A guest post by Valtyr
“I will arrest you, no matter how many times you outrank me.”
In honour of Kelly Sue DeConnick’s new Captain Marvel, which Megan Byrd reviewed for us on Wednesday, I decided to dedicate the weekend to Carol Appreciation. This is the first in a series of guest posts about the character. So come on, get appreciating!
Ultimates! We all love Ultimates, right? I’m assuming so, and there’s nothing you can do about it, because I’m writing this piece. Ha. I enjoy it, and one of the reasons I like it is because the characters are different, often radically so, to their 616 depictions.
But to be contrary, one of the reasons I like Ultimate Carol Danvers is because she’s not very different. She doesn’t have superpowers, but she’s still the Carol I know from 616.
“Please stay within indicated boundaries and with your handlers during the red condition, or I will arrest you, no matter how many times you outrank me.”
We meet her as Captain Carol Danvers, Air Force, director of security at a spaceflight facility. She’s pleasingly efficient, and when unscheduled alien interventions occur, Mahr-Vehl (the Ultimate answer to Captain Marvel) wakes up with a lump of plastique explosive on his neck. They couldn’t get his weird alien suit off, so that seemed like the next best option.
She’s very goal-oriented and ruthless. It’s a pretty familiar trait in Ultimates; I like it in Captain America, and I like it in Fury. One of the reasons I like it so much in Carol is that she’s not superhuman. In Ultimate Fantastic Four, she’s flown up high and then dropped, and she calls her location in for an airstrike while plummeting to her doom. It’s easy for Cap to be calm in those circumstances; he’ll be fine. Carol fully expects to be a pancake in the next twenty seconds, and she’s still doing her job as best she can. (Spoiler: someone catches her. But the principle stands.)
Back to Mahr-Vehl. She interrogates him, she doesn’t buy his story, she gets in his face and tells him it’s come clean with her, or go to SHIELD for “interrogation on the surgical level”.
He comes clean. She has the most beautiful air of disgusted acceptance. A previously unknown alien military is infiltrating the base, and she takes it in stride.
“His name’s Captain Marvel and he’s a spaceman from the Cree Indian tribe, sir.”
Carol’s very good at dealing with the unexpected, and reacting quickly to unexpected situations. In New Ultimates, Amora puts the mind whammy on her. Or does she. (No.) Carol realises some kind of mind control is being attempted, and it’s failing due to her, er, anti-mind control contact lenses. (Comics!) So without a flicker, she plays along, playing her part, right up until she gets a chance to turn the tables.
Anyway, after witnessing the Mahr-Vehl show, Captain Danvers is promoted to Nick Fury’s personal aide, and promptly has to deal with the Ultimates and the Fantastic Four. She does so calmly, even when addressed as “military-industrial-complex drone girl” by Thor, and ordered to bring beer. “Sure. How far up your backside would you like it rammed?” She never has trouble telling people where they get off, be they superhuman or gods or high-ranking.
“Carol Danvers said she’d shoot me if I used them. Is it wrong for me to find humans attractive?”
Carol is also very hot. Hey, I know what I like and well-built blondes are right up there on the list. She’s initially a tall, averagely proportioned woman with short hair, but a certain type of artistic creep rapidly set in, and by Ultimatum she was all flowing hair and… not average proportions. Also a very big gun. I very much enjoyed her New Ultimates art, drawn by Frank Cho. In early appearances, she wears her military uniform; later on, a standard SHIELD jumpsuit.
Ultimate Carol is exactly what 616 Carol would be without her powers; dedicated, brave, smart, fierce and gorgeous, and she does it all without powers – one of very few major players in the Ultimate universe to do so. I love her to pieces.
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Valtyr blogs at Dreamwidth. She likes history, the Avengers, and snark.