In Captain Marvel #27, Hazmat pokes fun at Carol Danvers’ old Ms. Marvel costume for being merely a swimsuit, one the MCU has obviously skipped over.
Warning! Spoilers for Captain Marvel #27 below!
While popular superheroes go through many wardrobe changes throughout the years, Captain Marvel‘s latest comic took time to poke fun at one of her old costumes, one that got overlooked from her origins when she was introduced into the MCU. When a group of Carol’s female superhero friends gather together to take her out for a night of drinks and speed dating, one of the heroes bring up the fact that her dress exposes her bare legs, bringing to mind her old Ms. Marvel outfit which is criticized for being merely just a superhero swimsuit.
When Carol Danvers was introduced as Ms. Marvel in 1976, her original costume was basically a female version of fellow Kree warrior Mar-Vell with other creators trying to balance functionality with the oversexualized portrayal of female superheroes at the time. When Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum came on, they gave Carol a new costume altogether complete with a new lightning bolt symbol, black thigh-high boots and arm length gloves, and her old scarf turned into a red sash. This would become Carol’s classic costume, which would remain unchanged during her time with the Avengers until her experiences with the X-Men saw a cosmic upgrade that resulted in a new outfit, hairstyle, and even a new name, Binary. Although she later went by Warbird following a significant power reduction, she returned to her classic costume and title until 2012 when she became Captain Marvel. She embraced her new title with a costume that borrowed elements from all stages of her life as a fighter pilot, superhero, and woman which has become her most iconic costume to date.
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In Captain Marvel #27 by Kelly Thompson and David Lopez, Jessica Drew is able to persuade a heartbroken Carol out of her apartment but her plans to distract her with superhero missions backfire as Captain Marvel devotes her entire life to these missions, filling any remaining down time with sleep. Jessica attempts to correct this by forcing Carol out of her uniform and into a dress for a night on the town, inviting Carol’s friends Spectrum, Hazmat, and her Kree half-sister Lauri-ell aka the Accuser to provide support, love, and possible back up in case she resists. When Carol is pushed out to say hello, Monica and Jennifer compliment her cute dress, especially Jennifer, who has never seen Carol’s bare legs in person. “Of course I’ve seen them a million times on the Internet because you used to fight crime in a swimusit,” says Jennifer before she wisely cuts herself off.
Despite being one of Carol’s most memorable costumes, its hard to argue with Hazmat’s comment because it’s true, the old costume is basically a swimsuit with a mask, gloves, heels, and sash. In the past, female characters or superheroes have constantly had to be defined within the context that the stories are written with male readers in mind, resulting in costumes and appearances geared for sex appeal instead of practicality. Carol’s original costume had an exposed midriff and bikini briefs and although Cockrum’s redesigns were an improvement, they would be considered too revealing by today’s standards. Although Carol has proven herself as a soldier, Avenger and intergalactic warrior, such costumes say more about comics and the society they were published in than they do about the character herself.
Considering their brand and namesake, one can understand why Disney chose to skip this costume when it was time for Carol Danvers to make her MCU debut in Captain Marvel. That type of decision is actually quite common in this age where comics are frequently adapted into film or television, with studios realizing that what works for one medium may not be as realistic or in some cases, suitable for another. Fortunately, Hazmat realized to stop talking while she was ahead and Carol didn’t let that little comment derail her evening that culminated in her ending up with Doctor Strange.
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