Amazing Spider-Man annual #16
Issue(s): Amazing Spider-Man annual #16
But this annual is less a Spider-Man story and more of a Captain Marvel one shot that happens to guest star Spider-Man, the Thing, Iron Man, and the Wasp.
The bulk of the issue is a flashback to the origin of this Captain Marvel. She's Monica Rambeau, a New Orleans police lieutenant that has been repeatedly passed over for promotion to Captain.
While off-duty, she helps a friend of her grandfather stop a South American dictator from gaining control of an extra-dimensional energy device.
In the process, she is exposed to the machine and receives the power to transform into any form of energy.
She wears a costume that she acquired in a Marti Gras costume store that just happened to use the starburst symbol of the original Captain Marvel on the chest.
Outside the flashback, Captain Marvel has come to New York seeking Reed Richards. Her powers are getting out of control and she's in danger of exploding. Despite the fact that Reed Richards is out of town...
...and some confusion with Spider-Man...
...Monica is able to get to the Avengers Mansion where Iron Man is able to help her.
In retrospect, it may seem a little like a case of forced diversity (I've read that Roger Stern used the slogan "Captain Marvel is back, and this time she is black!".) but Monica's introduction and participation in Stern's Avengers lineup is quite good, and none of the anti-PC criticism i've read subsequently ever occurred to me at the time.
Some bonus features in the annual:
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Takes place after She-Hulk and Hawkeye join the Avengers, and before Iron Man falls off the wagon.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (7): show
This new Captain Marvel was created after Jim Shooter(or other Marvel higher-ups) realized that killing the Kree Captain Marvel would enable DC to publish their Captain Marvel(formerly of Fawcett) in a book under his own name, rather than something like "Shazam!".
Posted by: Mark Drummond | September 18, 2011 3:54 PM
At about this time, a Spider-Man graphic novel by Michael Golden was announced. Didn't happen.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | October 21, 2012 9:39 PM
Slightly later a Bob Layton Spider-Man Graphic Novel was announced; also didn't happen.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | October 27, 2012 7:52 PM
This Captain Marvel left no impression on me, positive or negative. I didn't mind her, but never found a hook that made her interesting. Being from New Orleans was the most interesting thing about her for me.
Posted by: Jay Patrick | July 18, 2013 4:13 AM
JRjr's art was awesome back in the day!
Posted by: Jack | July 18, 2013 7:13 AM
Monica was Stern's Mary Sue. Too powerful and too quickly elevated to Avengers leadership, devoid of interesting flaws, and once Stern was gone, no one else could think of anything to do with her, other than the useless semi-depowerment that followed Simonson almost killing her off. She's not a bad character, but Stern was clearly a lot more enthusiastic about her than fans or other creators were, and that hurt her in the long term.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | July 18, 2013 11:38 PM
She's definitely not a bad character, but she's just a void for me.
Posted by: Jay Patrick | July 19, 2013 1:03 AM
And for all the grief Dazzler gets for debuting after disco was already dead, why does Captain marvel get a pass when she looks like she's standing in line at Studio 54?
Posted by: Jay Patrick | July 19, 2013 10:34 AM
Posted by: Jack | July 19, 2013 4:19 PM
The Troll strikes again.
Posted by: Jay Patrick | July 19, 2013 5:03 PM
Posted by: Jack | July 19, 2013 8:39 PM
(And it was all going so well while i was traveling this week.)
Jack, i really don't think Jay meant anything along the lines of what you are suggesting. A lot of people have criticized this Captain Marvel for having a hairstyle that was out of date by the time she was introduced, and her costume is arguably pretty disco. And i'm fairly confident that's what Jay was getting at.
I personally love the character and the costume (i do like her later hairstyles better, though).
Posted by: fnord12 | July 19, 2013 9:22 PM
Mission accomplished, Jack. Everybody's looking at you now. Attention is so sweet, isn't it?
Posted by: Jay Patrick | July 19, 2013 9:37 PM
I can take or leave the character. I read this issue pretty close to when it came out and she just never really connected with me. I didn't even perceive that she was a writer's pet, just that her powers and personality didn't really appeal to me. Didn't mind when she showed up, didn't miss her when she didn't.
Posted by: Jay Patrick | July 19, 2013 9:47 PM
Except, it says right in the story that the costume is based on a Mardi Gras outfit she found. It's not as if she debuted as Captain Disco.
