WARNING: The following list contains spoilers for the “Civil War II” storyline.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is in constant expansion, initially beginning with 2008’s “Iron Man” movie and now boasting several TV shows and an ever-increasing collection of films, it’s become quite the media franchise. Back in 2014, Producer Kevin Feige announced another addition to the MCU’s roster of super heroes: Carol Danvers, also known as Captain Marvel.
At this point, not much has been revealed about the film or how Carol Danvers will be integrated into the “Avengers” films, so most of what you read online is just speculation. One could make an educated guess however, using what’s known about her in the comics as well as what we’ve already seen in the MCU. So, for your speculative pleasure and for those who don’t know much about the character, we give you the 15 most important things to know about Captain Marvel.
15. Brie Larson Is Set To Play Her
It was announced in the summer of 2016 that actress and singer, Brie Larson, who you might know from 2012’s “21 Jump Street” or 2010’s “Scott Pilgrim vs The World,” was confirmed to be playing Carol Danvers in the upcoming film. If Danvers as a character were to be summed up in one word, it’d be “complex.” Can Brie Larson pull of the charm, strength and drama behind the stoic Captain Marvel? Well, Larson has range and she’s done several comedy films, so she can obviously handle the humor element at the very least. For her part in “Short Term 12” she was praised for her ability to convey everything from ferocity and strength, to fragility and collapse.
That sounds like pretty much everything a great portrayal of Carol Danvers would need. Considering that she’ll eventually find herself up against the charisma of Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark and Chris Pratt’s charming Peter Quill, she’ll have to bring all that talent to ensure her Carol Danvers holds her own on screen.
14. There Have Been Several Captain Marvels Besides Her
The title of Captain Marvel is an old one. Introduced to Marvel Comics in the 1970s, the character was first introduced in “Marvel Super Heroes” #12 as Mar-Vell, a Kree sent to Earth to spy on it and determine whether or not it would pose a threat. His role on Earth would later lead to Carol Danvers gaining her powers, as well as assuming the title of Captain Marvel.
After he passed from cancer, the title was passed down to Monica Rambeau, a New Orleans harbor patrol lieutenant who’s hit with extra-dimensional energy and thus transformed into Captain Marvel. She does a lot of good with it and even goes on to lead the Avengers at one point before losing her powers and surrendering the title to Genis-Vell, son of the original Captain Marvel. Genis falls at the hands of Baron Zemo and the title falls to Phyla-Vell, Genis’ sister. After her, there was the Skrull, Khn’nr, then the young Kree Noh-Varr and finally, the title of Captain Marvel was left to Carol Danvers.
13. She Has Quite The Job Resume
Even without all her super powers, Carol Danvers is a hero and a fighter, so not someone you’d want to mess with. From the very beginning, we saw Danvers fighting. She fought for equal pay back in “Ms. Marvel” #1 against non-other than Marvel’s most stubborn editor-in-chief, J. Jonah Jameson of the Daily Bugle. Before that, she’d completed training at an Air Force academy. Next, she was recruited into the C.I.A, and it would be there that she’d meet Nick Fury and Logan.
After being briefly imprisoned by the KGB, she took a job at NASA as a security director. It was during this time that she met the first Captain Marvel, Mar-Vell in “Marvel Super Heroes” #13. But we’ll get to that later. It was after NASA that she found a job at the Daily Bugle, as an editor for Woman magazine. This was after she’d inevitably gotten her super powers, with which she would fight the great fight and put those many skills to even better use.
12. She Became A Human/Kree Hybrid
Carol Danvers was a security chief under NASA when she came into contact with Captain Marvel, who at the time was a Kree named Mar-Vell that had been sent to Earth by his people to study the planet and determine whether or not humanity posed a threat to the Kree empire. He impersonated a doctor who died on en route to where she was stationed, only to later be attacked by a villain named Yon-Rogg in “Captain Marvel #18.”
During the fight, a Kree device called the Kree Psyche-Magneton exploded, catching Danvers in its energy and somehow melding her physiology with that of Mar-Vell’s, creating a Kree/Human hybrid within the oblivious Carol Danvers. She was now incredibly strong, fast and durable. She could also fly and had gained limited precognitive abilities. However, it wasn’t just her DNA that changed. Captain Marvel’s knowledge and skills had also been granted to her. Her life as a simple human was over.
11. She Was Originally Called Ms. Marvel
After gaining her powers from the Kree Mar-Vell, Carol Danvers became the world famous Ms. Marvel, so named after the alien that gave her such fantastic abilities. As Ms. Marvel, Carol was first shown taking on the Scorpion in “Ms. Marvel” #1, and she did so more easily than Spider-man, a hero she would soon find herself fighting alongside more frequently, especially after she was invited to temporarily join the Avengers in “Avengers” #183.
