Over on the BEAT I wrote the following:

"RM Rhoades said the new Cap Marvel was “a really popular female character among women.”

I can’t claim it’s not true, since I don’t keep close tabs on sales these days. But have the three or four features starring Danvers in her current ID been super-impressive?

And if so, how can one be sure that it’s because of the female fans?'

I got no answer, so I decided to see if anyone here had any information about this subject.

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I was going to say...that goes for a whole lot of male characters too. I'm not sure Marvel canceling a title is a sign of the unpopularity of a character. They cancel series left and right as soon as they get above eight issues or so.

Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:


All the dudes on the board have said she's not that popular, because her series keeps getting canceled. So my first thought is: You asked in the wrong place for an answer to that question. I wish we had more women chiming in here regularly. We don't.


In the case of Captain Marvel, one of the reasons to keep reviving books for whoever is called Captain Marvel may be to ensure Marvel retains the trademark. Whatever the time limit is to lose control of a trademark, if they keep reviving the character/title often they don't run the risk of forgetting and losing it.

The powers-that-be may be coming around to the notion that movies just don't sell comics and comics don't really sell movies*.  I don't think any comics are cash cows today. I'm afraid that if comics stop being economically viable they will publish just enough to maintain the trademarks. I do think that, like Wonder Woman and Black Panther, if the Captain Marvel movie is well-written and well-directed it will be very successful.

* Some movie-makers were burned when the great enthusiasm shown at comic-cons for the Watchmen movie misled them into expecting blockbuster numbers at the theaters. 

While Marvel understandably really really wants to retain the trademark for Captain Marvel, she's had enough series recently (and before her, Genis Mar-Vell) that I don't think the trademark is remotely at risk.* The recent string of revivals is because Marvel sees a benefit is creating material starring the character, and not just motivated by trademark protections. 

*I'm not a lawyer. But trademark protection is usually  the reason I see for why DC publishes a Losers Special every decade or so, or Marvel hits us with a Tigra one-shot. Or, say, why DC is dredging up the name Electric Warriors, an old series from the 80s that hasn't gotten any play since. 

Whatever deal DC may have once had in place with the Marstons has been defunct for at least two and a half decades now.

I was aware that DC had bought out the estate since Legend of Wonder Woman, but thought of it as a relatively recent event. 25 years? Damn, I am old.

All the dudes on the board have said she's not that popular, because her series keeps getting canceled. So my first thought is: You asked in the wrong place for an answer to that question. I wish we had more women chiming in here regularly. We don't.

I agree that I'd love to have more females here, and I think this would be a good place for fangirls who are routinely harassed elsewhere. But sales is the only objective criteria we have for a character/book's popularity, and they have never been good for Captain Marvel. Having a few extra enthusiasts giving anecdotal evidence isn't going to change that.*

I am open to argument on that, but -- anecdotally -- my personal enthusiasm for Martian Manhunter has never made the character sell well.

* Not meaning to change the subject, but I hear the Valkyries are breaking up. I wonder if we could somehow extend an invitation to them, emphasizing this as a safe place for women. I'm not sure how to do that, or if doing that would be seen as condescending. Anyone got any thoughts on that?

I guess what's happening is that I'm not reacting to Gene's questions to us, so much as I'm reacting to the statement he has questions about -- Is Captain Marvel "a really popular female character among women"? And that, I think, is something that sales can't tell us definitively. It allows us to compare her sales power (which is a little different from her popularity, but more measurable) to other characters -- but those sales aren't broken down by gender. And that, I think, makes it a trickier question to answer with data... which is why I think anecdotal evidence like the existence of the Carol Corps is valuable. 

I think Marvel sees tremendous potential in her -- consider she's getting a movie of her own instead of the much better known Black Widow -- and that some fans also have tons of enthusiasm for her, banding together as the Carol Corps. I don't know for sure if she's really popular among women. I doubt she's as anywhere near as popular as Wonder Woman. But I think she's very popular among female comic fans -- maybe as more of a symbol than of her adventures themselves. 

OIC. You're right, of course.

I just watched the trailer on YouTube. I think it looks pretty darn spiffy.

Captain Comics said:

* Not meaning to change the subject, but I hear the Valkyries are breaking up. I wonder if we could somehow extend an invitation to them, emphasizing this as a safe place for women. I'm not sure how to do that, or if doing that would be seen as condescending. Anyone got any thoughts on that?

I don't know ... how did the people who moved over from the Comics Buyers' Guide forums find this place?

Well, we're both right. We were just talking past each other!

Captain Comics said:

OIC. You're right, of course.

Captain Comics said:

Not meaning to change the subject, but I hear the Valkyries are breaking up. I wonder if we could somehow extend an invitation to them, emphasizing this as a safe place for women. I'm not sure how to do that, or if doing that would be seen as condescending. Anyone got any thoughts on that?

Perhaps some of the members are already here and can recommend the Round Table.

ClarkKent_DC said:

I don't know ... how did the people who moved over from the Comics Buyers' Guide forums find this place?

Speaking for myself, it was easy to know what to look for. I was already following Captain Comics and Mr Silver Age on CBG.

A corollary question: when we get the movie version of "Carol Marvel," what if any aspects of the comics-character are the writers likely to build upon?

Thus far the MCU adaptations have usually kept some though not all aspects of the comics originals. Tony Stark of the movies isn't the same as the one from the comics, but it's easy to see that the writers took stuff from the comics.

Caroi Danvers is-- a  little dull. Claremont's first run with her seems to be the one most people like, but often she's not much more than a standard "tough girl." I didn't read all of the later arcs, but it still seemed to me that the character never gelled, beyond her getting a really cool Cockrum costume.

Anyone have any speculations?

 

Like I said in an earlier post, the screenplay, direction and acting will flesh out the character as they did earlier with Tony Stark. I never detected a personality for Tony until the movie.

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