who was exploiting scientists to create weapons of mass destruction from extra-dimensional energy!

She would, while clad only in bikini and robe, fight off gumbas and sacrifice herself to save a threatened U.S. military base!

So, even before she got her powers, she was pretty great. Add to that a kick-ass power set:

And you've got the makings of a pretty rad hero, if you ask me.

Unfortunately, even in her origin story, writer Roger Stern is playing the "you're not the real Captain Marvel" card:

And unfortunately, once she joined the Avengers, even her creator Stern seemed to forget some of those character bits, as she was no longer the aggressive unorthodox cop who wouldn't play by the rules, no longer the fighter who could kick the crap out of people.

And after she (briefly) became Avengers chairman, she was sort of unceremoniously shuffled offstage, given a cameo here, a guest appearance there, until Nextwave, which made fun of her (and everyone else, in fairness). She never was used anywhere close to her potential.

Now, she's back, in a 2-part story of the current Captain Marvel. And all is well...except for her costume:

A trench cat and a useless leg band? Sheesh, throw in pouches and a love triangle with Crystal, and it's 1994 all over again!!

Anyhoo, the Carol Danvers/Monica Rambeau story is pretty damn great, Monica's got her groove back, and I hope the story is really a "backdoor pilot" for Monica to get her own series soon. She's a great character, and deserves it.

And what the hell--just call her Captain Marvel Junior. That will really piss off DC...


PCabezuelo said...

Wow, just think what would have happened if Bendis liked her instead of Spider-Woman? She would have been an integral part of Avengers/New Avengers/Secret Avengers, had several solo series, collected trades, and action figures. Thanks, Bendis!

Jon Hendry said...

Isn't that her Nextwave costume?

Dougie said...

I've blogged before briefly about Monica. I consider her to be the Last Bronze Age Super-Heroine, even though in my opinion, Marvel's Bronze Age ended around 1981.

I've never thought the Captain Marvel code-name was the stumbling block: I think it's changing into a golden energy-wraith. Her powers are vague and unsatisfactory, effectively making her a blend of Iron Man, Vision and Quicksilver.

Nevertheless, I think it was short-sighted of Bendis to induct Storm ( and do nothing with her) when CM was languishing in Avengers limbo.

Sina said...


It works on so many levels, it is nothing more than sheer, absolute, pure, undistilled and undiluted *GENIUS*!

My hat's off to you, snell :)