As a girl growing up, Carol Danvers dreamed of seeing the stars as an astronaut. Years later she would have many grand adventures in space, but they would come about as the result of a much more exciting career: super-powered adventurer and hero.
This March, Danvers' intergalactic adventures will continue in a new volume of “Captain Marvel” by returning writer Kelly Sue DeConnick and new artist David Lopez, which finds the title character looking to make a new start as a space-faring Avenger and hanging out with the Guardians of the Galaxy. CBR News spoke with Lopez and his editor Steve Wacker about the series, which was announced by Marvel yesterday at their “Superior Spider-Man & Friends” panel at New York Comic-Con.
CBR News: So Steve, there's still one issue left in the current volume of “Captain Marvel." It appears to involve a sort of Marvel Universe counterpart to the “Carol Corps,” the devoted and real-life Carol Danvers fan base that has sprung up around the book. What can you tell us about this issue, and how does it set the stage for March's new volume of the series?
Steve Wacker: Carol is sort of a blank slate coming out of the recent “Enemy Within” storyline. So she's back to trying to find a place for herself. By the end of the issue she will have found it, and she'll get a glimpse of what the Carol Corps really means.
Interesting. Let's move to this new volume of “Captain Marvel” then. What can you tell us about the new direction for the series? In terms of plot and themes, what is this initial arc about?
Wacker: The title of the arc is “Higher, Further, Faster, More” and in it Kelly Sue is sort of refreshing everything about the book, including the setting, Carol's goals and her personal life. Everything about the book is going to be turned up a bit.
The first “Captain Marvel” series was very personal for Carol. It got rid of a bunch of baggage that had built up around the character over the years. We’re going to see Carol reaching out more. We're going to see her in a context we haven't seen her in a lot during the last couple of years. As she moves up and away from Earth, she'll probably meet the Guardians of the Galaxy at some point.
So her new mission takes her higher than she's ever been, faster than she's ever been and farther than she's ever gone. It gives her sort of a clean start, which is something Kelly Sue sets up very well at the end of the last “Captain Marvel” series.
Carol is one of the most powerful characters we have, and I think Kelly Sue is leaning into that a lot. Plus, we brought David in on art. I think he's one of the brightest young artists working today. I think he's got a distinct visual look that grabs you and brings you quickly into his world. It's a very three-dimensional look that I really like.
David, how does it feel to be offered the chance to work on the series? What made the book an appealing assignment for you? And have you worked on a book like this before that was just as much sci-fi as it is superhero?
David Lopez: It's my first time in space! It's going to have lots of adventure, and it's going to be a bright book. Forget about dark heroes and personal problems; this is superheroes in space.
I liked Carol Danvers from the very first time I saw her battling Rogue to get her life back in X-Men. She's amazing, and she's got THE set of powers: she flies, she's super strong, she's tough and she even has energy beams--that's cool. It feels great to work on a book like this. Solo books give you the chance to focus more on one character. Kelly Sue is really cool, and we see the book in the same way.
So this new volume of “Captain Marvel” will appeal to the “Carol Corps” fan base, and it's also welcoming to fans who enjoy the cosmic and sci-fi aspects of the Marvel Universe?
Wacker: Yes. If you like to see Captain Marvel punching things and shooting energy blasts, this will be a very good book for you.
I love the Carol Corps fans. I think and hope that they're going to be there no matter what. Not that I take them for granted, but I think we're going to open the book to even more corners of the Marvel Universe. There will be some big villains that you'll recognize as well as new ones. There will be a real focus over the first year of this book to build up Carol's rogue’s gallery.
What I want coming out of this book is for Captain Marvel to be the Universe's most recognizable super hero … even outside of Earth.
David, what's your sense of the character of Captain Marvel? Which aspects of Carol Danvers' character and personality do you really want to capture and bring forth in your artwork?
Lopez: I don't know why, but I can't stop thinking about Amelia Earhart. Carol was a pilot and a hero, she was like James Bond and she didn't have her powers yet. She's got her powers as something very positive, she wants to help people, she's what you can expect from a hero.
What I want to capture is that old-time heroism. I want to transmit that sense of wonder that comes from being in space-- the final frontier-- can't you feel it?
I can. Carol's adventures in space will obviously lead to some interesting interactions with a host of bizarre and eclectic characters. Earlier Steve hinted that the Guardians of the Galaxy might be among them. What's your sense of the Guardians? Is there any member of that group that you're especially excited to draw? And are there any other Marvel cosmic characters and concepts that you find especially compelling?
Lopez: I'm much more a fan of the Starjammers, but I can't wait to draw Rocket Raccoon.
I loved the Kree-Skrull war and all the politics with the Shi'ar-- it's going to be cool, yes.
While we're on the topic of the Guardians, what else can you tell us about the supporting cast in this new volume of “Captain Marvel?” Will it have as tight a supporting cast as the last volume? And can you talk about, hint or tease, some of the characters Carol will interact with on a regular basis?
Wacker: It will probably have a little looser supporting cast. We want to see Carol on her own a little bit. Kelly Sue wants her to have a pet and a love interest. There's also probably going to be a Raccoon that she gets along famously with as well.
Hmmm…maybe we can combine all of those into one character.
David, will "Captain Marvel" afford you a chance to design any new characters or update any pre-existing ones? If so what can you tell us about the experience? Were there any designs you were especially proud of?
Lopez: Whenever you go to outer space, there's lots of work to do, but that's something I love so it won't be a problem. What's making my head explode is finding the right nose for Carol! Sounds silly, but it's like that, I have a clear idea of what I want for her and I have almost everything-- but the nose.
Let's move into the types of adventures “Captain Marvel” will have in space. Will she be a wandering hero? Will she maintain some ties to Earth?
Wacker: She's an Avenger and she's out in space. As an Avenger she'll want to help people when she can, and she still reports to people on that team. In the aftermath of “The Enemy Within” Carol has really embraced her roots as a soldier, and soldiers follow orders.
Can you talk about how Carol will initially view her actions in this new volume of “Captain Marvel?” And how others will view her? It seems like some cultures might view an Avenger that protects the universe as a larger-than-life inspirational figure.
Wacker: I don't think Carol sees herself as an inspirational figure. Other people might, but I don't think that's in her. Being a symbol and an inspirational figure is not necessarily all it's cracked up to be (and I would know!). It's not necessarily a role that Carol is accustomed to because really at the end of the day, I believe she wants to fly and hit things.
We've talked about story and characters. Let's conclude by discussing the visuals of “Captain Marvel.” David, What kind of look do you want to bring to "Captain Marvel?" How will your work on the book compare to some of your other recent assignments like "X-Men" and "Superior Spider-Man Team-Up?"
Lopez: I'm thinking [it will be] something more bright, something in the line of my work in “Mystic.” The most important element here is the sense of wonder, taking the reader to other worlds and making him (or her) care about what's happening. I just started working digital. This book is going to be my very first non-analogical work, so there's lots of room for creativity. I'm the first one excited to see how it's going to look!