Captain Marvel Comic Book Inspirations

The question that always pops up every time a superhero movie arrives (which is every other month now) is: “What comic book inspirations did the filmmakers draw from?” Fans want to make sure the powers-that-be have an actual grasp on the characters they’re bringing to life, and not just winging it. The next big superhero picture is Captain Marvel, due to blast into theaters in March. Like most comic book characters, Captain Marvel, aka Carol Danvers, has a rich, evolving history, dating all the way back to the late 1960s. So which Captain Marvel comic book inspirations did the filmmakers turn to when it came time to bring Carol to the big screen?

During a visit to the Captain Marvel set, /Film joined other assembled journalists and asked executive producer Jonathan Schwartz which comic source material was essential in bringing Carol Danvers to life. “There’s a run of comics by Kelly Sue DeConnick that really gets to the core of the character in a way that we thought really made us want to translate it to the screen,” Schwartz said. “She really understood Carol and really made her modern and vibrant and cool in a way that she wasn’t always written as.” 

DeConnick’s run on Captain Marvel began in 2012, in which Carol, who had previously been Ms. Marvel, took up the mantle of Captain Marvel, donning a jumpsuit and exploring her own past. As the series kicked-off, DeConnick said the Captain Marvel comic series would “contemplate what Captain Marvel’s legend means to Danvers, how she will wield it, and how the rest of the Marvel Universe reacts.”

“Kelly’s actually been working with us on the movie and has been very helpful and consulted with us and shot a cameo the other day,” Schwartz added during the set visit. “She had a vision for Carol that leaned into her Air Force roots in a really cool way.”

This certainly seems in line with what we’ve seen of the Captain Marvel movie so far, in which Air Force pilot Carol, as played by Brie Larson, is on a quest to find out more about herself.

And what about the convoluted past of the character? Her origins stretching all the way back to 1968? Before she became Captain Marvel, Carol was just plain-old Carol Danvers, then Ms. Marvel, then Binary, then Warbird. Where does the Captain Marvel movie draw the line in what it draws from, and what it ignores? Schwartz said that when it comes to bringing Marvel characters to life, the filmmakers “look at what storylines make our characters bounce off each other in the most interesting way, what brings out the traits that we want the audience to see in these characters.”

Schwartz went on to say that the main goal in bringing Carol to the big screen was to make her story inspirational in a way that everyone can relate to:

“I think we wanted to make Carol really inspirational. And not inspirational because she was perfect, inspirational because she was flawed. There’s a lot of great stuff to draw from, both in Kelly Sue run and elsewhere in the comics from that. Certainly, some elements of her story needed an update for a modern audience, which we frequently do, and I’m hoping the audience will be along for the ride for that and excited for what we did with these characters.”

Captain Marvel opens on March 8, 2019.

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