Remember When Captain Mar-Vell Had to Drink a Potion to Breathe on Earth?

In every installment of “If I Pass This Way Again,” we look at comic book plot points that were rarely (sometimes NEVER!) mentioned again after they were first introduced.

Today, we look at how Captain Mar-Vell used to have to drink a special breathing potion to breathe on Earth!

There have been a number of superhero characters that have been created over the year that seem like they were created almost through an assembly line of various creators and editors before they were formed. However, few superheroes gave off quite as much of an obvious FEEL of that sort of thing happening with them than Mar-Vell, the Kree Captain who became Captain Marvel. Gene Colan did not even recall creating his distinctive green and white costume, which suggests that it was sort of developed in a committee, as it were.

In a lot of ways, that is really what the early days of Captain Marvel seem to read like, like the creators were trying to cobble together some sort of coherent character out of various spare parts. Stan Lee wrote his first issue but then Roy Thomas wrote his second issue and Thomas appeared to try to give the character more of a purpose than Lee did in his first issue.

However, it seemed clear that in the early days, at least, Lee latched on to the idea that Captain Marvel, like most superheroes, should have some sort of notable weakness.

Mar-Vell sort of had two. He had an unbreakable wrist monitor that his superior, Colonel Yon-Rogg, could use to keep track of him at all times and he had to drink a special breathing solution to give him one hour of breath on Earth (he could breathe all the time using his special Kree battle helmet, but once the helmet was off, it was an hour).

We see him take it right before he deploys on his mission...

We also see him take it when he checks into a local motel...

In the next issue, with Roy Thomas now joining Colan, Yon-Rogg tries to kill Mar-Vell while Mar-Vell is on the way back to get more breathing solution. On the way, Mar-Vell is almost killed by Yon-Rogg but instead a plane carrying a scientist is in the way and it is destroyed instead. Mar-Vell then adopts the human's identity because, well, why not?

Luckily, Mar-Vell's girlfriend is on the crew of Yon-Rogg's ship and she makes sure he gets the breathing solution in time...

Mar-Vell then gets his own ongoing series and in the second issue, we see him facing the problem of needing the breathing solution....

It is not mentioned again really when Arnold Drake takes over as the writer on the series with #5, except for a brief note in Captain Marvel #10...

So, how can Mar-Vell breathe on Earth after he splits from the Kree and their breathing potion supply?

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