Posted by: ChrisKafka | July 19, 2013 9:55 PM
It doesn't matter if she found it at Nordstrom, the artists of the story designed a costume that was heavily influenced by Disco style.
Posted by: Jay Patrick | July 19, 2013 9:59 PM
Dazzler was a clear pun on disco. To ask why Monica isn't held to the same scrutiny is a clear attempt at stirring a needless race issue. Shame on Jay - big time! Repulsive!
Posted by: Jack | July 19, 2013 9:59 PM
Jack, there's no need to bring race into this. Jay is just alleging that people treated Dazzler more harshly because of Shooter.
Posted by: Michael | July 19, 2013 10:35 PM
Actually, they did remove those elements from dazzler, and her series went on for several years. After it ended she was added to the X-Men for a few years, all with a change of costume and without using Disco, yet twenty years after that and thirty years after her debut people still have disdain for her because she's a "Disco character" and Disco was out of date before her debut. People aren't really remembering right, though. It's like the people who pretend that Roger Moore was the worst thing to happen to James Bond and we always knew he sucked. Dazzler, like Moore''s Bond, was a pretty successful character and after some tweaking was used in a prominent role for a long time. Headlined her own series, had her own graphic novel, and joined the cast of Marvel's most popular title. Most of which was done without the disco connection, but people now pretend that Disco was all she was. It just isn't true. And Captain Marvel wore her human disco ball costume for DECADES. Dazzler ditched here after a couple of years.
Posted by: Anonymous | July 19, 2013 10:45 PM
I always thought it'd be easy to just change Dazzler to a New Wave/Glam character, which is basically a direction they did take Dazzler after her debut.
Posted by: ChrisKafka | July 19, 2013 11:07 PM
Michael - I did NOT bring race into. Your pal, Jay, did that. And as many have posted - the perceived double standard by Jay is a non issue. Of course, the double standard was perceived by Jay for reasons that leave little to the imagination.
Posted by: Jack | July 19, 2013 11:09 PM
Thanks MIchael, but he's just getting what he wants. He's tried to bait people since he joined this forum. If everybody stops paying attention the little fella will tucker himself out and take a nap. I wouldn't mess with him if I were you... He thinks it's HIS site...
Posted by: Jay Patrick | July 19, 2013 11:47 PM
It's all good Jay - but many here have seen you for what you are.
Posted by: Jack | July 19, 2013 11:53 PM
Please ban Jack. He's obviously trolling. He tried to just be a normal participant here for a day or two (probably to avoid the ban he sensed was imminent), and now he's right back to it with a different theme.
Posted by: Paul | July 21, 2013 3:58 AM
That's assuming you have the means to ban on here. If not ignoring would do best, but why not start deleting the posts?
Posted by: Paul | July 21, 2013 3:59 AM
Also, Dazzler's fine. Who doesn't like Dazzler?
Posted by: Paul | July 21, 2013 4:01 AM
Paul your use of profanity and obvious cowardly streak renders your recommendation irrelevant. You're experienced with trollers? Well, I know a coward when I encounter one - your tough act behind a screen is the clear mark of a coward. Bring it!
Posted by: Jack | July 21, 2013 7:25 AM
Comments about the comics are, of course, fine.
Posted by: fnord12 | July 21, 2013 1:26 PM
How come nobody is responding to the Betty Brant picture I mean come she just admitted to cheating on her husband. That two-timing weasel.
Posted by: doomsday | October 12, 2013 10:31 PM
I don't mean to add to the "discussion," and delete this comment if need be, but... This is the first time I've ever heard Captain Marvel (Monica)'s costume referred to as being inspired by disco. Really? It looks like a standard superhero costume to me.
Posted by: ChrisW | May 10, 2014 9:59 PM
And nobody minds the picture of Betty, because she's totally hot. Only MJ looks better. So there. Nyeah.
Posted by: ChrisW | May 11, 2014 1:08 AM
A bit late with this but I never noticed anything disco about Monica's costume. It looked like a standard superhero affair back when I was a pup and even now. Even the afro doesn't look too out of the place for the time.
Posted by: JSfan | May 11, 2014 4:46 AM
I don't know if everyone knows the joke the punch line of which Thor and She-Hulk are discussing, or have you just allowed it fly past without mention, but the joke is about a boy who saw two cats mating on the roof of a whorehouse fall down and who then went to knock at the door to tell the Madame that "Your sign fell off." A nice bit of subtle characterization for Jen there.
