Is Captain Marvel a Mary Sue?

As a lifelong Marvel comics fan, who has been reading them since Captain Marvel was a black woman (in 1982) and led the Avengers (in 1987), I have a stronger than average interest in Marvel movies, understanding of their characters and story lines, and emotional investment in their success.

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I’m about to rush out for dinner, then see a movie about a character I’ve been following for over 30 years. Marvel’s movies in the Avengers series haven’t let me down yet, but the previews for this one leave me with one underlying concern: is Captain Marvel a Mary Sue? Because she’s definitely being marketed as one.

What is a Mary Sue? If you’re even a moderate movie lover, this is a term you should be familiar with. If you’ve seen the latest Star Wars movies, you definitely know what a Mary Sue is, even if you weren’t aware of that term or had heard the concept articulated before.

I don’t have the time to explain it right now, and honestly it’s more fun to discover what it means while being entertained. I only found out about this last year, in a discussion about Star Wars with some friends. Someone said “Rey is a Mary Sue” and I said “Who is a whatsa whosis…?” And then they showed me these:

 

So I’ll be crossing my slick, buttery fingers tonight that Marvel has not fallen into this trap, and does a better job of character development than Star Wars/J.J. Abrams did.

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Excelsior!

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