The Captain Marvel Effect

captainI knew I was a goner right away. The opening logo sequence that precedes every Marvel movie was, prior to “Captain Marvel,” a tribute to the late, great comic book genius Stan Lee, a hero to cartoonists everywhere, including my dear dad, an exceptionally talented artist who has schooled me in all things comic book throughout my life and, via nature and nurture, passed on the artistic sensibilities that have shaped my entire existence.

So, I was already crying before I met the first superhero to really touch my heart and soul. I was already emotional before I saw all my personality traits and lifelong struggles – not to mention my taste in music and my fashion sense – embodied in one kickass female lead character in a Hollywood blockbuster. She’s got spunk and snark, she feels alive when she’s moving fast, she wears her heart on her sleeve…and people keep telling her to slow down and get her shit together, or she won’t be successful. They try to get her to forget/hide who she really is so she can fit into someone else’s ideal.

Yeah, I’m obsessed with Captain Marvel. Anyone who follows me on social media knows this already.

Seriously, though, this is a great movie, even if you weren’t a female teenager in the 90s and saved up your money to buy Doc Martens and “Only Happy When It Rains” was a kind of anthem for your dark sense of humor and Desree’s “You Gotta Be” inspired you to try to conquer your crippling fear of failure and LITERALLY THE ONLY NIRVANA SONG YOU REALLY LIKE IS “COME AS YOU ARE.” I mean, the soundtrack to this movie was basically what would happen if I was asked to describe myself with a mix tape.

Does anyone want to ask me to do that? Because, DUDE, making mix tapes used to trump rollerskating and following the Cubs in the Chicago Tribune as my favorite hobby. My Panasonic double-tape-deck boom box was my best friend from like 1989-1995. I kind of still make mixes to this day on my phone, but it isn’t the same…

Anyway, “Captain Marvel” meant more to me personally than any movie I’ve seen in a while. It’s not because I’m a Marvel geek, even though I adore the Avengers series, most notably “Black Panther” and “SpiderMan: Into the Spiderverse.” As I mentioned, my dad being an artist and cartoonist means that I greatly appreciate the entire comic book universe. Even DC. Side note: seriously, I just watched “Suicide Squad” again on cable the other day, and every time there’s a “Shazam” trailer, I’m like, why can’t they make any good DC movies?!?

Back to “Captain Marvel”. I really loved the character of Carol Danvers, who only discovers her true power and begins to reach her potential when she understands who she really is and connects with the people who know and love her. All the messages she’s been sent, from (apparently) her father (how sad) to slow down and deny her passions – while the boys could keep speeding along passionately, BTW! – and the Kree army that tried to brainwash her into their vision of perfection, robbing her of her identity and telling her to deny her emotions in order to be some perfect fighting being, have made her doubt who she is and what purpose she serves in the universe.

She follows her heart, and she kicks ass. She’s never sure what she’s doing or where she’s going, but she trusts herself and how she feels, and she rebels against those who would employ her in the service of evil. To be kinder, they want her to push their agenda, and she’s like, “Maybe I have my own agenda, and screw you!!! I’m doing my own thing…while wearing a HEART T-SHIRT.” (Swoon)

F*CK, I LOVE THAT MOVIE. It didn’t just make me cry, It made me laugh, repeatedly, I laughed my way out of the theater as I Googled where to buy an authentic Captain Marvel suit and the search returned an endless stream of Cosplay sites ready to customize said suit for me, in full leather, for no less than $250.

If I’m dressing up for Halloween ever again, though, I’m going to be wearing some version of that suit.

For now, I gotta step up my fitness routine to be worthy of identifying with Captain Marvel. First step was adding Garbage, No Doubt and Desree to my workout playlist.

See y’all at “Avengers Endgame.” I’ll be the one in the new, shorter, curly-ish blonde hairdo and Doc Martens.










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