**Warning Spoilers for Captain Marvel Below**
Captain Marvel writer Kelly Sue DeConnick claimed that the newly released Captain Marvel starring Brie Larson will inspire “Women’s Studies and academic papers.”
DeConnick, who briefly cameos in the movie and has written a number of Captain Marvel comics including the 2014 series which the film is roughly based on, recently spoke to The Hollywood Reporter (THR) about how the film will inspire Women’s Studies and academic papers.
DeConnick was the writer Marvel Comics tapped to transform Ms. Marvel into Captain Marvel in 2012. DeConnick begins the interview with THR lamenting the idea that women haven’t had heroes to look up to until recently.
“We’re really good at cross-identifying because we’ve had to be. I don’t think that I viscerally understood what I didn’t have until I had it. When women and girls watch Harry Potter, we’re not like, “I’m Hermione.” Maybe a couple of people are. You’re identifying with Harry because he’s the hero.”
I guess she didn’t watch Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman in the 70s. Xena Warrior Princess apparently didn’t exist. Does anyone remember Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Can someone remind me who Kathryn Janeway is? What about Charmed or even Stargate SG-1’s Samantha Carter?
“None of us have trouble seeing ourselves reflected in white men because we’ve always been told that, that is the default. That’s the default human being and you can cross-identify. And because of that, we are always centering their pain and their comfort. That’s basic humanity. That’s how we’ve been taught to do it.”
Did you know that according to the U.S. government that females were 50.8 percent of the total population in 2011. Who knew “white men” was the default when men let alone white men make up less than half of the population in the United States.
“When we see authentic culture reflecting back at us, we realize that heroism is not exclusively the domain of masculinity. There’s nothing inherently masculine about power, or sacrifice, or the power fantasy, or about the sci-fi aesthetic or about the ethical ideals of these superheroes.”
DeConnick is then asked about what surprised or shocker her about the Captain Marvel. She points to a scene towards the end of the movie:
“There is a scene toward the end, I think there are going to be women’s studies and academic papers written about this scene. I have a lot of opinions about it. I think it is bold as hell and sorely needed. And then there’s something that’s missing from this film that I also think is crazy progressive. But I’m afraid identifying either one of those things would be a spoiler.”
It’s hard to tell which scene DeConnick is referring to. Off the top of my head, it might be the fact that she doesn’t capture Jude Law’s Yon-Rogg. Instead, after defeating him, she puts him in a space ship and sends him back to the Kree homeworld of Hala with a message that she plans on ending the Supreme Intelligence and the Kree’s war against the Skrulls.
If this is the case, this is nothing new. Superheroes are always sending messages to their villains about how they are going to stop their plans. In fact, at the end of Batman v. Superman, Batman performs a similar action with Lex Luthor. Instead of branding him, Batman tells Luthor he’s transferring him to Arkham where his friends are expecting him there. While, Luthor has been detained, Batman still isn’t above sending him a message.
As for the “crazy progressive” scene DeConnick is referring to, it’s most likely the complete and utter destruction of the Mar-Vell character in the movie. I’m pretty sure this practice is called “erasure” by those in the know. The New York Times defines erasure:
“The practice of collective indifference that renders certain people and groups invisible. The word migrated out of the academy, where it alluded to the tendency of ideologies to dismiss inconvenient facts, and is increasingly used to describe how inconvenient people are dismissed, their history, pain and achievements blotted out.”
“‘Erasure’ is a blunt word for a blunt process. It goes beyond simplistic discussions of quotas to ask: Whose stories are taught and told? Whose suffering is recognized? Whose dead are mourned?”
That’s exactly what Marvel Studios did with Mar-Vell’s story. It was completely erased in cinematic form. Fortunately, we still have the comics which show how he put his own life on the line in order to save Carol Danvers. A sacrifice that allowed Carol to obtain her powers.
If this is what DeConnick is referring to, it’s hard to imagine it as “crazy progressive.” Erasure is a tool used by the oppressor as The New York times points out, “The Roman decree damnatio memoriae — ‘‘condemnation of memory’’ — punished individuals by destroying every trace of them from the city, down to chiseling faces off statues. It was considered a fate worse than execution.”
But maybe DeConnick sees it as “crazy progressive” because it’s the erasure of an alien species who had been posing as a white male scientist at top secret U.S. military facility.
What do you make of DeConnick’s comments? What do you think she is referring to? Are you looking forward to the Women’s Studios and academic papers?