Kelly Sue DeConnick's Captain Marvel run is what many fans look to as inspiration for the recent Brie Larson led Captain Marvel film, a film that went on to bring in over $1 billion at the box office. It's hard to imagine then that the comic series that inspired it wasn't a surefire hit, but it was far from it. During a recent panel with DeConnick and Captain Marvel producer Mary Livanos, DeConnick was asked if a movie was in her mind when she was scripting the series, and she went on to explain that she was pretty sure the book was ending after only a few issues, as the odds were stacked against it.
"No, and in fact, when I was writing Carol in 2012, that was so far outside of what seemed possible," DeConnick said. "I didn’t even think we were going to get to 7 issues. Literally, when, this was an ongoing which means it’ll just keep going until it gets cancelled but what I thought that meant was like six issues max. So when we got told at issue 5 that we were at least approved to issue 12, I scrambled, because I had no story beyond 6 because I was so certain we were going to be dead."
As for why, you have to remember where the character was at the time as well as the creative team. "Because traditionally in comics you need either an A-List writer, an A-List artist or an A-List character to be a true ongoing," DeConnick said. "Carol was B, C list at best. I was B, C list at best and our artist, it was his first book so it was just, we didn’t stand a chance. And it was a female lead and a female writer and we changed her name and we put her in pants. We were, it was like we’re doomed."
It was here that Carol finally accepted the mantle of Captain Marvel and got her now iconic costume. It was a big change at the time, though you can do that sort of thing much easier when you aren't necessarily in the spotlight. "It was kind of good news right because if nobody’s watching you can do whatever you want, so It was like ‘great, I want to talk about the Mercury 13," DeConnick said. "We’re doing a time travel arc right out of the gate because I figured we’re dead so let’s just do it. That worked out well."
Thankfully the book lasted much longer than that, and as a result, we got to meet a myriad of new characters and concepts that have become beloved in the years since. Now fans can see some of those in Carol's solo film, and we're pretty sure we'll only see more in Phase 4 and beyond.