Alex Ross's Captain Marvel

A few years ago, Alex Ross did a small pitch for Kurt Busiek's then-upcoming The Marvels comic.

This definitely seems like a case where Marvel already had a title they were planning to use and were just looking for a concept to fill it, because while the finished book ended up being a globe- and time-spanning interwoven story about all the 616 heroes, Ross's pitch was just about honoring the legacy of Captain Marvel: Carol Danvers would end up with the Nega Bands, but instead of trading places with a plain human, she would summon the "Captain Marvel" from other dimensions, a twist which you'd have to try very hard to deny has a lot in common with the new movie's quantum entanglement angle.

It would have taken Monica Rambeau back to her original supranym, but tied her and Carol's costumes more stylistically together.

The idea would have allowed everybody to be "Captain Marvel" without worrying about someone else using the name, but that was an idea ahead of its time. These days Marvel has multiple Spider-Men who are all "Spider-Man," multiple Captain Americas who are all "Captain America," multiple Hawkeyes who are all "Hawkeye"... now it's a whole thing, but back then it was a weird idea.

The guy at the steering wheel would be "Captain Z," and the lightning-bolt shaped scars on his face should tell you the fact he looks like a photo negative of Shazam is no coincidence - Ross really was trying to bring all the Captain Marvels into this story!

This entry was posted in addendums, comics, Marvel and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Alex Ross's Captain Marvel

  1. Ai Muhao says:

    As someone who no longer reads comics, what is up with having characters share hero names nowadays? Like, one of the last comics I ever read was Ultimate Spider-Man where Miles Morales became Spider-Man after Peter Parker's death, but now Miles is apparently in 616 and they share the name?

    Is this like a Green Lantern thing where the "hero name" is actually a job description like "police officer"? It's not really something I noticed until I happened to watch a playthrough someone was doing of the new Spider-Man game, and hearing Miles and Peter going, "Give me a hand, Spider-Man!" "Sure, Spider-Man!" got on my nerves for some reason.

    • This began when DC rebooted some of its Golden Age superheroes for the Silver Age with new identities. They were originally situated on different Earths but got simplified into being a legacy. So Jay Garrick, Barry Allen, Wally West, & Bart Allen are all The Flash. It was easier to keep straight when there was only one active superhero per codename at a time, but editorial keeps bringing previous versions back to cover all fanbases.

      Marvel has less legacy superheroes since it wasn't as big into teen superheroes or complete reboots. Captain Marvel is its big exception, which is arguably also a means of preventing its acquired trademark from lapsing.

      Recycling names is also much easier than coming up with new names that stick. Gwen Stacy is Spider-Woman in her universe, but Marvel wanted Jessica Drew to be 616's only Spider-Woman when Gwen crossed over. They tried calling her Ghost Spider, but it wasn't as catchy as Spider-Gwen, which is how most fans think of her but she can't use in universe because it spoils half her real name. Likewise they toyed with renaming Miles Morales Spy-D or Arach-Kid when he became part of 616, but fans had already firmly associated with with Spider-Man & didn't think he should downgrade to a less iconic name even if it was unique.

      • Ai Muhao says:

        Ah, I do remember once reading a Flash comic where Wally West was busy fighting someone or the other, and Jay Garrick, watching events unfold on tv, decided to put on his costume and go help out. That kind of thing I'm okay with, since at the time Wally was THE Flash, Barry was dead, and Jay retired. That's why I wasn't so chuffed about Miles being Spider-Man back in the Ultimate universe, since he's the only one following Ultimate Peter's death.

        I can understand from a marketing perspective why Spider-Gwen in-universe is Spider-Woman, was there ever a reason given as to why she'd use a name like "Ghost Spider"? It's not like she has any particular stealth powers that'd justify the name, right?

        Heh. I can completely agree with not going with Spy-D or Arach-Kid for Miles, but part of me will probably never accept him as Spider-Man if he's co-existing with Peter Parker. Hahah, and if it feels like Peter Parker is being shoved out of the way so Miles becomes the only Spider-Man (Peter dying in Ultimate Marvel really felt like the culmination of a lot of things, so that doesn't fall under that), that'd probably cause me to resent Miles instead.

  2. Pingback: Is The Marvels A Flerken Fiasco? – Matt The Catania

  3. I meant Marvel wasn't as big on teen sidekicks as DC. It has plenty of teen superheroes that aren't in line to inherit their mentor's mantles. X-23 & Wolverine would be a notable exception.

    • Ai Muhao says:

      I have to admit I can't really think of many teenage heroes with mentors in Marvel outside of the X-Men (like you mentioned, X-23 and Wolverine). Nothing similar to Batman and Robin, Green Arrow and Speedy, Flash and Kid Flash, etc, anyway.

      I do think that's part of the reason hearing Peter and Miles address each other as "Spider-Man" in the new game irked me so: Peter is clearly mentoring Miles, and I do feel that in-universe the idea of having them both answer to the same name is a poor idea. Like, in a big superhero fight, and someone yells, "Spider-Man, look out!" and both of them go, "Which one?" seems like a gag that would get real old, real fast.

      This is where I'd blame Marvel's editors or writers for wanting to have them both co-exist as opposed to separate universes like before.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *