Mark: some of the criticism was the same, at least in what you’re hearing from the “comic book” media, but I don’t think it was the same situation. For the differences, you have to start at the original Ms. Marvel (hereafter referred to as Danvers to avoid confusion). I actually DIDN’T like changing Danvers into Captain Marvel. I was perfectly ok with her being Ms. Marvel or Binary or Warbird. Even though Ms. Marvel pas patterned after the original (Mar-vell) Captain Marvel, the Danvers character had, against all odds, honestly, evolved into a far richer character than the trademark placeholder she was created to be. (this is alluded to elsewhere in this comment thread). So, while officially the intent of Marvel (and I do believe it was genuine in that case) was that Danvers is *CAPTAIN* Marvel because she deserves to be, much like I said in my most recent post about Sam Wilson as the new Captain America, imposing the new identity on her weakens the identity that the writers had forged for her outside of it.
That said, when that change was made, it was only announced to the comic book reading public, which is actually very small. There was no press release on The View or the Colbert Report, mostly because Marvel knows that no one in the real world gives a damn who Captain Marvel or Ms. Marvel is. So it felt like less of a PR stunt.
Moving on to the new Ms. Marvel (hereafter referred to as Khan), I was always less resistant. I did have some reservations that it might be a stunt, because there was a press release, but it was still a much smaller deal than the Captain America or Thor releases, again, because no one knows who Captain Marvel is anyway. From a business point of view, I understand that it is important for Marvel to publish *some* character with the name “Ms. Marvel” to enforce the trademark. And since the name wasn’t being used, why not. Khan has as much reason to be Ms. Marvel as Sharon Ventura. So I went into “wait and see” mode and was pleasantly surprised.
The problem is, realistically, for business reasons, Wilson and LadyThor CAN’T stay as the Cap and Thor forever, just like Bucky and Thunderstrike couldn’t. Just like Dick Grayson couldn’t stay Batman and Artemis couldn’t stay Wonder Woman. In a different time, you could replace the Flash or the Green Lantern indefinitely, but in today’s world, ruled more by the much more lucrative box office than the comics, that isn’t viable for certain properties. Cap and Thor are among those properties. Ms. Marvel and Captain Marvel aren’t.
So while I optimistically *hope* for good stories, the nature of the business shows me that that isn’t necessarily the number one priority.
Finally it comes down to storytelling. But for the character aspect that she’s a geeky fangirl, Khan’s usage of the name Ms. Marvel *in-story* has nothing to do with the storyline. The book would be just as good if she were an original character called “MorphGirl.” The name is only in use to defend the trademark. Granting that we have not seen a single page of storyline yet, but in both the Thor and Cap cases, this isn’t true (and it wasn’t true for Thrunderstrike or Bucky). The story lines appear to depend upon the idea that these two newcomer minorities must now live up to the legendary status of the real heroes they are emulating, which is especially insulting in Sam Wilson’s case as he is a character with 45 years of history in his own right.
So now you see why I didn’t want to say it all on Twitter. Thank you for taking the time to ask directly on the blog. It was a good question.