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[T]he Carol Corps is cheerfully anarchic—it's mostly organized loosely around a handful of hashtags on Tumblr.
"It is not a formal organization," Captain Marvel's writer, Kelly Sue DeConnick, tells me a few days later over breakfast. "There are no rules. People write and ask me all the time, 'How do I join the Carol Corps?' You join Carol Corps by saying you are Carol Corps. There is no test. You don't have to buy anything. You don't need to sign up anywhere. If you decide you are a part of this community, bam, you are."
In the larger and significantly male-dominated climate of superhero fandom, the Carol Corps is a notable exception. The majority of the 300 fans milling around the museum are female; in fact, the Corps' central rallying points—crafting and cosplay—are both more traditionally feminine areas of fandom. "Two years ago, anything that was seen as focused toward women automatically got kind of shunned and not enough attention," says Kristina Rogers, who is exhibits director of Emerald City ComiCon, and one of the organizers of the Carol Corps celebration. "And now we can say, 'we're doing this Carol Corps celebration,' and everyone's super enthusiastic about it. We've gotten e-mails: 'Can you have HeroesCon do this? Can you have New York [ComiCon] do this? Can this happen in Florida?' It's astonishing."
The Carol Corps also just really, really nice. They lend books and gift download codes to strangers, share skills, and pool resources. In the last two years, they've raised thousands of dollars for girls' leadership initiatives. A loosely organized group called the "yarn brigade" sends Captain Marvel-inspired knitwear to any fan in need of comfort or warmth. Tonight, though, the Corps is celebrating: talking about comic books, admiring costumes, and clustering bashfully around DeConnick like she's a rock star (which, in this room, she kind of is).
- The Minor-League Superhero Who Changed the Face of Fandom on Wired.com
- Marvel learned the wrong lessons from the Carol Corps on the AVClub