Michele Bandini goes behind the scenes to discuss the art and influences for CAPTAIN MARVEL #128.

Let’s take a reality check-in with artist Michele Bandini and get an exclusive sneak-peek at pages from CAPTAIN MARVEL #128, out January 31. Carol Danvers is fighting tooth and nail to acquire the fabled Reality Stone, and we’d guess that with Bandini at her back, she’s got the edge on any competition…

Marvel.com: Michele, overall, who or what are your current artistic influences? When you look over the art for CAPTAIN MARVEL #128 with us, what occurs to you as a source for your work? 

Michele Bandini: There are too many talented artists out there! The first names that come to my mind are Olivier Coipel, Stuart Immonen, Chris Samnee, Ryan Ottley, James Harren, and Pepe Larraz, and while working on issue #128 I had several paperbacks on my desk, including:

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 5: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS by Brian Michael Bendis and Valerio Schiti

BLACK WIDOW VOL. 1: S.H.I.E.L.D.s MOST WANTED by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee

STAR WARS: KANAN THE LAST PADAWAN VOL. 1 by Greg Weisman Pepe Larraz

ALL-NEW X-MEN VOL. 1: YESTERDAY’S X-MEN by Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen

THE UNWORTHY THOR by Jason Aaron and Olivier Coipel

CAPTAIN MARVEL VOL. 1: RISE OF ALPHA FLIGHT by Michele Fazekas, Tara Butters and Kris Anka

Marvel.com: Wow, what a lineup! So, when you got the script for #128, what things really jumped out at you in terms of what you could do with it?

Michele Bandini: I had the chance to draw characters like Thanos, Nebula, and the Guardians of the Galaxy in a whole new light, but thanks to Margie and Mark, my editors, I even got the chance to draw Spider-Man and a few other big names in a cameo. I grew up reading Spidey, so it was like a dream coming true!

Marvel.com: We can imagine. What was your favorite thing you got to design for the issue?

Michele Bandini: The Justice Hall sequence for sure, and Spidey’s cameo!

Marvel.com: Your art looks so cinematic with a lot of great horizontal views—is this a conscious thing? How do you approach layouts like this?

Michele Bandini: I love movies and I think this has some influence on my layouts, so it’s 50% unconscious, but I usually try to use horizontal panels to make the storytelling more “cinematic and fluid” as well. I think it depends on what you have to tell; vertical panels are perfect for fast sequences or presenting a character, but in the end the most important thing is always the storytelling. That is what you should always aim for.

Marvel.com: In that great splash of Carol sitting there in the preview art we have, you focus in with separate boxes on the overall panel. What was the decision-making process in that?

Michele Bandini: I wanted to build a zoom-out scene, so I decided to use that solution to keep the entire figure of Carol at the middle of each panel, with separate boxes to focus on her expression on panel #1 and on the power handcuffs on panel #3. In the script I had three separate panels, but with this solution I was able to build a more cinematic sequence, I think. Margie and my editors are so nice to let me experiment with different solutions. It’s teamwork—everyone adds something to reach the final product, and I’m very lucky to work with team like this!

Marvel.com: What’s it like for you when you see your finished art colored?

Michele Bandini: I’m stunned. Our colorist Erick Arciniega is unbelievable; he knows how to enhance my inks and everything looks better with his colors! We’ve been on the same wavelength since our first issue on this series, so he already knows what kind of light I imagine for scenes. He is super-talented.

Marvel.com: What’s the coolest thing for you about working with Margaret Stohl‘s scripts? In what ways does she work to inspire you?

Michele Bandini: Margaret writes interactions between characters so well. She is amazing in how she can describe all the feelings and the emotional path of each character. She puts a lot of funny scenes in, too—just look what she did with Groot! I had a lot of fun with this alternative universe, changing the typical aspect of our main characters.

Since the beginning of our collaboration, Margaret has given me a lot of advice and references, but at the same time left me free to add or change things, like we did with the cadets on the Band of Sisters storyline. Real teamwork. As I said, I’m really lucky to work with such a nice and talented crew.

You can pick up CAPTAIN MARVEL #128 on January 31!

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Margaret Stohl sends Carol Danvers on a topsy-turvy odyssey!

Marooned on a distant world, different—and darker—than her own, Captain Marvel finds herself hunted by a vicious space pirate called “Starkiller.” And after a run-in with this realm’s version of Natasha Romanoff, Carol Danvers discovered the rogue agent to be an evil Peter Quill!

On December 27, writer Margaret Stohl and artist Michele Bandini present “Dark Origin Part 3” in CAPTAIN MARVEL #127! We met up with Margaret to hear more about the Captain’s strange and dangerous journey.

