Sunday, May 10, 2009

Thoughts about Monica

I have been invited to write an article for a magazine about the female Captain Marvels, so I have been boning up on them. As with almost everything I have done with this project, I find myself learning a lot I never realized about a certain character.

In this case, the character is Monica Rambeau, Marvel Comics' second Captain Marvel. She first appeared in a "Amazing Spider-Man" annual, and was instantly transferred to the Avengers, where she was the first new member to be granted "Avenger i-in-Training" status before becoming a full-fledged Avenger and later leader of the Avengers.

During her time before she became leader, she was very well handled by writer Roger Stern, displaying a degree of resourcefulness about her powers that was quite impressive. Fan mail almost unanimously expressed praise and admiration for her. Though she originally seemed a little unsure about working with superheroes, she quickly gained confidence in her abilities and role on the team.

Then came the day wihen team leader The Wasp stepped down and Captain America noinated Captain Marvel (Monica Rambeau) for leader. She first expressed doubts about accepting the nomination. Then she went home to talk to her parents (who knew about and supported her superhero career) and then helped Captain America rescue some kids from a cave.. At the end she accepted the nimination. After that, however, it all seems to have fallen apart.

Though I have not gotten all the way through the series yet, Monica is not pulling her weight as leader. Dr. Druid has worked his way onto the team and is maneuvering to take over as leader, and Monica is letting him give commands and be an authority figure, despite his newness on the team (he joined after Monica became leader). She is recognizing how she is falling short in her leadership capacities, not giving effective battle commands, for instance, and also, she is finding herself too fatigued to use her powers way too often.

I, personally, find it hard to accept that a person who felt she was ready to command a harbor patrol boat in New Orleans could be so unsure of her ability to command, and, for that matter, be so unable to effectively command a team of law-enforcers after the two years (although described as "several months" in the comics) with the team.