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Friday, April 06, 2012 

Sequart disappointed with redo of DC's Capt. Marvel

A writer for Sequart Research and Literacy Organization wrote his opinion on how DC's dumbed down reworking of Captain Marvel for the sake of their increasingly grim take on their universe is dismaying:
Sadly, once the character was revived by DC in the ‘70s and ‘80s, the character never again rose to its original prominence. Writers and artists have been trying ever since to reconcile the storybook childishness of Captain Marvel with the progressively grim, melancholy DC universe, but their attempts at making characters like Mister Mind into something we should take seriously never hit the mark.

And that’s largely where I stand with this latest reboot of the character from Johns and Frank. In the New York Post’s article about the reboot, the first image of the character was revealed, and it wasn’t pretty. Rather than a dauntless, smiling Captain Marvel (or Shazam, if that’s what they want to call him now to make him more accessible to non-comic book readers) dashing around above the clouds, we’re treated to a tortured soul gritting his teeth and looking predictably angst-y. Bolts of angry lightning shoot from his eyes and skin, but fail to illuminate his body or hooded face, which are cloaked in the darkness of blah blah blah I couldn’t care less.

This is Captain Marvel we’re talking about here guys, not Moon Knight. The hood and the cape and the darkness and the anger and the lightning (which we’re told will cause electrical devices to EXPLODE when he transforms… sigh…) all just smack to me of forcing a character to go in a direction that he doesn’t want to go in. Is there no room in the JL for a character that is lighthearted, optimistic and fun? Does everything in the DCU have to remind us about how dark and troubling the world is?
Absolutely not, and even in the Marvel universe, it shouldn't and wasn't always that way years ago. Even the Avengers had its brighter and more humorous moments (good example was when She-Hulk first joined in 1982). But don't expect Johns and DiDio to ever understand that, let alone accept it.
I know I talk a lot about making characters true and believable, but if there’s one thing I can’t abide by, it’s making the characters needlessly dark and depressing. My aim is to flesh out the characters and explore their themes so that we understand more about them and they feel more real in our hearts and minds. This is very different from taking all the pain and suffering from the real world and lumping it on the superheroes’ shoulders. We have, with superheroes like Captain Marvel, the opportunity to preserve our childlike sense of wonderment and magic toward the world. We could use this as a way to counteract all the everyday problems of the real world, and even to present our children with an example of a better world to shoot for.
My thoughts exactly. If I were ever to become a comics writer myself, that's just what I would want to get into the profession for. And not just the superheroes, but even supporting and recurring cast members. Rather than kill them off as has become the norm, I would want to explore the co-stars and build casts of characters who could have backgrounds with both happy and sad parts, and that way build up the specific superhero stories with some real meat and potatoes. That's exactly what the majors haven't thought of in goodness knows how long, and that's why the various series have very little impact potential: because they don't try to expand on a lot of the established casts plausibly, and because they don't try to introduce new ones and build them up.

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This new Captain Marvel sounds like the guy from Infamous for the PS3. Grim dude shooting electricity and stuff.

I really hate how they've turned Captain Marvel into a dark, grim character... something he was never intended to be.

Carl

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