Marvel.com: Catch us up on what’s been going on in the “Dark Origin” arc so far!

Margaret Stohl: While looking for her Kree friend, Bean, Carol has stumbled into a Dark Galaxy where up is down and good is evil—sort of like “Opposite Day” in the Marvel Universe. In this galaxy, she’s a crime boss known as the Corporal, her Alphas are criminals known as the Zetas, and her sworn nemesis is the Starkiller—a dark(er) version of Peter Quill.

Marvel.com: What went differently in this new reality to make everyone so evil?

Margaret Stohl: We don’t yet know what’s at the root of this galaxy—but we do know there’s a powerful gem in play here…and there will be more developing on that front in issues to come!

Marvel.com: What’s up with this version of Star-Lord and what does he want from Carol?

Margaret Stohl: Ah, Starkiller. He really can’t stand to have a rival space pirate in this galaxy. Along with his crew—Rockette (a mouthy girl raccoon), Root (her stalwart carrot sidekick), a pink Gamora, and a skinny Drax—he wants to make trouble for Carol and the Zetas.

Marvel.com: What allies has Carol met and what other enemies will she be facing?

Margaret Stohl: Carol’s teamed up with The Widower, a Dark Galaxy Natasha Romanoff. They’re a tough duo to beat. But aside from Starkiller, there’s another huge problem lurking in the galaxy and you won’t believe who it is…

Marvel.com: What made you choose the Reality Stone for your story?

Margaret Stohl: One of my favorite Marvel geniuses, Gerry Duggan, has engineered an epic story for the stones and I couldn’t wait to be a part of it! Because I knew Carol would be going to this crazy alternate reality, I thought the Reality Stone would be a perfect fit.

Marvel.com: What proved to be the most challenging element of writing this story?

Margaret Stohl:  I think this was one of those blue sky stories where literally anything could happen, so the issue ended up being more about making sure we had as much fun as possible as opposed to worrying about anything we weren’t doing.

Marvel.com: What’s been your favorite moment to write so far for this arc?

Margaret Stohl: Writing Peter Quill. Everything that comes out of his mouth just cracks me up. Peter and Tony Stark are my boy doppelgänger soulmates—bad jokes and all! But bad jokes especially.

Pick up Margaret Stohl and artist Michele Bandini’s CAPTAIN MARVEL #127 on December 27!

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Writer Margaret Stohl breaks down the troubled life of a super hero!

It’s been a tough couple of years for Carol Danvers. Having plunged the emotional depths of her personal and professional lives with Civil War II, the Commander had no choice but to rocket back into action for Secret Empire. It’s been a restless time for Captain Marvel, so what does she do when she needs to unwind?

On September 27, Carol gets a harsh reminder that that super heroes never sleep—as writer Margaret Stohl and artist Michele Bandini present MIGHTY CAPTAIN MARVEL #9!

We spoke with Margaret to learn more about how the unsettled Captain might—or might not—find some respite.

Marvel.com: With Civil War II followed by Secret Empire, Captain Marvel has had an intense time lately. How does she cope with the stress?

​​Margaret Stohl: Not well! If she hadn’t just gotten Alpha Flight blown up, it might have been time for another few sessions at her holographic shrink.

Seriously, Carol has been through a rough couple of years. Even just in Secret Empire, she’s been marooned in orbit and attacked by the Chitauri; she’s watched a fellow hero betray the cause, lost friends in combat—and yes, even sacrificed her own precious Alpha Flight, all in the name of duty. Now that she’s back on Earth again, she’ll discover just how bad she can be at trying to relax. (Spoiler: very!)

Marvel.com: Will all the strain interfere with her ability to handle her responsibilities?

​Margaret Stohl: Military training helps Carol focus when she’s in the middle of combat. The chaos tends to come creeping in during the downtime, which feels much harder for her to handle.​

Marvel.com: Will she find any time to unwind? What might she come up against next?

​Margaret Stohl: Carol will get to spend some time with Jess Drew and Jessica Jones, processing everything that has happened to her—particularly the fate of Natasha Romanoff​. She’ll also go searching for the Kree “Hala Child” Bean again, which will lead her to tangling with some old enemies and even older allies.

Marvel.com: Who’s the first person Captain Marvel turns to in a time like this?

Margaret Stohl: Carol loves her crew and her friends—the women of Marvel, but Jess Drew in particular. In the end, Carol’s friends will save her. They always do.

MIGHTY CAPTAIN MARVEL #9, by Margaret Stohl and artist Michele Bandini, launches on September 27!

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Brent Schoonover depicts the historic meeting of two Captains Marvel!

