My original plan here was to do a straight recreation/reinterpretation of the cover of Captain Marvel #1, published by Marvel Comics in 1968 and featuring their alien version of Captain Marvel (Kree, to be specific). It was to have been kind of a little joke, that it would be a Captain Marvel, but not the same Captain Marvel I usually draw. Plus, I’ve always kind of liked the Kree Captain Marvel’s original green and white outfit for some reason.
But then, as I was looking at the cover, I remembered a conversation I’d had with FCA Editor P.C. Hamerlinck. For those of us with an interest in comics history (who did what, who published what, and when), sometimes it’s fun to play a game of “What If?” You take events as they happened, then propose a change. It’s like throwing a stone into a stream, and seeing what ripples it makes. In this case, P.C. and I once had a conversation where he threw out the idea, “What if instead of DC picking up the rights to Fawcett’s Captain Marvel, it had been Marvel Comics that had made that call?”
That conversation suddenly came to mind as I looked at the original version of this cover, and realized that the pose of the Kree Captain wouldn’t take much to rework it slightly and make it work just as well for the original Captain Marvel. So I got hooked on the idea. This was the result.
Please bear with me for a little fanboy indulgence here: who do I think would’ve been the likely candidates to do this book, if Marvel had bought the rights back then? Everyone’s obvious first thought would likely be Jack Kirby. However, at that point in time, Kirby’s contributions to Marvel were moving towards being mostly just between the covers of Fantastic Four and Thor. I believe it’s more likely that someone from the second wave of Marvel creators coming in at that time would’ve been given this assignment. Artwise, at the moment, I’m thinking perhaps Bill Everett might’ve been the best choice. He had some of that Marvel energy going for him, yet he also still had a certain “cartoony-ness” to his work that I think Captain Marvel needs.
The writing side of the equation is a no-brainer. I’m sure Roy Thomas would’ve argued a very strong case for his being the one to get this assignment. And I’m thinking Stan Lee most likely would’ve given in and handed the book to him.