Posted by: Teemu | May 11, 2014 7:12 AM
I think that the huge arm cloths feel more disco than superhero to me. It isn't necessarily offensive but it does feel like something that probably would have been dated. Maybe Monica got it on clearance.
Posted by: Ataru320 | May 11, 2014 10:19 AM
Well, Monica did get her costume by going through a storage warehouse.
Posted by: Michael | May 11, 2014 11:20 AM
Her costume seems more like something out of a superhero-themed version of Mardi Gras to me.
Posted by: D09 | January 13, 2016 8:07 PM
Uncle Rog is a great writer, maybe the best Spidey writer ever but Monica hear always reeked of being a Mary Sue.
For one thing why is a Spidey annual being devoted to a new character that has no relation and nothing to do with him. And her pumped up status so hard and so fast during Uncle Rog's Avengers run belied her rookie status. Respect is supposed to be earned not given.
Posted by: JC | January 14, 2016 12:52 AM
I loved that Monica first appeared in a Spidey annual. It accentuated the shared universe aspect and gave my 10 year old self reason to branch out to different comics. I also loved Rogue debuting in the Avengers annual.
I thought there was an appropriate amount of time before Monica was given more of a starring role. It seemed like it wasn't until the 250s or '60s of Avengers that she was given a chance to incorporate her powers at a cosmic level and move up a notch. Which meant it had been a few years.
As for "racist" comments up thread, I didn't see any! In fact, I think that throwing that term out there de-emphasizes actual racism. People seem to use the term racist for something they don't like. The word racism has almost lost all meaning with the cavalier manner in which it is bandied about.
Posted by: Yogi deadhead | January 14, 2016 5:17 AM
Always liked her costume, it certainly never has looked particularly "disco" to me, not in the negative sense anyway. It is nice design, instantly iconic, and way more timeless than many other classic costumes.
Posted by: Catherine | April 25, 2017 3:43 PM
I thought Monica's progression as Avengers leader was handled very organically. She earned her stripes over a long period of time, and her Type A personality made her a much more natural fit for a managerial position than, say, Thor. Her being overpowered was never an issue because so many of the Avengers are already crazy overpowered, from Circe to Thor to Moondragon.
What's undeniable though is that she wasn't interesting as a character. I feel like they teased a lot of stuff that was supposed to be happening in her civilian life that just didn't go anywhere, like her parents knowing her superhero identity. I mean, her dad wasn't even kidnapped ONCE by a villain! When she was taken off the roster, her lack of personality made her fade away since nobody really knew what to do with her.
Her appearance in Nextwave and the more recent comics is bringing her some more spotlight, but it's sad to see a pioneering Avengers character be such a blip on the Marvel radar.
Posted by: Jonathan | May 21, 2017 3:15 AM
The key ingredient to a good marvel hero is some type of flaw, be it Peter Parkers nerdiness, Dardevils blindness, Tony Stark's heart problems/alcoholism, Captain America's steadfastness and out of touchness, Bruce Banner's, etc.
I like CM a lot but she is really missing that tragic flaw. I like that she is both female and black but those aren't her defining characteristics. But I think writers would be afraid to give her a flaw for being seen as sexist/racist. It's almost a catch-22 for writers.
So shes a great character who doesn't fit the marvel mold, which makes her more difficult for writers to use, IMO.
Posted by: kveto from prague | May 21, 2017 9:46 AM
I was collecting when Dazzler and CM first appeared, and no one thought CM was disco at the time. Plus Dazzler was I pushed as THE DISCO SUPERHERO at the height of Disco hate. Plus she was super hyped as the next great thing. So no big surprise there was a backlash. As far as I know she was hated throughout the 80s. I wasn't a big fan of CM back then either but I never heard anyone say she was disco.
PS Autocorrect is the worst.
Posted by: OrangeDuke | December 24, 2017 4:20 PM
I liked the hairstyle but they're hard to maintain, so I can see why she might not want to wear it anymore.
The Kent Dorfman 1962 ''quote'' on the pin-up page is a reference to the 1978 movie "Animal House."
Kveto's point about Monica lacking a "tragic flaw" is salient. As I recall Monica's early character development lacked a defining or "cornerstone" moment as they say on Westworld. Or at least one that was really memorable for me. I can't quite put my finger on why that's so important to us in our fiction, but it is. Characters who have seemingly perfect lives and overall good circumstances seem unrealistic. 'Tho wouldn't it be nice?:)
Posted by: Holt | June 23, 2018 2:13 PM
Comments are now closed.
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