On September 13, GENERATIONS: CAPTAIN MARVEL & CAPTAIN MAR-VELL by Margaret Stohl and Brent Schoonover will bring together two characters very familiar with one another. Though she would become Ms. Marvel and then Captain Marvel herself later on, Carol Danvers first appeared in MARVEL SUPER-HEROES #13 which Mar-Vell starred in. In fact, she gained her powers in part thanks to an exploding Kree device that laid her up for a while but also restructured her genes combining the best of the two races.

The GENERATIONS issue will use the characters’ history together while also reintroducing readers to a hero who hasn’t really been active since his demise in 1982’s DEATH OF CAPTAIN MARVEL. We talked with Schoonover about the similarities and differences between the two Captains, not to mention the fun of exploring Mar-Vell’s past and helping chronicle Carol’s future.

Marvel.com: Captain Mar-Vell is one of those classic Marvel characters who modern readers haven’t really experienced in new stories. How was it for you getting into this adventure featuring him?

Brent Schoonover: It was fun [because] it was a character that I was familiar with but not totally knowledgeable about. I had an old copy of DEATH OF CAPTAIN MARVEL as it’s just a classic story and a gorgeous book. But I wanted to learn more so I got the Marvel Essential volumes one and two of [the original CAPTAIN MARVEL series]. I really enjoyed checking those out and realized how early on in the birth of the Marvel age of the 60s that the character came around, as well as how early Carol played a part in the book. So it was fun doing the research aspect on a character I enjoyed but had never really gone and done extensive reading on.

Marvel.com: There’s a really cool continuity in costume design from Mar-Vell to Carol. How was it using those elements on the page?

Brent Schoonover: It was neat. I think the Hala star is so cool and iconic. It’s kind of up there with a lighting bolt and a skull in terms on a great graphic to put on a hero’s uniform. My approach on this was I kind of wanted them to each look like they were from different eras. So there’s even some small subtle ways I illustrated each one to give a sense of time difference.

Carol is done in a more contemporary approach and her uniform is a based on the currently used look that is more practical and not really flashy. Mar-Vell is just based in late 60s/early 70s super hero looks. I got his sideburns in there. Wavy 70s hair. No seams on the costume. Very swashbuckling. But the cool thing is once you put that star on the chest it ties it all together. They look and feel connected. That’s the great power of a strong symbol.

Marvel.com: In addition to their looks, the Captains Marvel also both share a military background. How does that play into the way you pose them?

Brent Schoonover: [Laughs] They are both always at attention. Straight up. Strong. Confident. Walk in front like a leader. Neither of these characters lack confidence. Neither one is the sidekick in this story. I think they both access a room or situation the same. Jump into action without missing a beat.

Marvel.com: This duo is also just as interesting for their differences as their similarities. How differently do they carry themselves when it comes down to fighting the enemy?

Brent Schoonover: There’s a great scene where Carol sort of lashes out about an injustice to a citizen on this alien planet. She’s got a good reason but Mar-Vell tries to keep her in check by reminding her that it’s a community that avoids physical altercation at all cost and it’s accustomed to the stuff that they have been through. It’s a nice interaction that shows some of the slight differences in the two Captains. Carol maybe is a bit more heart-on-her-sleeve where Mar-Vell may be a bit more tactical in his approach to everything. There [are] pros and cons to each approach and it’s addressed in a few cool scenes in the book. Carol’s a little more quick to act where Mar-Vell is more likely to react.

Marvel.com: Thanks to her work on MIGHTY CAPTAIN MARVEL, Margaret’s got a solid handle on Carol. You two even worked on issue #4 together. What was it like collaborating with her on this issue?

Brent Schoonover: It was great. I had been reading MIGHTY CAPTAIN MARVEL before chipping in on issue #4 and really liked her approach on the character. Once my time ended on that issue I was hoping to get a chance to draw Carol again. She’s just too much fun to draw. Thankfully [editors] Sana [Amanat] and Charles [Beacham] asked me to work on this.

I always find the character to be at her best when she’s convicted with doing what’s right over doing what is proper protocol, a clash of her military background and her role as a super hero. And I think Margaret did a great job finding Mar-Vell’s voice in the story as well. I was curious before I got the script if this was going to feel like one of the character’s story and the other may play a supporting role. It was awesome to see that this issue really felt like both Captains got equal amounts of story time. So if you are an older Captain Mar-Vell fan or a member of the Carol Corps, I think there’s a lot in this issue for you to be excited about.

GENERATIONS: CAPTAIN MARVEL & CAPTAIN MAR-VELL by Margaret Stohl and Brent Schoonover ships out September 13!

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Margaret Stohl talks Chitauri and the true power of Carol Danvers!

