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Sunday, October 21, 2018 

Carol Danvers origins retconned to suit the movie, and a likely feminist agenda

The Hollywood Reporter has more on how the real Ms. Marvel's background was retconned by an editorial board lacking faith in the audience's intelligence to realize there can be differences between source material and movie adaptation. It starts with the following:
Carol Danvers' history no longer relies on a male character to take place.
And why not? Does this suggest a feminist agenda at work? Good question, and the following may answer that more:
Ahead of Captain Marvel's big-screen debut next March, Marvel Entertainment has made a significant change in the comic book history of the character — one that gives her a brand-new, movie-friendly origin story.

The fourth issue of the Life of Captain Marvel series, by Margaret Stohl, Carlos Pacheco and Erica D'Urso, reveals that Carol Danvers did not actually gain superpowers through exposure to an alien device known as the Psyche-Magnetron in an accident related to Marvel's first, male, Captain Marvel as shown in 1977's Ms. Marvel No. 2 — an origin story that had gone unchallenged for the past 40 years to this point.

Instead, the comic established that Carol's mother is, in fact, a member of the alien race the Kree, making Carol a Kree-human hybrid from birth as opposed to the result of an accident related to a male hero. The Psyche-Magnetron, instead of altering Carol's DNA, "activated" Carol's inherent superpowers, her mother explains, making them in her words, "not borrowed. Not a gift. Not an accident" — a purposeful shift that befits the company's repositioning of the character as a model of female empowerment.
Oh, so a woman cannot build her career through what a man may have helped bring about, because it's not politically correct enough? Next thing you know, DC will be doing the same with Hawkgirl. Of all the retcons Marvel could've done for the sake of a movie far more than their core audiences, this has got to be the most blatantly forced, and it doesn't take much to guess they're counting on the moviegoers not showing any interest in picking up the trade reprints of the 1977-79 Ms. Marvel series to judge for themselves. And what do they mean by "unchallenged"? That the old origin was cruddy, and should be changed just because they say so?

As if that weren't mind-numbing enough, there's even the following:
The story also retcons Marie Danvers' name into "Mari-Ell," turning Carol Danvers into "Car-Ell" in the process; both names follow the pattern established by Marvel's original Captain Marvel, whose real name was Mar-Vell. In an amusing coincidence, it brings Captain Marvel closer to Superman's birth name of Kal-El just years after the CW show Supergirl changed Supergirl's secret identity to "Kara Danvers."
I don't think the attempt to imitate Superman and Supergirl's backgrounds is very amusing at all. On the contrary, it's only unintentionally funny. But worst, it cheapens Carol's background further by making her alien instead of human. If you have to have an alien or humanoid as the star of the show, create a new character to fill that purpose, and stop turning established ones inside out. This review of the Life of Capt. Marvel #3 is one of the most negative I've found so far (Update: and this one is too), and with that kind of "story", it should be no wonder moviegoers may not be interested in it.

What this does tell is that Carol Danvers may be the first real victim of Marvel's shift to political correctness in their movie adaptations, if you can even call them that. Of all the films they could make of their comics to date, this looks like it'll be one of the least successful, if it relies on the story as presented in this dud of a miniseries. The costume Carol wears is no improvement either.

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An excellent move by Marvel. It may retcon a 3rd rate character's background, but it makes the actress's "acting" rather more believable. It's more likely that an unchanging version of "resting bitch face" is a dead give away that the woman is an actual alien rather than a human who was changed.

The parallels to Superman and Supergirl were there from the beginning.
Mar-Vell was an alien from another planet who had super strength in
Earth’s lesser gravity and could leap tall bounds, and whose name ends
in el; like a version of the early Superman, before he flew, Kree
instead of Kryptonian. Supergirl always had the Kryptonian name Kara;
she was adopted by the Danvers family in about the early 1960s, so
that Kara Zor-El’s American name has been Linda Lee Danvers for over
half a century.

The comic books usually go through minor adjustments to bring them
into tune with the movies and tv shows. Nick Fury and Thor have been
adjusted visually to look more like the movie versions, Iron Man’s
personality has shifted a bit to be more like Robert Downey. Runaways
is bringing back the dead characters who are alive on the tv show. No
surprises here. The decision to make Carol a spin-off of Mar-Vell
rather than give her her own agency was always a mistake, although it
is troubling to see continuity being rewritten so cavalierly.

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