Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Though earlier superwomen like Valkyrie and Thundra never got a starring series out of Marvel, Carol Danvers must have got in good with the boss-- somehow! She seems to be the first hyperpowered Marvel heroine to garner a solo series, with MS. MARVEL #1 launching in 1977. Prior to that, those Marvel heroines who gained their own features were either pure athletic types (Shanna the She-Devil) or had minor mechanically-enhanced powers (the Cat).

Early issues include scripting by Gerry Conway and Chris Claremont and art by Jim Mooney and John Buscema, all of which led to serviceable if formulaic adventures, albeit with a lot of hard-hitting action. However, in issue #20, Claremont teamed up with X-MEN alumnus Dave Cockrum and produced a two-part adventure in which the heroine (a) got a flashy new skintight costume that's remained in vogue ever since, and (b) got to pretty much stomp a civilization of mutant lizards that came out of nowhere. Not many fans liked the mutant lizards, but I'd have to say that, given their impressive hardbody designs by Cockrum, they made better punching-bags for the refurbished Ms. Marvel than any number of standard Marvel malcontents. The original series only lasted another two issues anyway, but one could say that it went out on a comparative "up" note.

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