Margaret Stohl, writer of MIGHTY CAPTAIN MARVEL, has a lot to contend with in the upcoming issue #7, coming July 26! Soldier, leader, and self-appointed protector of Earth Carol Danvers has been facing a limitless, relentless wave of opposition in the Chitauri alien fleet—not to mention being walled off from her home planet due to an impenetrable force field erected by the traitorous Captain America.

Stohl talked to us about what it’s like writing Carol’s raw, reborn humanity in the face of planetary extinction, betrayal, grief—and hope.

Marvel.com: You’ve written Carol for a little while, now. How has she evolved in your time writing her and where might she be going in the future?

Margaret Stohl: I started with Carol right after CIVIL WAR II and that was a rough time for her as she transitioned out of making a lot of really difficult decisions. A lot of her readers weren’t very pleased with her and I think she has to own up to a lot of what she’d lost in that past year, which was [a lot of friends and loved ones]. It was a big tumultuous year leading into the first arc I had on Carol [and] I think she was working out a lot of the repercussions from that level of conflict.

Now with SECRET EMPIRE she’s got a Chitauri attack in space and it’s sort of Carol doing what Carol does best, which is be a leader, take on incredible odds, and fight for what she believes in. But also just fight—I mean, she is a soldier. One of the reasons I was excited to work on Captain Marvel is that I’m a big fan of space, but also military history and combat. I love putting Carol in real combat scenarios and seeing her act like the real soldier she is. Marvel doesn’t do that very often [and] has a very broad approach to heroics, so it’s been very interesting seeing her tap into the actual [military] captain side of her. I actually get a lot of mail from veterans, and veteran women in particular, who are sort of an underrepresented group.

[As for] where Carol is headed, there will be a mini-event called Generations where she’ll re-team with the original Captain Mar-Vell. That will be a return to her roots and an exploration of her origins so I’m pretty excited about that.

Marvel.com: The Chitauri attack is really all falling down on Carol more than anyone else. What is going on with her in this chaos of the waves of attack?

Margaret Stohl: It takes a lot to take someone like Carol out. She’s having to come back from something that basically nobody else could come back from. That’s the position she’s in, [having to think] “how can I get back to save Earth?” and also “what’s gonna be left of Earth by the time I get back there?” The stakes are pretty high right now, even by Marvel Universe standards.

Mighty Captain Marvel #7 cover by Elizabeth Torque

Marvel.com: And what of the Steve Rogers of it all, namely his betrayal and the toll that puts on Carol?

Margaret Stohl: Well, it’s an extinction mission [and Steve] has meant for them to die. That is a brutal calculation that he’s made because he’s not himself, he’s a different version of himself. So she’s kind of a raw open wound, [because] she’s the other captain besides Steve Rogers, right? So she sees him as a direct referendum on what she’s doing as a hero and if Steve Rogers could disappoint everyone like that, then what does that actually mean for any of them? He was part of the bedrock. So it’s definitely been a rough arc for her. She’s got one foot in space and one foot on Earth. I think you’ll definitely see her increasingly more involved with Earth heroes as this wraps up and she does get to come back down to Earth. I mean, I say this all the time, but when people get upset that Cap is Hydra, I just say that there’s more than one captain there and as he falls she rises. It becomes up to her, now, to do the job for both of them which she does.

Marvel.com: That you’d mention Steve Rogers as a counterpart is so interesting because, for me, SECRET EMPIRE is very much a story of the two captains. They’re the ones that weave this big arc together. It was almost like before they went point on Earth and the galaxy but, with Steve gone, she’s now having to shoulder that whole burden of everything.

Margaret Stohl: That’s certainly how it feels. I mean, I’m drawn to powerful women [characters] and she is definitely one of the most powerful—literally—that I’ve worked with! Carol never doesn’t rise to the call no matter what the personal price is for her, and that’s something I respect so much about her and frankly I recognize with so many of the women I know. We do hard things, we shoulder the burdens people won’t shoulder, and we make the world work. I see that in Carol and I see that in the women around me. I really relate to it and I admire it. Carol Danvers is a very powerful, very flawed character who struggles just as all of her readers do and I think that’s part of what makes her so special. I like that model being out there and I think it’s a great time for women super heroes.

[Writing Captain Marvel] is definitely more significant than any of the other characters I’ve worked with, and I think that’s why people work with Marvel because that is ground zero in culture wars. It’s world-changing for so many girls now and that’s what we’re here to do as female creators—what I’m here to do, and it’s an honor.

Enlist with Carol and company as Margaret Stohl and Michele Bandini bring us MIGHTY CAPTAIN MARVEL #7 on July 26!

