Even more remarkable is that the longer you look at this group of women the more it becomes clear that they aren’t really the Carol Corps—they’re the Kelly Sue Corps. The same people who were making Captain Marvel costumes and getting “punch holes in the sky” tattoos are now dressing up as Ginny from Pretty Deadly and knitting Bitch Planet’s Non-Compliant symbol into blankets. This is the real mistake that Marvel has made: confusing adoration for a story with loyalty to character. The books that are selling well right now, particularly with new readers, are selling because they’re compelling and representative, not because they star a specific character. Ms. Marvel and Gotham Academy and Batgirl and, yes, Bitch Planet all sell because for the first time in a long time, (mostly female) fans are getting a taste of something entirely new, something that looks like them, something that feels authentic and real. Carol Danvers isn’t suddenly popular after languishing in relative obscurity because she’s now Captain Marvel. She’s popular because Kelly Sue DeConnick has tapped into a market demographic that’s been not only ignored but actively abused by publishers and fans alike.

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