AND OH, HOW SHE FLIES!
Introduction by Stan Lee (1977)

Well, it looks as though we did it again! Remember in the first book of this seemingly-endless series, Origins of Marvel Comics, when we realized that the very first Dr. Strange story ever printed was not actually our sterling sorcerer's origin tale? I had to write a rabmling apologia together with an extravagant explanation that probably satisfied nobody. Well, here we are again!

As I carefully reread the titanic tome that follows, to refresh what's left of my ever-muddled memory, I was struck by the tormenting thought that we're in the stew again! This first, fast-moving tale of the magnificent Ms. Marvel, doesn't actually explain who she really is, or how she obtained her pandemonious powers. And yet, it's a landmark issue- one which I felt every super-woman devotee would want included in our cosmic collection. Thus, the decision was made- we would present the tale exactly as it appeared in our fabulous first issue- complete with all the mysterious hints and veiled references to the origin of our swiftly soaring sensation.

But now, enough about our personal agonizing in the process od selection. Let's talk about the lady herself.

It's bothered me for years that we didn't have one particular super heroine, the star of her own magazine, who could join the top-selling ranks of our other Marvel costumed crusaders. Sure, we had red Sonja, but she was a different type of heroine. She was more in the mold of Conan than a Captain Marvel. I wanted a female superstar who could exist in the present, in the real world, and who could meet with the rest of our rollickin' little repertory characters whenever you least expected it.

Well, to make a long story ludicrous, I kicked the idea of such a heroine around with Roy Thomas for a while. Finally, we came up with the name MS. MARVEL, for two reasons. One, I wanted to use the word Marvel if possible simply because it's the name of our gregarious group of titles; and two, it seemed that the word Ms. totally represented the new, liberated, upbeat spirit that we wanted the strip to represent. Also, it's easy to say, and easy to remember, and it looks real zingy on the masthead of the mag.

In seeking an artist to bring our captivating concept to life, we had to look no further than Big John Buscema, who has the uncanny ability to draw virtually any type of feature imaginable, and to draw each and every one magnificently. Some of the older Marvelites amongst you may remember John's sensational run of Spider-Man stories a few years back- his unforgettable Fantastic Four features- his magnificient depiction of Conan, Tarzan and the mighty Thor- his dazzling dabbling in the daring doings of the Avengers (sorry about that; I had a few extra "d's" stuck in the typewriter), and, in the immortal words of virtually every columnist and master-of-ceremonies who's ever lived, "many others too numerous to mention"!

Scriptwise, we selected Gerry Conway to weave a web of words, both because of his experience in writing 'most every type of superhero yarn, and because he was also a socially-aware young scrivener. You see, we wanted Ms. Marvel to be treated like any other dramatic do-gooder in our merry Marvel menage; and we also wanted a sense of relevancy - a sense of a woman's thoughts, emotions, and reactions while facing the same problems and threats as any male adventurer.

You'll quickly realize how important it was to us that Ms. Marvel be treated and depicted in exactly the same manner as any of her male counterparts. You'll see that the lady possesses super strength in great abundance, the ability to soar and fly, and a special "seventh sense" that's even spookier than your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man's world-famous "Spider Sense." She also has enough personal problems and hang-ups to make her feel as though she really belongs in our mixed-up Marvel universe.

By the time you read this momentous message, Carol Danvers will have already been established as one of our top superstars. But now, through the magic of your own imagination - and our sublime generosity - here's your chance to go back to the beginning, and to rediscover the fun and excitement of your first encounter with the daring damsel whom the world salutes as. . .the magnificent Ms. Marvel!

Taken from "The Superhero Women" by Stan Lee. Copyright 1977, Marvel Comics Group.

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