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Track the evolution of Carol Danvers’ role in the Marvel Universe!

Each week, we use our super sleuth skills to dig into the histories of the characters fighting on both sides of Secret Empire!

SECRET EMPIRE #0 saw Captain America’s Hydra agenda come full circle as he assumed control of the world governments through S.H.I.E.L.D., isolated New York City in the Darkforce Dimension, and blocked Alpha Flight with the planetary defense shield. That last one seemed particularly aimed at Captain Marvel. In fact, Cap even fully explained that he’d had a Chitauri queen hidden on planet, which meant her people would never stop coming for her. In other words, the extra-terrestrial pummeling would never end.

If she had time to reflect on how she got to that point, Carol would remember taking the job as head of Alpha Flight after the events of Secret Wars. In the volume of CAPTAIN MARVEL that launched in 2016, she assumed control of the group working out of the Alpha Flight Space Station putting her in charge of a full staff plus the likes of Puck, Aurora, Sasquatch, and Abigail Brand. Their mission? Stop space threats from reaching the Earth.

The first adventure put her and the team in direct opposition to an alien race that didn’t take kindly to her Kree genetic signature after people from that particular planet nearly wiped them from existence. Soon after, Carol re-purposed her group to utilize the information coming from the Inhuman Ulysses to save the planet during Civil War II. The crossover also ran through A-FORCE and ULTIMATES, two team books that Carol also regularly appeared in. Captain Marvel’s desire to use Ulysses to save the world, even if he’s wrong every now and then, didn’t sit well with everyone, including Iron Man who worried more about someone else using that information for the wrong reasons.

Captain Marvel (2016) #1

Captain Marvel (2016) #1

What is Marvel Unlimited?

The event ended with Carol’s boyfriend Jim Rhodes dead, her longtime friend Jennifer Walters beaten comatose, Tony Stark out of commission, and the hero community once again left in a shambles. Yet, in the pages of her new series MIGHTY CAPTAIN MARVEL, Danvers found herself dealing with not only newfound fame, but also the impending Chitauri invasion. This week’s MIGHTY CAPTAIN MARVEL #5 actually takes place before the events of SECRET EMPIRE #0, showing how Carol started training a group of Alpha Cadets and also fought the first wave of invaders with the Guardians of the Galaxy, some of the Ultimates, and other heroes before getting the news that Cap had betrayed them.

SECRET EMPIRE #1 skipped ahead to show a world where Hydra had already taken control. We saw Captain Marvel sending out a distress signal to anyone who might hear saying that Earth needed help, noting that this threat could easily spread to their planets. As long as she’s still up there, humanity has a hope!

The Empire Strikes Back

The alien menace known as the Chitauri first appeared in the Ultimate Universe in the pages of the original ULTIMATES. They would show up to menace that reality on more than one occasion, but blew up to nearly a household name after becoming the main threat in the first Avengers film! The aliens first appeared in the Marvel Universe in the pages of NOVA to hassle Sam Alexander. Thanks to a stolen Ultimate Nullifier, though, he made short work of them.

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Margaret Stohl checks out the challenges Carol faces in Secret Empire!

Carol Danvers has gone through a lot lately.

CIVIL WAR II definitely took an emotional toll, and now she faces the betrayal of Steve Rogers in SECRET EMPIRE. MIGHTY CAPTAIN MARVEL writer Margaret Stohl filled us in on Captain Marvel’s headspace, and where she finds herself psychologically and emotionally these days.

Marvel.com: Carol found herself in a pretty dark place at the end of CIVIL WAR II. And now SECRET EMPIRE follows right on its heels. It must feel very draining for Carol psychologically and emotionally. Does watching things play out with Steve erode her faith in some of the things she has believed in even more?

Margaret Stohl: Watching Steve Rogers betray everything that Captain America has always stood for is a crushing blow, not just for Carol but for everyone. On the other hand, she’s also an experienced military leader, and she knows better than anyone that the loss of Captain America only makes the role of Captain Marvel that much more important. She steps up when others step down, and she always has. So no, Steve’s betrayal doesn’t erode her faith, it makes her all the more resolved to defend it—because if she doesn’t, who will?

Marvel.com: Steve left Carol and her team outside the planetary shield surrounding the Earth to face wave after wave of the Chitauri army. What kind of state of mind will she have when she gets back?

Margaret Stohl: Carol has her combat brain on now, which means she only has three things on her mind: how to keep her team alive, how to get them back to Earth, and then how to save it. Her first goal is her team’s survival, particularly the three young cadets—Glory, Dante and A’Di—who were caught outside the shield with her during their training at Alpha Flight. That is priority one. Part of what makes Carol such an effective soldier and leader is her ability to compartmentalize when she has to. Making decisions in the moment is tough, but when a leader doesn’t lead, the people fighting for her die.

