Higher, Further, Faster: Imbuing Captain Marvel with Meaning

I used to have Deadpool on my iPhone as the Lock Screen and Home Screen.  But after starting my weight loss journey, I wanted a sort of motivation mascot and the best place to keep this icon was my phone, which I look at often.  After a few months of searching, I settled on Captain Marvel as my mascot.

I’ve never read a Captain Marvel comic (but it’s on my list, I promise).  I saw the character for the first time when she debuted in the MCU this year.  Although I have mixed feelings on the movie, I watched it twice in theaters this March.  There has been debate about Brie Larson’s portrayal and her dynamics with other characters.  I’ll admit that besides the memory loss plot structure, it was a cookie-cutter Marvel movie.  So what did I see in Captain Marvel?

Captain Marvel, for me, has a character similar to Captain America Steve Rogers in that both are empty signifiers.  Both have vague characteristics, but they stand for a bland positive idea.  Carol Danvers is a mere human before she gains her power through an accident.  It is not her power but her character that gives her strength.  She always gets back up when she’s knocked down.  I’m willing to admit that I’m imbuing Danvers with more that appears in her movie or Avengers: Endgame.  But she is the most powerful character in the MCU and she’s able to go against Thanos one-to-one.  She protects people with her immense power.  Someone with her level of power could easily be greedy, but she empowers her friends and helps the helpless instead.  Like Rogers, she does the right thing.  She uses her power for good.

I first saw Brie Larson acting in The United States of Tara as Toni Collette’s daughter.  I have a few of her well-praised movies in my Netflix queue (I’ll see them one day).  I loved her in Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World, which is one of my favorite recent movies.  (You can’t go wrong with Edgar Wright.)  I cheered when she won an Oscar.  She is going to be one of the defining actors of my generation.  And despite the backlash, I like her politics based on what I’ve seen.  Larson also seems like a cool person.

So one day I searched for iPhone wallpapers featuring Captain Marvel (see below).  I bid Deadpool farewell after explaining that I needed a new icon to motivate me.  He’s cool with it.

Now when I look at my phone, which I do too much, I feel a warm spark of empowerment.  Yes, Captain Marvel is not perfect—no one is.  But, like me, she tries every day, and I think that counts more.

“Higher, Further, Faster” – Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers)

For those wondering, after six months of work, I have lost around 40 pounds and I have gained tons of muscle strength.  So I guess Captain Marvel as motivation icon is working.

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Lock Screen

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Home Screen

 

PS: I know I’m putting way too much thought into this entire thing.

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The Character of Faith: One Tough Chick

Faith is the dark image of Buffy.  She didn’t grow up with the love Buffy experienced, sFaith_Lehanehe has different issues with liking and leaving guys, and she was in a rougher place when she was chosen.  It doesn’t mean that she’s bad.  She slipped like everyone does (and can), especially in the Buffyverse, and she paid for it.  She lost her only friend and exiled herself from the outside world.  Then she gets busted out by Wes, whom she hurt (badly) and goes to fight for the good guys back in Sunnydale

Faith is the Angelus to Buffy’s Angel character.  Like Angel/Angelus, one character isn’t singularly good and one is evil; its more than one happily leans one way while the other struggles down the path of righteousness.  As its been pointed out, Buffy isn’t always good.  She has slipped the line a couple of times.  No one is perfect all the time.  And no one is bad all the time.

I love the character of Faith; she’s everything that Buffy maybe wants to be but could never be.  She’s sexy, flirty, sometimes careless, tough, and she’s a brunette for Pete’s sake, which clearly shows that blonds don’t always have the must fun.

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All that said, she grows out of being a vehicle for the third season plot about the power of being a slayer and becomes a full character in her own right.  Faith finds a father-figure of her own in Mayor Wilkens, much like Giles is Buffy’s pseudo-father; their relationship, when it is looked at without the “evil” involved, is pure and sort of sweet.  He cares for her completely, as a daughter, and even looks after her in death.  For Faith, she finally finds a man she can depend on; no doubt she had daddy-issues of her own before coming to the Hellmouth, leading to her feelings about men.  Wilkens doesn’t ask much from her, just to kill a few people, poison Angel (partly revenge for Angel not going with Faith earlier), things that Faith is willing to do anyway; he helps focus her energy, her powerful slayer gifts, for the evil side.  He has been alive for 100 years, lost his wife when she died naturally, and might just be lonely even if he is going to be a pure demon.  This is something that has been standard from season 1, villains who are just as human as the heroes.  The Mayor may be evil but he is also loving and caring, just like everyone else.Fuffy