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'Captain Marvel' Will Draw On Carol Danvers' Military Service
Marvel Studios announced on March 26 that production on Captain Marvel has officially begun in a way that would make any vet with a soft spot for comics smile: With a photo of the film’s star, Brie Larson, and Air Force Brig. Gen. Jeannie M. Leavitt atop an F-15 at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.
In the upcoming film, Larson plays Air Force fighter pilot Col. Carol Danvers prior to gaining her super powers and becoming Captain Marvel. Those powers, if you’re not familiar, include flight, incredible feats of strength, speed, agility, and the ability to absorb and redirect energy as she sees fit.
Brie Larson visits Nellis Air Force Base in preparation for 'Captain Marvel'. pic.twitter.com/zky3lf07Jg
— best of brie (@bestfbrie) January 19, 2018
To prep for her upcoming role, Larson toured Nellis in January, took a flight in an F-16, got a quick hip-pocket class on an F-15 that flew in the Gulf War, and joined Leavitt, the commander of the 57th Wing, to draw inspiration for her character, given Leavitt’s history as the service’s first female fighter pilot, Air Force Times reports.
Set in the 1990s, Captain Marvel follows Danvers as she goes from fighter pilot to living weapon, and while it’s unclear how closely her backstory will mirror Leavitt’s trail-blazing past, it seems likely that the newest Marvel film will lean heavily on Danvers’ military service.
And with good reason: Danvers has evolved over the last half-century from the head of security at a secret DoD missile base to a leader, strategist, and tactician to rival the likes of both Iron Man and Captain America, making her one of the most important figures in the Marvel Universe — a role attributed to the sense of honor and discipline she embraced in the U.S. armed forces.
With any luck, Danvers will benefit from the same thoughtful treatment Marvel showed Jon Bernthal’s Frank Castle in Netflix’s The Punisher series — where the principal character’s service felt intrinsic to his identity, rather than an afterthought used to justify a proclivity for firearms or skill in a fight.
The 18th installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Captain Marvel is set to hit the screens in 2019, and while it’s still unclear how much of a crossover there will be between the Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, and the upcoming film’s major franchises, we can probably expect a few cameos — and, at the very least, one Top Gun reference.
CORRECTION: 9.18.2018; 5:20 p.m.; A previous version of this article incorrectly listed Air Force Brig. Gen. Jeannie Leavitt as Lt. Gen Jeannie Leavitt.
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After 70 years, service members are finally filing medical malpractice claims against the US military
Jessica Purcell, a captain in the U.S. Army Reserve, was pregnant with her first child when she noticed a swollen lymph node in her left underarm.
Health-care providers at a MacDill Air Force Base clinic told her it was likely an infection or something related to pregnancy hormones. The following year they determined the issue had resolved itself.
It hadn't. A doctor off base found a large mass in her underarm and gave her a shocking diagnosis: stage 2 breast cancer.
Purcell was pregnant again. Her daughter had just turned 1. She was 35. And she had no right to sue for malpractice.
A 1950 Supreme Court ruling known as the Feres doctrine prohibits military members like Purcell from filing a lawsuit against the federal government for any injuries suffered while on active duty. That includes injury in combat, but also rape and medical malpractice, such as missing a cancer diagnosis.
Thanks in part to Tampa lawyer Natalie Khawam, a provision in this year's national defense budget allows those in active duty to file medical malpractice claims against the government for the first time since the Feres case.
With the Department of Defense overseeing the new claims process, the question now is how fairly and timely complaints will be judged. And whether, in the long run, this new move will help growing efforts to overturn the ruling and allow active duty members to sue like everyone else.