Mighty Captain Marvel #6 cover by Elizabeth Torque

Marvel.com: Currently, Carol leads Alpha Flight and plays a major role in the Ultimates. So professionally, she seems to really have things together. But personally, she’s facing more challenges.

Margaret Stohl: Absolutely. Carol’s first arc in 2017 was all about her personal journey back from the events of CIVIL WAR II. This arc is much more of a combat adventure, though even the fact that there are teens on Alpha Flight just shows how much her relationship with the Kree child, Bean, from the past few issues, has impacted her. In general though, I think Carol’s emotions are on hold until she gets through the catastrophe of SECRET EMPIRE. If she ever makes it home, Carol Danvers will have to work to process what has happened—not just to her but to her planet.

Marvel.com: Carol had a falling out with Ms. Marvel during CIVIL WAR II, and America is distancing herself from the Ultimates to go to college. How does it affect Carol to see her protégés walking away?

Margaret Stohl: Carol is a lifer in her fight for what’s right. Like many other heroes, she’s seen plenty of teammates come and go, and while that wears on her, she knows it comes with the gig. That said, I’m not sure she’s ever recovered from the end of her friendship with Kamala Khan. Since Kamala moved on in her life, Carol has taken the time to foster a Kree child and train three Alpha Cadets. I think she deeply feels the loss of Kamala, and is still trying to figure it out.

Marvel.com: I would imagine the fall of Maria Hill has had a pretty significant impact on Carol, as well. The two have had their differences, but have often found themselves in similar situations, and frequently worked together. Does it make Carol feel like maybe the same thing could happen to her? Like she could be forced out of the organizations she cares about?

Margaret Stohl: Women in positions of power are always aware of the fates of their female contemporaries, but at the moment, Carol really is caught up in just getting her butt back to Earth. I don’t know how much time she’s spent thinking about it. She’s much more worried about Wendy, who is trapped somewhere on Earth and away from the rest of the A.F. team.

MIGHTY CAPTAIN MARVEL continues to battle through Secret Empire as depicted in issue #5 on May 31 and issue #6 on June 28, both written by Margaret Stohl with art by Ramon Rosanas and Michele Bandini respectively.

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The iconic writer shares her story from fan to pro!

This March, we celebrate Women’s History Month by spotlighting some of the most iconic characters and creators from the Marvel Universe.

So far in celebrating Women’s History Month we’ve talked about characters and creators, but now we’re switching gears a bit and talking to one of the latter.

Marvel readers will remember Kelly Sue DeConnick as the writer who picked up the Carol Danvers baton and helped catapult the character to the top of the A-list with two volumes of CAPTAIN MARVEL. We sat down with Kelly Sue—who also penned AVENGERS ASSEMBLE, and CAPTAIN MARVEL & THE CAROL CORPS to talk about her earliest days reading comics, getting into the business, and the importance of honesty and kindness in life.

Marvel.com: Were you a comic fan as a kid? Who were the characters and creators who really spoke to you?

Kelly Sue DeConnick: Yes, I grew up on Air Force bases and comics were a huge part of base culture. I loved Wonder Woman, of course. And Vampirella, perhaps less obviously. I remember collecting all the [Detective Comics] issues with [the female villain] Nocturna—I guess my inner goth kid was finding her path.

The first creator I remember paying any attention to—the first time I looked to see who made a comic—it was Marv Wolfman and José Luis García-López on New Teen Titans. Those layouts. Man, oh man. I need to dig that stuff up. I remember an issue where the reflection in sunglasses was used as panel I think? I think the whole issue might have been flashback?

[Garcia-Lopez] did these incredible full-body shots of [the character Lilith] and she was beautiful and terrifying too. I really should see if I can figure out what that run was and re-buy it. Those are sort of what I think about when I think comics.

Marvel.com: What was it about the characters’ styles or personalities that you remember responding to?

Kelly Sue DeConnick: Wonder Woman—it’s not hard to find the appeal there, you know? Plus, it was the 70’s so I watched the Linda Carter show. And I was a nerdy kid, kind of obsessed with Greek mythology. And, I mean, Amazons. What’s not to love?

Marvel.com: Do you remember having a specific moment when you realized that comics were things that people made and that you wanted to do that too?

Kelly Sue DeConnick: I never decided to pursue comics. I know that sounds weird but it’s true. I’ve had so many interests and tried so many things in my life and I never really decided, “Oh this is the thing I want to do”—I just, sort of, followed where my interests were and then realized at some point I was no longer dabbling, I had a career.

