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TV and Movies

Captain Marvel and me: I was clueless about Carol Danvers, now I love her

Commentary: There's a big gap in my knowledge of superheroes, and her name is Captain Marvel. Movie spoilers ahead.

Captain Marvel is a superhero. I know that much.

Chuck Zlotnick/Marvel Studios

I worship Uhura. I identify with Dana Scully. I cheer for Arya and Daenerys and Brienne. I hang on every move by the Dora Milaje women warriors of Wakanda. But I have no idea who Captain Marvel is. 

Here's everything I know: Her supersuit looks like a cross between the costumes worn by Spider-Man and Wonder Woman. Her story somehow involves a cat.

I was never a big comics reader, so I missed out on the entire history of Captain Marvel. I've kept up with most of the various Avengers movies, and Black Panther is my gold-standard for Marvel films. I've enjoyed the MCU, but I'm weary of it being such a dude-fest. I'm hoping Captain Marvel will rescue me.

So now I'm off with my mother and sister to go see Captain Marvel on opening weekend. My mother is super excited. "I've been reading all about her," she tells me. My sister is in the same ignorance-boat as me. We haven't even seen a trailer.

OK, I'm back from the movie now. Spoilers ahead. Here's what I learned:

captainmarvel3c

I went to see Captain Marvel with my sister and mother.

Amanda Kooser/CNET

Captain Marvel is cool as hell. And so is Carol Danvers. And Vers. Brie Larson exudes confidence and strength. As radically and startlingly powerful as Captain Marvel is, I can still identify with her, imagine hanging out with her, imagine being her. 

She's got a great costume. Captain Marvel has a practical supersuit. Yes, it's a little flashy, but it also looks like something I would draw up if I were making myself a superhero outfit for daily wear.

I would watch a whole movie starring Lashana Lynch as Maria Rambeau. It could be called Top Test Pilot. Or Rambeau: First Blood. I wouldn't care what title it had, I'd watch it. I'd love to see her career in flight and more of her big-hearted daughter Monica. Also, I thought her name was spelled "Rambo" until I saw it written out online.

The absence of a love interest is just fine. After the movie was over, I realized there was no romantic subplot shoehorned into the story, and I was glad. As my sister remarked, "She got in a friend zone with Samuel L. Jackson and stayed there." Heck yeah: more kickies, less smoochies. 

I love Goose. I'm a sucker for cats. I'd be down for a Nick Fury and Goose buddy flick. Or even just two hours of Jackson sitting there with Goose in his lap. If all the stars of Captain Marvel were in a room together waiting to meet me, I'd say hi to Goose first.  

Captain Marvel isn't groundbreaking cinema, but it's energetic, nostalgic and funny. I didn't get bored. I didn't roll my eyes. It had some standout moments, particularly the montage of Danvers rising up from the ground, over and over again, unstoppable. 

Captain Marvel reminded me of one of the most heartrending moments of my childhood. I was about 5. I had proudly dressed myself for school in my favorite outfit and was ready to go. Until my mother saw me. "Mandy, you can't go to school in only your Wonder Woman Underoos!" I was devastated. 

If I were that age today, I'd be dressing in Captain Marvel Underoos to go to school. And that might be the highest compliment I can pay a superhero. 

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