Despite being a match for any foe and definitely proving herself a valuable member of the team, she didn’t remain with the Avengers for long, although there was a point when she returned and even ended up leading them, as per Tony Stark’s request in “Mighty Avengers” #1 in the aftermath of the “Civil War” story arc. Though the Mighty Avengers later disbanded, Ms. Marvel would continue fighting for the New Avengers, even against the X-Men when the Phoenix Force made its way to Earth in the “Avengers vs X-Men” story-arc.
10. She Was Initially Unaware Of Her Alter-Ego
The blast from the psyche-magneton was powerful enough to both kill Yon-Rogg and stun even the powerful Mar-Vell who was far away from it. It’s no wonder, therefore, that the mere human, Carol, would suffer some form of trauma from being hit by the blast as well. Maybe that’s why it didn’t seem too odd for her to experience the occasional blackout whenever danger was near. Little did she know that during those blackouts, she would actually transform into the formidable Kree fighter, Ms. Marvel, flying across the sky in a costume given to her by the psyche-magneton.
It wouldn’t always be this way. Over time Carol Danvers would discover how powerful she really was and she and Ms. Marvel would become one and the same, thanks in part to none other than Ronan the Accuser, who probed her fragmented mind in “Ms. Marvel” #19 while trying to rid the Earth of runaway Kree.
9. She’s Been Multiple Different Superheroes
As if her vast skill set and having super strength, speed, stamina, durability and the ability to fly weren’t enough, Carol Danvers has also gained several power sets over the years and with them, new alter-egos. These weren’t always received by choice however, like when she was known as Binary. Carol Danvers became the powerful Binary after an adventure with the X-Men resulted in her being experimented on in “Uncanny X-Men” #163 by the Brood, an alien race the X-Men have faced many times. She’d gained access to the energy of a White Hole, which increased her strength and speed, as well as granted her the ability to control heat, light and gravity.
After her connection to the White Hole energy was severed, she retained some of her newer powers, albeit to a much lesser extent. She abandoned Binary and took on the name Warbird. During that time, she underwent quite a complex phase owing to the loss of her powers and some of her memories.
8. She Struggled With Alcoholism
One of the things that make the character so complex is that, even though she’s a heroic figure standing up to any foe that comes her way, even in her civilian life, we see she struggles with her own demons. The emotional emptiness she felt after losing part of her identity as well as all the traumatic events leading up to it, resulted in her turning to alcohol, which is something a lot of people can unfortunately relate to. Rather than confront her issues, she constantly overestimated herself and exaggerated her strength to her fellow Avengers, which led to her leaving the team in shame.
Not long after, Carol nearly died of alcohol poisoning. To make matters worse, her alcoholism almost caused her to endanger a plane filled with passengers. This combo gave her the wake-up call she needed to get her life back in order, attending A.A. meetings and confronting her inner demons. We still don’t know if Marvel intends on showing this part of Carol’s story, but it’s always good to know the dramatic potential of character.
7. She’s Been An Avenger And A Guardian Of The Galaxy
As mentioned before, Carol Danvers has been a distinguished member of the Avengers, but it’s not the only team she’s fought with. She’s been a member of a variety of teams, sometimes even as their leader, like the Starjammers and Alpha Flight’s Space Program for example, where she defended Earth from alien invaders. After she assumed the title of Captain Marvel, Danvers also ended up joining the Guardians of the Galaxy for a brief period of time, back in “Guardians of the Galaxy” #15.
With the Marvel Cinematic Universe including both the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain Marvel could very well be used to link the two teams together since Danvers has had quite a few adventures both on Earth and in the vast expanse of outer space. She could very well be an integral part in the inevitable battle against the all-powerful Thanos, armed with the gauntlet and mysterious infinity stones.
6. She And Rhodey Have A Thing Going On
It appears War Machine might have some epic romance coming his way in the MCU, depending on whether or not the writers decide to stay faithful to the comics in which Carol Danvers and Rhodey begin a low-key relationship in 2014’s “Captain Marvel” #1, which lasted quite a while and seemed to be heading somewhere until Rhodey met his unfortunate end in “Civil War II.” The heroes mourn his death in “Civil War: Choosing Sides” #2 and, through Kate Bishop’s tour of the multiverse with America Chavez, we see that there actually is a reality where Rhodey and Danvers would marry, so it’s safe to say their relationship was quite serious.
Could we see something akin to that in the upcoming films when Captain Marvel inevitably meets the Avengers? There’s a lot of potential here in regards to drama and the possible twists we could see on film. While Rhodey and Danvers obviously enjoy each other’s company, Danvers and Stark, Rhodey’s best friend, don’t get along quite as well, at least in the comics.