Marvel.com: Among your other comic accomplishments you helped elevate Carol Danvers up to the A-list in a lot of peoples’ minds. What do you think it was about your take on the character that resonated so well with readers?

Kelly Sue DeConnick: Well, I was coming in on the heels of Carol’s character as she behaved in Civil War and even though I understood why she’d needed to play that role on the chess board of that story line, I didn’t think that character was somebody I could root for and throw in with for a solo title. She’d done some things that I felt were indefensible.

So I went back to some of her earlier stuff and tried to find her formative wound and build her character from there. I ended up going with the idea that Carol’s relationship with her father left her forever trying to prove that she was as good or better than her brothers. That she was worthy of backing, of believing in. Add that to the test pilot thing, and you get a little ego and a little swagger and someone who’s forever trying to push limits, to do more, to do better.

And I think that’s the thing the Carol Corps responds to: these are folk who fall down all the time, but who always wants to do more, to go farther. To fail better.

Marvel.com: From looking at how you and your fans interact on social media, it seems like you’re helping a lot of people get through hard parts of their lives. Was that something you ever imagined when you were working towards becoming a writer?

Kelly Sue DeConnick: I don’t know if that’s a thing I really do. I think that’s more credit than I deserve.

I think…I think I try to be honest and kind. Not sure you I should get a cookie for that, you know? I think that’s a reasonable standard for all of us to hold ourselves to.

The Women of Marvel

If you’re looking for some more of DeConnick’s work that lead up to her runs on CAPTAIN MARVEL and AVENGERS ASSEMBLE, Marvel Unlimited has a few fun reads to check out. In 2010 she penned a pair of one-shots, SIF and RESCUE, with art by Ryan Stegman and Andrea Mutti respectively, the latter focusing on Pepper Potts when she wore her own armor. She also joined forces with Emma Rios to chronicle the former head of H.A.M.M.E.R.’s post-Siege incarceration in the five issue OSBORN limited series.

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Charting Carol Danvers’ rise from U.S. Air Force to Avenger!

This March, we celebrate Women’s History Month by spotlighting some of the most iconic characters and creators from the Marvel Universe.

Even before she gained super powers, Carol Danvers earned huge points on the awesome-meter. She first debuted in 1968’s Roy Thomas-Gene Colan effort MARVEL SUPER-HEROES #13 as “the finest head of security a missile base could want.” That base just so happened to house a fallen Kree Sentry robot that had led to the original Captain Marvel’s first trip to Earth. In fact, Carol met the hero in his alternate identity as Dr. Lawson just before the machine got back up and started causing a ruckus.

That story lead directly into the CAPTAIN MARVEL series that same year by the same creative team and featured a building-smashing battle between Cap and the Sentry. In the process, Carol fell under some rubble, but dug herself out just in time for another attack.

Carol stuck around the book for a while, but eventually earned her own title in 1977 called MS. MARVEL. In the first issue by written Carla and Gerry Conway with art by John Buscema, Carol not only smashes up bad guys in her masked identity, but also perfectly handles J. Jonah Jameson who wanted to hire her to edit a magazine called “Woman.” She upped her own pay and even dictated terms about content, setting herself up well for the rest of the series.

But where did those amazing powers come from? An exploding Kree Psyche-Magnetron melded her DNA with that of Captain Marvel’s, transferring some of his abilities to her. Though she eventually lost those powers to Rogue for a time, they served Carol in her many identities ranging from Ms. Marvel and Binary to Warbird and, most appropriately, Captain Marvel.

In addition to serving with various Avengers teams, Carol has spent a lot of time with the X-Men too. She’s also been associated with the Guardians of the Galaxy and the Ultimates.

Fans have long responded to Carol’s brash attitude and confidence when it comes to acting as a super hero. She’s dealt with many issues over the years, including a bout with alcoholism that threatened her standing with the Avengers, but always dealt with them and moved on to build herself into a stronger version.

The Women of Marvel

One of Carol’s most interesting transformations came when she turned into Binary for the first time in UNCANNY X-MEN #164. Carol had joined the mutant team on a space mission. At this point, Rogue had already drained the former Ms. Marvel’s powers, so it surprised everyone when she seemingly burst into flame and seemed okay with it. That manifestation came as the result of a Brood attack that kicked her Kree genes into overdrive. At that point, she could draw power from a white hole. This lasted for a while until the Operation: Galactic Storm crossover where she lost contact with that source and reverted back to her usual powers.

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Margaret Stohl checks in on steering the story of Carol Danvers!

By Josh Weiss

Following the events of Civil War II, the Marvel Universe continues to reel from the fallout. Beloved heroes died, close friendships have seemingly broken forever, and one of the conflict’s key players has become an international celebrity.

