Sunday, May 15, 2011

Why Ms. Marvel?

Because it's all about the red sash!

Seriously though, Carol Danvers, A.K.A. Ms. Marvel is probably one of my favorite characters and I really wish she played a bigger role in the Marvel U.

When you think about it, she has a lot going on for herself: a catchy name, a very distinctive look, and an interesting set of powers. She's probably one of the few legacy characters that has evolved past her mentor (if you could call Captain Marvel that) and become her own character.

Sadly, Ms. Marvel hasn't had many definitive stories. Sure, I love the first two or so years of the Brian Reed penned series from some years back, but I wouldn't call them classics or anything.

So I want to see what the team of writers here at Thought Balloons, and our trusty Play-At-Home writers, can do with her. It should be an interesting week!


  1. I'm with you on this one, Matt. Carol is one of my favs as well. Hopefully she's able to avoid the usual fate of women characters on this site ;)

  2. Ms. Marvel – The Break-Up - MK Stangeland Jr.

    Scene is in New York City. MS. MARVEL and SPIDER-MAN are fighting a bunch of ERIN STACK robots (new character), which are evil(er?) female robot doubles of AARON STACK, the MACHINE MAN.

    Panel 1: SPIDER-MAN and MS. MARVEL begin to make their way into the thick of the ERIN STACK ROBOTS (ESRs) as they approach the building the robots are being controlled from. SPIDER-MAN swings on a web with one arm and shoots a series of web blobs into the crowd of robots with the other. MS. MARVEL flies in from a higher elevation shooting energy at a different section of robots.

    SPIDER-MAN: This may be a bad time to bring it up, but I think we need to stop seeing each other this way.

    SFX: thwipthwipthwipthwiptwhipthwipwthwip

    ESR: Die, fleshy ones!

    MS. MARVEL: What? I thought we had something developing.

    Panel 2: SPIDER-MAN slams two ESRs together by pulling on them from opposite directions with web lines as he leaps over them upside down.

    SPIDER-MAN (1): Yeah, about that. See, I get the feeling our relationship really wasn’t going anywhere.

    ESR #1: I will cut your tongue out!

    SFX: Clang!

    ESR #2: Cut it out with a rusty spoon!

    SPIDER-MAN (2): Which is probably a good thing, seeing how I have a real girlfriend now.

    Panel 3: MS. MARVEL lands in the middle of a group of the ESRs. The impact sends most of them backwards. The look on her face should be a mix of determination in regards to the battle and something that makes it clear that the current ‘conversation’ between her and SPIDER-MAN is matter of playful banter, playing off the fake boyfriend/girlfriend ‘relationship’ vibe that has developed in previous comics featuring the two post-BND.

    ESR: Your puny flesh cannot possibly match my shiny metal beauty!

    SFX: Thoom!

    MS. MARVEL: Spidey, are you telling me you’ve been seeing other women behind my back?

    Panel 4: SPIDER-MAN shoots webbing over the mouth of one ESR as he narrowly avoids getting sliced apart by the various extended implements of a couple ESRs.

    ESR: Your human relation-smph!

    SFX: Thwip!

    SFX: wat!

    SPIDER-MAN (1): No, that’s not what I’m-

    SPIDER-MAN (2): Ok, yeah, that’s pretty much exactly what I’m saying.

    Panel 5: MS. MARVEL is in the background throwing an empty, heavily damaged but mostly structurally sound minivan towards the panel. The look on MS. MARVEL’s face is a knowing smirk, fitting in with how she’s playing along with and playing off of the banter she and SPIDER-MAN have going.

    SPIDER-MAN is in the foreground, and from the looks of things, the minivan MS. MARVEL threw is flying right at him. However, he doesn’t seem concerned about this. Instead, he’s keeping himself suspended in the air as he punches the head off of an ESR.

    SFX: Throw!

    MS. MARVEL: You two-timing jerk!

    SFX: Pow!

    (END PAGE)

    (And the next page would have Spidey leaping over the minivan as it plows over several ESRs to clear a path to the doors of the structure they’re trying to get into.)

    Background/confession regarding this page: Like many people, I wasn’t exactly pleased by the whole OMD/BND thing.

    However, while I’m still waiting for Marvel to undo OMD, I personally liked the Pete/Carol relationship that was being developed in the meantime as a filler until that happens. Unfortunately, rather than build upon what looked was developing naturally through a few of the Ms. Marvel comics and the Siege Spider-Man one shot, they decided to use new character to be Pete’s girlfriend until then.

    Thus, I decided to play with the relationship that I did enjoy and write part of how they might potentially ‘break up’, so to speak (since they were never officially together as far as I can tell) in order to make it all fit together, in spite of my feelings on the whole issue.

  3. MK - mate, quality as always. The banter really works, though might be hard for an artist ti sell. They'd have to be good.

    I like the blend of action and dialogue, and the fact you're willing to throw out an idea like the ESRs just shows you aren't afraid to use an idea. That's true commitment and I love it.

    My only major problem with this page is I have absolutely no idea how you think you're going to get Stuart Immonen to draw it :)

  4. In my mind, every page I write is also drawn by Stuart Immonen.

    Anyway, MK, nice script. I too, surprisingly, liked the dynamic between Carol and Peter. It's a shame they didn't go down that road.

