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BLOG Interview: Kelly Sue DeConnick, The Power Behind The New Captain Marvel

What first attracted you to the character?

“Honest answer? I heard rumor Marvel was looking for a Ms Marvel pitch. I was familiar with the character from Bendis's Avengers run and I'd picked up a few copies of the Ms Marvel volume 2 series because I'm a fan of Brian Reed's, but I hadn't read a solid consecutive run of the character until I was looking to pitch on her. I started from the beginning – the Gerry Conway Ms. Marvel #1 – and connected with the ’70s woman thing they were doing there pretty quickly. Then by the time I got to Reed's ascension arc, I was a solid fan.”

“I don't think we ever really considered it a reboot – though, yes, new codename, new costume – Carol is still Carol, you know? The only conscious decision I ever made to change anything about her character was to nudge her away from the strict law and order character she'd become in light of Civil War and back to her more iconoclastic roots. Give her her swagger back, her Chuck Yeager-ness.”

One of the things I love about the book is Carol's mindset. She's got that fascinating combination of zen calm and drive I see in a lot of the soldiers and pilots I've met. What sort of research did you do to get into her head?

“Most of that has been intuitive, just playing the role in my head. But I did do some reading on pilot checklists, mission mindset and on keeping both focused and alert.”

You're doing a great job of bringing in elements of previous runs on the character yet making it feel organic and inclusive for new readers. Are any more bits of Carol's past on the way?

“Yes.”

This is a slightly odd one to phrase, but there's a real streak of pragmatic compassion running through your take on Carol that fascinates me and rings very true. Is that element of her personality something you've always seen in the character or is it something that came up as you were building the reboot?

“I don't know. I guess I must think it's always been there – I haven't made any conscious decision to change Carol (apart from the swagger thing I mentioned above). I've just been trying to write her the way she seems in my head. It's a very messy process. As I said, more intuiting than designing, if that makes sense.”

Tell us a little about issue nine. Is this a good jumping on point for readers? And what's on deck for the rest of the year?

“Definitely – perfect jumping on point. We opened the series by taking Carol back to her roots – her beginnings as a hero and as a pilot. Now in Issue nine we see her life in New York today. We meet her friends and neighbours and learn what she means to all of them.

“Then over the course of the next few issues we'll set about destroying her.

“La la la…”

You're also writing the entire Avengers cast over in Avengers Assemble . What characters have you naturally gravitated towards there?

“Tony Stark! Who knew? He's really fun. Spider-Woman too. The Spider-Woman/Hulk dynamic caught me off guard.”

Finally, what's on deck for Carol, and you, this year?

“I suspect we're both going to find out what we're really made of.”

Thanks to Kelly Sue for the interview. The first collection of her run on the title, In Pursuit of Flight, is out now in all good comics stores.

Alasdair Stuart