That’s right, Carol Danvers—aka Captain Marvel—has, for better or worse, become a household name after her squabble with Iron Man over the future-telling abilities of the Inhuman known as Ulysses. But it’s not all bliss for a somewhat broken Carol.

Writer Margaret Stohl, talented author of the young adult novels “Beautiful Creatures” and “Icons,” chronicles Carol’s post-war trauma and drama in MIGHTY CAPTAIN MARVEL, issue #3 of which hits March 22. With her writing experience in both the world of video games and best-selling publishing, Stohl stood out as the obvious choice for the job. We caught up with Margaret despite her busy schedule to chat about taking on her first-ever comic book series and the perils Captain Marvel now faces.

Marvel.com: We’re now three issues deep with your take on Captain Marvel, so first off, congrats! What’s the experience been like so far?

Margaret Stohl: Empowering. Carol is my hero in a time when not that many things feel heroic. I’ve just sent [editor] Sana [Amanat]—#FearlessEditor—the last script for my first series arc— issues zero to four—and it’s hugely fulfilling. Of course, Sana will send it back to me a thousand times now, but that’s why I love her: she cares about Carol as much as I do.

Marvel.com: This is your first foray into writing comics. Is the process of making a comic book wildly different from that of writing novels? Do you prefer one over the other?

Margaret Stohl: They’re very different gigs. I write comics out of love. It never feels like a job, which is funny, because it’s basically the biggest time suck in the world. It’s also kind of like being an ER surgeon—you’re always working against the clock and the patient is always bleeding to death on the table right in front of you. The minute you catch your breath, another patient rolls in the door—sometimes two at once. That said, it’s exhilarating and the adrenaline is incredible. I got my start writing games, and to me, comics has that same frenetic high-energy production pace. The stakes are still high—if you mess up, the Marvel fans will call you on it, every time—but I love that. I feel constantly exposed, but I sort of love that too.

Marvel.com: You’ve written for Marvel before with your Black Widow novels. Do you think there are any salient similarities between Carol and Natasha? Did any of those qualities carry over to this series?

Margaret Stohl: Carol and Natasha are both strong, powerful women at the top of their game who would rather kick your butt than have a heart-to-heart talk with you. I can sometimes relate. What I’ve carried over from Black Widow to Captain Marvel would be a deep respect for the characters and a willingness to celebrate their human flaws as well as their heroic attributes—and the nature of their hearts.

Mighty Captain Marvel #3 cover by Elizabeth Torque

Mighty Captain Marvel #3 cover by Elizabeth Torque

Marvel.com: In your opinion, how is post-Civil War II Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel different from other versions of her we’ve seen in the past?

Margaret Stohl: She’s got a serious side, an edge. She’s a little more openly broken. She misses Tony’s and Kamala’s friendship, and Rhodey’s companionship. She feels terribly for Bruce. In general, Carol is processing a whole lot of fallout. She followed her conscience and stood up for what she thought was right, and now she knows she has to take the heat for it. And she will, because Carol’s Air Force, and she knows the thing about heat is, you take it.

Marvel.com: Now that she isn’t squaring off with Tony Stark over the fate of the future anymore, are you able to let slip what kind of enemies and villains Carol and Alpha Flight will be fighting?

Margaret Stohl: In this first arc, she’s been squaring off against a mysterious, shape-shifting alien bounty hunter. As we progress, her enemies will multiply and develop into more than she’s expecting. Before she gets through the next two arcs, she’ll be taking a hard look at her fundamental identity as a part Kree, part human hybrid.

Marvel.com: Are the threats all physical ones?

Margaret Stohl: Great question. No, I think part of being a super hero is always fighting your own bad self—self-doubt, responsibility, isolation, alienation—and Carol is certainly no different.

Marvel.com: Some of the central themes in your books deal with mysteries and the onus of being an outsider. Will Carol be experiencing either or both while she’s in your hands?

Margaret Stohl: Another great Q. All heroes are outsiders, just like all villains. Carol’s never accepted her family’s or the world’s definition of what she could be; as a girl, then a woman, then a soldier, then even as a hero. She’ll be working that out for the rest of her life—as we all are.

Marvel.com: Carol is now dealing with her newfound celebrity in this run and in the real world with the announcement of Brie Larson taking up the mantle for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. What’s it like being at the center of all the Danvers buzz at the moment?

Margaret Stohl: I love it, and I love Brie. We’re lucky to have her. Strong, smart women for the win!

Soar to the stars on March 22 with MIGHTY CAPTAIN MARVEL #3 by Margaret Stohl and Ramon Rosanas!

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