There has been a recent and long overdue focus on the representation of female characters in comics. Comic books have always held a mirror to conflict and change in our society. This current trend includes Issue #35 of Batgirl, where she takes down a sleaze who runs a revenge porn site; the new Ms. Marvel is a sixteen year old Pakistani-American from Jersey City; a woman wielding Mjolnir in the new run of Thor.
Continuing with this momentum, a story arc I’d really like to see is for Marvel to have Carol Danvers be Iron Man.
The former Ms Marvel, now Captain Marvel, has had a hugely successful run, written by Kelly Sue DeConnick, with a dedicated fan-base dubbing themselves the ‘Carol Corps’.
What would make her a great choice as Iron Man is that she wouldn’t actually need Stark’s armor. Carol, through exposure to a damaged Kree weapon, already has superhuman strength, speed, stamina and durability. She is also capable of unaided flight and can fire photon blasts from her hands. The Iron Man armor would, most likely, only slow her down.
If they did this, it would be a perfect venue to explore the gender re-balancing occurring in comics as well as the wider issues of female equality and representation.
Possibly it could be structured where an injured Stark, not wanting to admit weakness to the world, asks for Carol’s help in maintaining his Iron Man persona while he recuperates. Not a woman who’d be willing to take a back seat as someone’s stand-in, Danvers would effectively have Stark as her quartermaster (i’m sure his ego would cope well with that) as she continued her work with the full resources of Stark Industries behind her. I see it run as a Captain Marvel story featuring Iron Man, not an Iron Man arc where Tony mentors a temporary replacement.
The thing I’d really love to see, though, is Danvers flying at the head of her own squad of automated Iron Man armors, each wearing the Captain Marvel’ red sash around their waist.