It’s a bird … it’s a plane … it’s … Captain Marvel soaring over Harpswell Sound?

The comic book superhero, set to star in her own movie next March, apparently has a summer home in the midcoast town of Harpswell. You can read all about it when the new five-part comic book series “The Life of Captain Marvel” goes on sale Wednesday.

The series by Margaret Stohl is meant to provide readers with the back story of Captain Marvel, whose real name is Carol Danvers, and part of that includes her family summer home in Harpswell.

It’s likely the first time that a major comic book series has had Maine as a primary setting, said Rick Lowell, owner of Casablanca Comics in Portland and Windham. Other comic books have used images inspired by Maine places, or mentioned Maine briefly, he said, but Stohl firmly plants her story here.

Stohl has spent summer vacations at a friend’s house overlooking the Cribstone Bridge in Harpswell for the past six or seven years and finds the place “inspiring.” She said Harpswell is “almost a main character” in the series.

“I write best about the places I know and love,” Stohl said last month from Utah, where she was teaching a writing workshop. “There’s so much vivid imagery there, and you need that for a comic book.”


“The Life of Captain Marvel” has images that Mainers will instantly recognize, created by several artists, including Joe Quesada, Marguerite Sauvage and Carlos Pacheco.

An image in the first issue of the series shows the Giant’s Stairs, a landmark rock formation on Bailey Island in Harpswell. In another scene, Danvers is shown soaring over and under the Bailey Island Bridge – also known as the Cribstone Bridge – that links Orr’s and Bailey islands. There’s an image of a doughnut shop called Sugar’s Donuts, which Stohl based on Frosty’s Donuts in nearby Brunswick.

Stohl, who is also co-author of the best-selling “Beautiful Creatures” young adult novels, said the upcoming comic series is meant to add depth to Carol Danvers’ back story before the film “Captain Marvel” comes out next March. Oscar winner Brie Larson is scheduled to star in the title role. The cast also includes Samuel L. Jackson, Gemma Chan and Jude Law.

In “The Life of Captain Marvel,” there are flashbacks showing young Danvers spending time on the coast of Maine. She’s seen “eating, running and living” around her family’s Harpswell home, Stohl said. And there are scenes showing Danvers using her superpowers, soaring over and around local landmarks.

“As far as her job while in Maine, well, it’s basically saving the world,” said Stohl.

One of the covers in the series features an image based on Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth. Although Portland Head Light is an hour’s drive or so from Harpswell, it appears on the cover because it’s such an “iconic” image of Maine, Stohl said. And as Lowell points out, what’s an hour’s drive to a superhero?


“She probably just flew there,” Lowell said.

Stohl attended Amherst College in Massachusetts and lives most of the year in Los Angeles and Seattle. She looks forward to coming to Harpswell each year. She’s says its quiet and beauty make it an ideal place to write, and she always gets a lot of work done.

“The Life of Captain Marvel” is written by frequent Harpswell visitor Margaret Stohl.

Carol Danvers was originally introduced as a secondary character in the Captain Marvel comic stories in 1968 but became the title hero a few years ago. She’s from Boston, but other than that, not a lot has been written about her background, Stohl said.

The Captain Marvel character is a Marvel Comics property, along with Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America and others. The DC Comics heroes of comic books and movies include Batman and Superman.

Maine got a little bit of comic book fame last fall when an image of Portland City Hall doubled as Gotham City Hall in the DC Comics publication “Batman: White Knight #1.” The series was written and drawn by Sean Murphy, who lives in Portland and thinks the downtown’s Victorian look is a good fit for Gotham City.

Lowell, who has been selling comics at his store for 31 years, is excited for “The Life of Captain Marvel” to come out. Not only is it likely the first comic series to name Maine specifically as a setting, it’s coming out as part of the buildup for a major Hollywood film. And it’s only the second major film in recent years, after “Wonder Woman,” to focus solely on a female comic book superhero.


That last part is important to Stohl. She said she can relate to Danvers, because she works in a couple of fields traditionally dominated by men – she writes for video games as well as comic books. And Danvers is the rare woman among an army of male superheroes.

“I took to Carol, personally, because we’re both very often the only girl in the room,” Stohl said.

And in the summer, Carol Danvers’ room just happens to be in Maine.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.