So just how did Carol Danvers become Captain Marvel in 2012? There's the in-story version you can read in Marvel Comics, but there's also a behind-the-scenes one that Marvel's Senior VP of Publishing/Executive Editor Tom Brevoort has now pulled back the curtain on.
"People seem really excited about the new Captain Marvel movie trailer, and a lot of the credit has to go to [Kelly Sue DeConnick] and [Jamie McKelvie] among others for elevating Carol. But I do want to mention a few others," Brevoort tweeted.
"Ever since we did House of M, Brian Michael Bendis had wanted to make Carol graduate into being Captain Marvel, but couldn’t, for a variety of reasons (one of which was that Marvel is the name of the company, so lots of bigwigs would weigh in)," Marvel's Executive Editor explained. "There were a bunch of different plans floated for what to do with the Captain Marvel name. At one point, Gravity was going to become the new Captain Marvel, which is why Dwayne McDuffie killed him off in Beyond!, to set that up."
Gravity is a Marvel hero that debuted in 2005, and was featured (and died) in 2006's Beyond! limited series - his funeral capped off the series, with a surprise appearance by Uatu the Watcher foretelling possible plans for the character going forward. According to Brevoort, those plans for Gravity to be the next Captain Marvel "fell through" and as a result McDuffie brought the character back to life in his Fantastic Four run.
"Meanwhile, Brian Reed did yeoman service keeping Carol selling through 50 issues of her Ms Marvel title," said Brevoort. "This together with her being a constant in Bendis' New Avengers brought her to fan prominence."
Former Marvel Senior Editor Stephen Wacker is attributed as the person who was able to "convince the powers-that-be" to make Carol Danvers the next Captain Marvel, and oversaw the process and the eventual series. Brevoort specifically calls Wacker "smarter than me" in the decision to give Carol an entirely new costume (designed by McKelvie) rather than modify her black Ms. Marvel outfit.
"And then really Kelly Sue was the champion of the character, not just on the page but in organizing the Carol Corps of fans who adopted Captain Marvel as their personal sigil."
"Also, that helmet was mostly Joe Quesada‘s idea," Brevoort revealed. "I remember him being really into the idea that her hair would Mohawk out inside it, emulating the classic Kree fin look. He did a bunch of design drawings of it and Carol’s head."