  5. @MK: I know this might sound crazy, but couldn't Ms. Marvel just fly to the compound? And Spidey swing over to it? Why do they need to waste their time fighting the horde out the front? :)

  6. Five panels in three rows. Row 1 is about a third of the height of the page. It is made up of panels 1 through 3, which are all of equal size. Row 2 / Panel 4 is wide and thin, taking up the width of the page, but with very little height. Row 3 / Panel 5 is a half-page splash, taking up the rest of the page.

    1 – Direct shot of Ms. Marvel lounging in the nook of a large set of bay windows in her room in Avenger's Mansion. She is out of uniform, relaxing and reading a book. She looks satisfied and happy. It is a beautiful day outside.

    MS. MARVEL (CAPTION) (1): Downtime.

    MS. MARVEL (CAPTION) (2): The rarest of treats in the life of a superhero.

    2 – Same angled shot. Ms. Marvel is in the process of turning the page of her book. Wolverine can be seen through the window in the background, flying through the air towards the reader. He looks composed with his arms forward and legs back, as in The Fastball Special.

    MS. MARVEL (CAPTION): A chance to relax however one sees fit.

    3 – Same angled shot. Ms. Marvel is so engaged by her book that she has yet to notice Wolverine through the window. Wolverine is much closer now, and it is clear that he is going to smash through said window. Realizing what's about to happen, he starts to flail in a fruitless attempt to change his direction.

    MS. MARVEL (CAPTION) (1): In my case, that means curling up with a book and forgetting about the trials and tribulations of the outside world.

    MS. MARVEL (CAPTION) (2): At least for a little while.

    4 – This panel is actually just one large onomatopoeia, alluding to Wolverine's crash through the window, while leaving the actual details up to the reader's imagination. The sound effect should be jagged and broken, like the window Wolverine is destroying.


    5 – Change angle to a 3/4 shot (or so) to give a better view of the room. Ms. Marvel has been knocked down from the nook and is lying on the floor. She is up on one arm, looking towards Wolverine. Her book lies facedown next to her. Wolverine is on the other side of the room, lying upside down on Ms. Marvel's bed. From the damage to the bed's baseboard, the far wall, and the rumpled sheets, it is clear that Wolverine did not land in his current position, ending up there instead through his own momentum. Though there is glass everywhere, no one is seriously hurt.

    WOLVERINE (1): Ergh. Sorry about that, Carol.

    WOLVERINE (2): Ben doesn't quite have the same control that Piotr does.

    MS. MARVEL: You don't say.

    MS. MARVEL (CAPTION): Unfortunately, I don't know how much reading I'll be getting done while staying at Avenger's Mansion.

  7. @ Danial: That's a good question. I wish I had a good answer for you.

  8. @MK - I love your script this week. A wonderful mix of frenetic action and witty dialogue. A very nice send off to their "relationship", providing an enjoyable end while also cheekily alluding to the outside forces that caused their relationship to disappear from the comic book page.

    See also: how do you write such a good Spider-Man? I'm impressed/jealous every time you write his dialogue.

  9. @ Grant: I'm not sure how I write him so good. I can't say I was even aware my portrayal of him was anything overly exceptional. I guess it just happens. If I knew how, I'd be happy to share, but I don't.

    Also, I think your own entry is kind of cute in its own little way. I find myself curious as to what Ben and Wolverine were doing prior to this page that they'd be doing their own attempt at a Fastball. Suppose Carol should have tried going out somewhere to read.

  10. Grant - A nice script, I dig the idea of Wolvie going so poorly with the aim and trying to bail out, ha. However, I don't see him calling her Carol. He'd be like Sawyer, he'd have a nickname for everyone. He'd probably call her sparkles or something. Otherwise, pretty cool little page.

  11. Oh, I just had this scray thought that MK is actually Jeff Parker, or someone, and he's been making us look like fools.


  12. Oh, darn, you figured out my secret! Whatever shall I do now!?

  13. Damn you, MK - that was going to be MY script these week... though probably slightly less enjoyable, and without the anti-BND bias. (That said, as fun as I always found the Spidey/Ms. M flirtation, I always felt Pete was way out of his depth.)

    Grant - this made me smile. I can see what Ryan means about Wolvie using nicknames, but it was a bigger issue for me that he referred to Colossus as "Piotr". I can't remember him doing that. Doesn't he call him "Petey" or somesuch?

  14. Yeah, I'm pretty sure you're right, Rol.

    @Grant: As much as I liked your page, I felt that Wolverine's two lines just didn't sound like him. Some characters (such as Carol) you can get away with speaking "normal", but there are others (especially Wolvie) who have a very distinct voice. It's something we all struggle with though, so don't worry too much about it :)

  15. @all - I definitely see what you guys are saying. I was so focused on every other part of the page, that I kind of forgot all about Wolverine's voice. Reading it back now, it really does fall flat. An oversight on my part, but I'll certainly endeavour to avoid such a mistake in the future.

    Thanks for the honest feedback.

  16. @Grant - Hey, mate. Could you shoot me an email, please.


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