Is Carol Danvers important enough of a character to call changing her costume a cultural shift? Traditionally her series has struggled and her series is less than a modest success and above cult status. I do not know the digital sales figures, I believe they are better than the print sales but is Carol Danvers that important? Compared to most Marvel ladies or DC ladies?
I guess Marvels lackluster performance with most of its female titles makes Carol Danvers success seem much bigger than it is, even if that success is really overshadowed by Kamala Khan. Where is all her shirts, I wonder? The new Thor is a bigger deal and her costume is pretty much male Thors costume. I’m not saying this because I don’t like Danvers (I don’t) its because who is she in comparison to the more recognizable or adored female superheroes? Putting Ororo Munroe in leather with a mohawk was a bigger statement in my book. Especially if you’re black because you see very few black people in entertainment rocking the alternative or rock look. Nah-we get usually dressed as urban or nerdy and geeky. I am positive there are readers who like Danvers above most of Marvels ladies but in the big scheme of Marvel comics, who is a bigger deal? At least right now?
I guess it comes down to the battle of then and now. I like Danvers classic costume in the since that its striking, memorable and easy to describe. Her new costume I find rather boring and, well, I have to look at it to really describe it. There are times I think it looks nice but something about it seems lackluster. This is not a great superhero costume, its an okay costume. I understand the change and the reasoning. It makes sense-a female character to appeal to female readers. I know Danvers is doing pretty well in that department. Seems like the largest chunk of her audience is women readers. However I can’t buy that she’s that important. In the terms of comic books-I can’t name a single Danvers story that’s a positive representation of her. I see people recommend her comic but never a specific story. Her costume change did come with a push in merch but its limited in comparison to other female characters (mostly DC) and, sadly, I think at the cost of some of Marvels ladies. I’d bring up X-Men merchandise but that may have more to do with Marvels bullshit than anything else. I haven’t seen there be a crossover appeal for the character. When she makes her movie debut, and she becomes bigger than she is now, this discussion won’t matter to non-readers because superhero movie success has not jolted comic book sales enough to be a big deal. Most the non-fans who will see Captain Marvel will never know about her time as Ms. Marvel in a bikini. They won’t.
Carol Danvers costume change is a major point in the shift of representation? Sure. But a real statement on comic culture? I don’t buy it. Getting Emma Frost in clothes that cover her up would be a bigger deal. The debate on pants for Wonder Woman is definitely a bigger deal. Sure-WW is iconic, so I guess that puts her up on a higher plateau but wouldn’t that really represent a cultural shift?