5. She Was A Feminist Icon
It should be noted that the upcoming “Captain Marvel” film will be Marvel Studios’ first feature film starring a female superhero, which is fitting since Ms. Marvel was created with feminism in mind, made evident in the use of her title and her clear tendency to fight against inequality. Hers is a story about overcoming anything and everything that stood in the way of her reaching her full potential, such as her father who refused to see women as being equals and essentially tried to hold Carol back from pursuing her dreams of being an astronaut. Despite that, she was able to graduate and join the Air Force.
This was pretty revolutionary for the time, as there weren’t a lot of female heroes during the 1970’s. Also, the ideals she stood for weren’t even remotely considered mainstream back then, which may have led to the failure of her comic series. Luckily, Marvel didn’t give up on the character, and hopefully we’ll get to see that same ceaseless determination on film.
4. She Wasn’t Without Controversy
Oddly enough, even though her initial purpose as a comic book character was to be a symbol of feminist strength and perseverance, somewhere along the way, the writers over at Marvel Comics wrote her into a controversial series of events that began with “Avengers” #200 when Ms. Marvel, who was an Avenger at the time, found herself carrying, birthing and technically raising a child all in the span of a few days. It turns out the child was Marcus, the son of Immortus, who brainwashed and impregnated her all so he could reincarnate himself. He then planned on influencing Danvers’ emotions to force her to love him so she would return to Limbo with him. Eventually, Marcus would die due to his accelerated healing and Carol would return to Earth, regain her memories and shun the Avengers (rightly so) in “Avengers Annual” #10, for allowing Marcus to take her away like that.
For obvious reasons, the storyline was criticized by many, including comic book historian, Carol A. Strickland, who wrote an essay devoted to the controversial story.
3. She’s Been Captain Marvel Twice
While the title of Captain Marvel had been bestowed upon Danvers before by Mar-Vell himself, she didn’t keep it for long. Before Danvers recently embraced the title, there was the Kree, Noh-Varr. After battling Hexus, a living corporation, Noh-Varr was captured by S.H.I.E.L.D. and incarcerated in the Cube, a classified S.H.I.E.L.D. base. There, he declared war on humanity, but was dissuaded by the Illuminati.
During the “Secret Invasion” storyline, Noh-Varr was able to escape the Cube and encounters a dying Khn’nr, who bestows upon him the nega-bands and title of Captain Marvel. Noh-Varr went on to become a hero on Earth and be recruited into Norman Osborne’s Dark Avengers, however it doesn’t last. After realizing that the Dark Avengers consist of monstrous criminals, Noh-Varr flees and eventually abandons the title of Captain Marvel. Captain America, having been watching Noh-Varr from afar (to determine whether or not he could be trusted), eventually suggests that Carol Danvers assume the title in 2012’s “Captain Marvel” #1, saying it’s what Mar-Vell would have wanted.
2. She Led A Faction Of Heroes Against Iron Man
Captain Marvel has increasingly become a more prominent figure in the Marvel Universe over the years and it’s culminated in her leading a large faction of heroes in the current “Civil War II” story-arc. Once more, Tony Stark had found himself fighting half the heroes on Earth-616 (the main Marvel continuity), this time arguing against using the precognitive abilities of the Inhuman, Ulysses Cain, as a preventative measure against crime. Meanwhile, Captain Marvel fights to use his powers to stop deaths and crimes before they occur. It’s a thrilling tale about pre-determinism where there isn’t really a good or bad side, just a whole lot of gray.
With the Inhumans being re-introduced into the MCU with their own TV show (as opposed to their current role in the “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” series), we may just get to see the headstrong Carol Danvers come into conflict with the stubborn Tony Stark in a similar way as the comic book source material.
1. She Was Almost Going To Be In “Jessica Jones”
Fans of the Netflix series “Jessica Jones” may recognize some of Carol Danvers’ characteristics in Jones’ adoptive sister and best friend, Trish Walker. That’s likely because the character of Trish was introduced to replace Carol Danvers whom, in the comics, is one of the few close friends Jessica Jones has. During the switch from ABC to Netflix while the series was still in its early phases, the character of Carol Danvers was set to appear in her own film, which of course meant that a preceding appearance in the Netflix-original series would be impossible. Showrunner Melissa Rosenberg stated that in the end, Trish was much more appropriate for Jessica Jones as her powers don’t match (or surpass) Jones’.
It can easily be argued that this was a fortunate turn of events as Carol Danvers is definitely a character deserving of her own feature film in the increasingly epic Marvel Cinematic Universe. They’ve obviously got big plans for her and we’re all eagerly waiting to see her in action.
Is there anything else you feel needs to be known about Captain Marvel? Be sure to let us know in the comments.
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