Why does Captain Marvel Look So Different in Phase 4

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Attention! This article contains spoilers for the 6th episode of “Miss Marvel”.

In episode 6, “Miss Marvel”, a new image of Carol Danvers was shown in Phase 4 in the MCU — and it looks like Captain Marvel has changed her costume again. In superhero movies and TV shows, as a rule, heroes (and minor characters) change costumes at regular intervals. This is beneficial for studios and networks; they can sell more products, including figurines of the latest outfit.

However, Captain Marvel seems to change costumes with surprising regularity, as well as hairstyles. In the post-credits scene with Miss Marvel, there is a cameo from Carol Danvers performed by Brie Larson, and judging by her hairstyle, the action takes place at about the same time as in the movie “Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”. However, the costume is completely different, a little more like the outfit she wore in the first Captain Marvel movie.

The new suit is charming, it abandons military aesthetics and looks much more informal. It looks more like a traditional superhero costume than armor, with a reduced amount of edging, gloves instead of gloves and a belt without pockets. Even the shoes are stylistically different, much more streamlined and less bulky. The costume really seems like a more logical adaptation of the one Carol Danvers started out in, rather than the one she wore in Avengers: The Finale.

Miss Marvel Undid Captain Marvel’s Strange Changes in the Finale

In truth, Captain Marvel’s costume in Avengers: The finale never worked. The main problem was that Marvel shot these scenes shortly after Brie Larson was cast for the role, but “Captain Marvel” writer-directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck were still working on the script. Obviously, the concept artists and costume designers for “Avengers: Finale” decided to focus more on Carol Danvers’ past in the US Air Force, choosing a military image that, in their opinion, emphasized her strength. Unfortunately, this did not fit with the approach taken in Captain Marvel, where her original outfit was tied to the Kree Star Powers, and the changes in her costume over the course of the film served as a mirror to her character’s growth. It’s nice to see Marvel turning to a costume that seems a little more appropriate for the character, now Captain Marvel is more clearly defined.

Ironically, Captain Marvel’s costume turned out to be problematic in the comics, but for very different reasons. There, Carol Danvers was originally codenamed “Miss Marvel,” and she wore an outfit adapted from the one worn by the superhero Kree Mar-Vell, and heavily sexualized, and also included a casual scarf. This prompted one reader to write in a letter (published in Ms. Marvel #8) in which they noted: “Question: where is the woman who wears long sleeves, gloves, high boots and a scarf (winter clothes), and at the same time bare back, stomach and legs? The Arctic equator? This costume requires several alterations.” It seems that the design was imposed by the decree of the editorial board, and the artists gradually adjusted it before completely abandoning it, although they chose a black swimsuit instead. Only in 2012, Carol Danvers adopted a version of recognizable modern costumes.

The evolution of Captain Marvel’s costume in the MCU is uneven, but less problematic and sexualized than in the comics. However, at least there’s a logical reason why she can change a lot; in the MCU, Carol Danvers wears Cree technology that allows her to change her appearance literally at the touch of a button. Although Miss Marvel may have introduced a new costume Captain Marvel, there is no reason to assume that she will stay with this for a long time.