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Monica Rambeau's parents and why they matter

Contributed by
Sep 12, 2018

With great power comes great responsibility, and hopefully an even greater support system. Monica Rambeau is a superhero with all three. Becoming Captain Marvel the same week she was overlooked for a promotion to captain at her 9-to-5 job, Monica may have become a superhero overnight but she’s always had the mindset with her — something that could be the result of her support system which includes her parents and some good friends.

The upcoming Captain Marvel film will include Maria Rambeau, Monica Rambeau's mother. She is reportedly going to be a long time friend of Carol Danvers and a pilot in the Air Force with the code name "Photon." Maria will also be a single mother and there is no word yet if Monica's dad, Frank, will be introduced. Hopefully, he is in some capacity, because the family dynamic between Monica and both her parents is so important to her character. While we don’t know much about Monica’s childhood, there are plenty of interactions in the comics between her and her parents throughout her earlier time with the Avengers that are pivotal moments showcasing just how important their relationship is to one another.

After about a week or two into becoming an Avenger, Monica shares with her parents that she is Captain Marvel. Like the super supportive parents they are, they’re thrilled and couldn't be more proud of their only daughter. Before Monica even arrives, you can tell that her parents adore her. Her mother and father refer to her as their little girl and seem very excited to have her visit for dinner. Her dad is making his famous gumbo and her mom can’t wait to set the table with an extra place for Monica. It's pretty clear that they are a tight family unit and there is a good amount of love to go around. It’s really no surprise that her parents would be so proud of her career change to an Avenger. Of course, they are still as concerned for her safety as they were when she worked for the harbor portal but they love her and support her despite their fears. There is no helicopter parenting going on here.

After being a part of the Avengers for some time, Monica is approached by Captain America to take the Wasp's place as the new chairwoman. She heads straight to her parents after the meeting, having feelings of doubt about taking up the responsibility. It’s beautiful to see that even though she’s a grown woman, she still feels comfortable enough to go to them and share her doubts and concerns. Monica’s parents provide a safe place for her and that could be clutch for anyone, especially a superhero. Day in and day out you have people counting on you; it's always nice to have people you can count on for yourself.

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Even though her dad thinks highly of Captain America and Thor, he doesn’t let that affect his stanning for his own daughter. Both he and his wife encourage Monica to take on the leadership role, telling her she’ll be great and that she’s a quick study. They ultimately tell her that they know she’ll do what's best for her, showing that they value her own thoughts and choices. Monica and her parents seem to have a very healthy relationship, making this moment all the sweeter. It's a good example of trust on both sides. Monica’s parents aren’t the only ones that have her back.

When Monica first joined the Avengers, on an invite by Captain American and only a week or two after obtaining her powers, some of the members, mainly the saltine arrow thrower known as Hawkeye and the chauvinistic Thor, weren’t shy about voicing their disdain for the addition of yet another teammate. Monica did have She-Hulk in her corner out of the gate — a true ally. Starting a new job, even one that involves fighting villains and saving lives, can be stressful. To have a coworker ready to go to bat for you and make sure you feel encouraged could only bode well for how one adjusts to their new job.

A great support system also comes in handy when you’re down on your luck or you almost die and lose your powers. After fighting a huge serpent with Namor and the rest of the Avengers, Monica is nowhere to be found when the steam clears. The moment Monica materializes, a husk of her former self, she’s immediately taken to the hospital to get care and She-Hulk makes sure her parents are there when she wakes up. They don't admonish her or berate her for putting her life in danger; instead, they let her know how much they love her and that they can’t wait to get her home to nurse her back to good health. It's a great reflection of how tightly knit this family is.

Monica almost dying and losing her powers, as a result, could have been hard to work through on her own. Her parents being there for her and willing to be strong for her when she couldn't possibly be that for herself is pretty amazing. Even when she comes back to health and starts her new job as a captain in the harbor portal, they’re there to encourage her, powers or not. It's no wonder why Monica Rambeau is Captain Marvel with or without her powers; she has two loving parents in her corner, and they’ve raised a confident individual.

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The representation of a healthy relationship between Monica and her parents is a nice change of pace compared to the more fractured relationships of other superheroes. It's important to also consider that an environment of love and support can be the foundation of a great superhero. Strength can grow from love — it doesn’t always have to come from enduring some form of tragedy.