New Captain Marvel series: excellent so far

Otavia recently recommended the new Captain Marvel comic-book series, starring Carol Danvers, formerly known as Ms. Marvel, and written by Kelly Sue DeConnick. I picked up the first issue as an ebook using the Marvel Comics iPad app, and I liked it quite a bit. I gather that there's a trade paperback of the first few issues; I'll be buying that soon.

(There are no spoilers in this entry.)

I like the writing quite a bit, and I like the characters a lot, and I mostly like the art (there are a couple of gratuitous T&A shots, but only a couple, and at least she's fully clothed) (and there are also a couple of gratuitous Captain America ass shots, though those aren't drawn especially sexily). That first issue made me laugh, and then later nearly made me cry. Good stuff, and yes, it passes the Bechdel Test (about 3/4 of the way through the issue).

I especially like her new costume, both in serious gritty style (that's from the splash page at the end of issue 1) and bright older-comic-booky style. But both versions kept reminding me of something.

All through the issue, I thought what they reminded me of was Miracleman's costume, and TSOR suggests that a bunch of other people had the same reaction. But I did some searching for images of Miracleman, and the costumes aren't really all that similar, either in the grittier style or the comic-booky style.

Still, there are enough connections that I suspect it's intentional: Full-body coverage; yellow stripe at chest level with a badge in the middle of the chest; blue shirt and pants; red gloves and boots and collar; red sash at waist. Parts of that derive ultimately from Superman, of course, but still, I bet it's an intentional echo.

(...If you have a lot of time and want to know why there would be such a connection, you can read about the very long and very convoluted history of the name Captain Marvel, and the heroes who've had that name, and the legal battles over it. But that page only goes up to 2006, and doesn't mention Carol Danvers at all. The oversimplified gist of it is that Captain Marvel (aka Shazam) was originally more or less a Superman knockoff; Marvelman was a British Captain Marvel knockoff; Miracleman was the American name for Marvelman; and Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman wrote a very highly regarded Marvelman/Miracleman series in the '80s and '90s, which has been trapped in legal limbo ever since. Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel comes from an entirely different in-universe lineage, but the real-world publishing and legal histories of the various Captain Marvel characters are connected to each other in various ways.)

Anyway, I still feel like that double yellow arm stripe on the new costume reminds me specifically of something, but I'm not sure what. Possibly just a general military look (chevrons on a sleeve), and the part of the stripe that goes across her chest is certainly reminiscent of a US Air Force Airman first class insignia (double stripe, with a star in the middle)—though that's a little odd, given that that's an enlisted rank and she's an officer. (She explicitly says her Air Force rank is colonel. I'm surprised nobody suggested that she call herself Colonel Marvel.)

So a question for y'all superhero-comic-book fans: is there a superhero that has that double-yellow-stripe thing going on, especially as quasi-chevrons on a sleeve below red shoulders? (And has anyone ever put together an encyclopedia of superhero costumes?)

P.S.: I also think it's awesome that issue #1 of the new series includes a page of fan art sent in by readers who'd seen and loved the new costume.

P.P.S.: Kelly Sue DeConnick is also writing the Avengers Assemble series, also featuring Captain Marvel. I haven't read it yet, but I'm looking forward to it.

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