Yesterday, Marvel released yet another of their mysterious “All New Marvel NOW” teasers with the words “Ms.” in green on a black background with no creative team listed. Some have theorized that this means the return of 2010’s “Girl Comics” anthology, but I think that it means that Ms. Marvel will return and get her own book for the first time since 2010. However Carol Danvers, the original Ms. Marvel, is now Captain Marvel and will be getting a new volume in 2014. This means that someone else will pick up the mantle of one Marvel’s strongest and most enduring female characters, Ms. Marvel. Here are five possible candidates for the new Ms. Marvel.
5. The Wasp (Janet Van Dyne)
Janet Van Dyne has had a long and rich history in the Marvel Universe. She was a founding member of the Avengers and was its first female member. She was even the chairwoman of the Avengers starting in Avengers #217 (1982) before she left to join the new West Coast Avengers. Wasp supposedly died in the 2008 Secret Invasion event, but she was actually trapped in the Microverse. Currently, Wasp is an active member of the Avengers Unity Squad (a combined Avengers team of mutants and humans) and stars in Rick Remender’s Uncanny Avengers. Wasp has appeared as a solo character in Marvel Feature #6-10 (1973) and Ant-Man and Wasp (2010-2011), but she co-starred with Hank Pym in both runs. It is past time that one of Marvel’s oldest superheroines gets her own solo series. With her small size and powerful energy blasts, she would be a perfect fit for an espionage book with a sense of humor. Wasp is also known for changing costumes, and becoming Ms. Marvel would be just another wardrobe change.
4. Spectrum (Monica Rambeau)
Before Carol Danvers became Captain Marvel, Monica Rambeau became the second incarnation of Captain Marvel in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #16 (1982). Almost immediately, she joined the Avengers and played a big role in the first Marvel crossover series Secret Wars. She even replaced the aforementioned Wasp as leader of the Avengers in Avengers #279 (1987) before retiring after losing her power in a fight with the sea monster Leviathan in Avengers #293 (1988). Monica Rambeau is a logical choice for becoming Ms. Marvel because she helped a weakening Captain Marvel fight a sea monster in Captain Marvel #7-8 (2012). Captain Marvel helped her conquer her fears of using her powers underwater, and Rambeau (as Spectrum) now stars in the new series Mighty Avengers where she protects Earth from Thanos’ Black Order. Monica Rambeau has had eight superhero identities over the years and already has a connection with Carol Danvers so the Ms. Marvel identity could suit her. With her power set, she could fight a range of villains from street-level to cosmic and maybe even get a rematch with Leviathan.
Even though she is one of the most popular X-Men characters and appeared in three X-Men films as well as the 1990s X-Men animated series and X-Men Evolution, Rogue made her first appearance as a villain in Avengers Annual #10 (1981). In this story, she defeated and absorbed Ms. Marvel’s powers so that she could break members of the Brotherhood of Mutants out of jail. Throughout the 1980s, Rogue felt a lot of guilt for her actions and was even taken over by Carol Danvers’ personality. They are currently on friendly terms, but they fought each other in an X-Men Legacy tie-in of Avengers vs. X-Men. Rogue is also a member of the Avengers Unity Squad and the “powerhouse” of the all-female X-Men book. She has had two miniseries (1995, 2001) and even had her own ongoing series from 2004-2005. Like Carol Danvers, Rogue has a big personality and is a powerful character, but she is very much the everywoman. With Captain Marvel becoming a more cosmic series, Rogue could take her place as a strong woman fighting monsters and villains, but also having a normal life with friends and an apartment. The series could show Rogue wrestling with her previous actions towards Ms. Marvel, and it will be good to see her develop as a character outside a team or X-Men setting.
2. Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew)
One of the highlights of Kelly Sue DeConnick’s run on Captain Marvel is Carol Danvers’ friendship with Jessica Drew and their humorous conversation. This friendship has extended to Avengers Assembled and has been tested by the Builders in the Captain Marvel and Avengers Assemble tie-ins to Infinity. Because of her close relationship with Captain Marvel, it makes the most sense for her to become Ms. Marvel in honor of Carol Danvers. She had an ongoing series from 1978-1983 and recently starred in Brian Michael Bendis penned miniseries which was simultaneously released as a webcomic called Spider-Woman, Agent of S.W.O.R.D. (2009-2010). Abigail Brand, the head of S.W.O.R.D., has green hair so the green in the teaser could mean that Jessica Drew is returning to S.W.O.R.D. to help fight alien threats. This could be a fitting companion to the new Captain Marvel series as both Jessica Drew and Carol Danvers could discover new civilizations and protect Earth from extraterrestrial threats. And with Spider-Man 2099 and (possibly) Ultimate Spider-Man joining the main Marvel universe, she needs to be distinct from the the other Spider- characters.
1. A Completely New Character
The solicit for the upcoming Captain Marvel #17 says that Carol Danvers must rebuild her memories “through the eyes of her biggest fan”. The issue also features the Carol Corps, which is the real life name for fans of Kelly Sue DeConnick’s run on Captain Marvel. One of the major themes of the Captain Marvel series is finding the heroic in the every day. Carol Danvers has a lot of friends (both male and female), who have no superpowers and don’t fight crime. Wouldn’t it be great if one of these supporting characters or a completely new character became a superhero and took on Carol’s old identity, Ms. Marvel? This would be a perfect platform for Marvel to introduce a new female superhero and already have a built in readership by connecting it to the current Captain Marvel series and the classic Ms. Marvel series.